Essays on In the Modern Workplace, Management Is in Control and Employees Have No Autonomy Assignment

Tags: Karl Marx
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The paper "In the Modern Workplace, Management Is in Control and Employees Have No Autonomy" is a good example of a management assignment.   According to experts, workers who believe that they are free to make choices in their workplace and also be accountable for their own decisions have happier working time and more productivity. This essay is aimed at demystifying the issues that are resultant of the control being in the hands of the management which as a result leaves the employees with no autonomy in the modern workplace (Dworkin, 1988). The discussion will be in reference to the Marx’ s theory of alienation and informal resistance strategies What is management? Management is referred to as the coordination and organization of the activities in order to achieve defined objectives.

It is often included as a factor of production along with money, machines and materials. Management is involved in activities such as marketing and innovation. The entire practice of management originated in the 16th-century  study of low efficiency and the failures of certain enterprises. It is from then that management is found to consist of the functions that are interlocking in the sense that they create corporate policy, organizing, controlling, planning, and directing the resources of a given organization in order to achieve set out goals or objectives of their underlined policy. In the business world, management is a term that can be used to describe the directors and managers who have the power and the responsibility to make the decisions as well as oversee the operations of an organization. What is Autonomy? According to Schwartz, people are autonomous to the degree that they can rationally form and act on some overall conception of what they want in life.

Achieving autonomy for individuals leads to them being able to live lives of initiative and intelligence. When we get to the employment world, the autonomy pursuit is a subject to the limitations inherent in the employment relationship. Despite the fact that work that lacks autonomy may be within and part of autonomously chosen goals, a deal should prevail that aims at enhancing autonomy to refer to arrangements which advance the capability to frame, adjust and pursue plans during the work time (Schwarz, 1982). Given the developments that have taken place in the recent decades, it would obviously appear more likely to cultivate creativity by employees and this means that we should anticipate rising autonomy to be made part of the development of a more skilled workforce.

The autonomy of employees includes such things as discretion, control over work, judgement and initiative. According to Karl Marx in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, he stated that the worker sinks to the level of the commodity. He continues to say that the worker indeed becomes the most wretched of commodities.

This is exactly what the lack of autonomy has reduced the employee to be. The employee according to Marx is in inverse proportion to the power and magnitude of his/her production. From Marx’ s perspective, the worker will only feel himself when he is not working because work makes him neither happy nor content. This according to Marx means that working is not a satisfaction of a need. He proposes that there is a need for the work-life balance to be achieved for the worker. This will enable the worker to develop freely and have practical human activities.

Work cited

Ackroyd, S. (2005) (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter on “Resistance, Misbehaviour and Dissent”.

De Jonge, J.: 1995, Job Autonomy, Well-being, and Health: A Study Among Dutch Health Care Workers, Maastricht, Universitaire Pers Maastricht.

Dworkin, G.: 1988, The Theory and Practice of Autonomy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Hackman, J. and G. Oldham: 1975, ‘Development of the Job Diagnostic Survey’, Journal of Applied Psychology 60, 159-170.

Marx, K. (1844) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts. (Chapter on Estranged Labour).

Mulholland, K. 2004. “Workplace Resistance in an Irish Call Centre: Slammin’, Scammin’ Smokin’ an’ Leavin.’”, Work, Employment and Society, 18 (4): 709-772

Schwarz, A. Meaningful Work, Ethics, Vol. 92, No. 4, pages 634-646, 1982

van Den Broek, D., & Dundon, T. (2012) “(Still) Up to No Good: Reconfiguring Worker Resistance and Misbehaviour in an Increasingly Unorganized World”, Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 67 (1): 97-121.

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