The study of the sociology of work reveals that work plays a very significant role on our society, and over the last few centuries the nature of work has changed drastically, thus changing the nature of society along with it from an industrial to a post-industrial society. The nature of work in Canada and elsewhere is static in that it is always changing, it can be demeaning for some and rewarding for others.(Krahn & Lowe, 2005: xviii). The nature of work in any given society is largely based on how it is structured and what people/powers are in charge. When examining the realities of work in society it is clear that reforms can be implemented that would allow the quality of people's working life to be improved. This is where sociologists play a vital role, as their research can help to craft public policy that will serve to make work more rewarding for more people.(Krahn & Lowe, 2005: xviii). Sociological inquiry can also answer questions like why men get paid more than women and why some men are more heavily directed into certain lines of work. (Gaskell, 1993: 205; McCormack, 1993: 196).
[...] These are the main sociological ways in which the workplace has been identified to be able to be reformed to be more satisfying, participatory and challenging. Clearly for work to be reformed there will need to be changes with management and employees/unions, and it must move away from the unitary goal of only achieving profit. Mary Lou Coates questions whether labor in Canadian can work alongside the traditional expectations of unions, as new management styles are proving to be difficult for unions to adapt to. [...]
[...] When seeking to develop ways of reforming the workplace so that it is more satisfying, participatory and challenging, this organizational structure must be examined. It is the way in which conflict and consensus are used in an organization that is important when trying to come up with ways of reforming the workplace. In fact, it is this dynamic that poses a challenge to reforming the workplace. If the workplace is to be reformed, and role of management and employees needs to be altered to “achieve a better balance among the goals of making work satisfying, socially useful, and rewarding on the one hand, and those of achieving economic efficiency and profitability on the other. [...]
[...] Davis, L.E. & Sullivan, C.S. (1993). A Labor-Management Contract and the Quality of Working Life. Work in Canada: Readings in the Sociology of Work and Industry. Gaskell, J. (1993). What Counts as Skill? Reflections on Pay Equity. Work in Canada: Readings in the Sociology of Work and Industry. Krahn, [...]
[...] The QWL Model, also known as the quality of working life approach is another way of humanizing work, and democratizing the workplace, and it works by giving the employees more participation in the management process. It works to encourage employee satisfaction, motivation and their commitment to what they are doing. It gives them a more vested interest in their role within the organization. (Krahn & Lowe, 2005: 239). James Rinehart argues that the most important aspect of QWL needs to be challenging the workers to be more in tune with the needs of management as opposed to trying to drastically change workplace authority relations. (Rinehart, 1993: 297). [...]
[...] As such, reforming the workplace must consider the various factors that contribute to the satisfaction that is gained from work. For many, it is the nature of the work itself that contributes to how much satisfaction comes from the job, and as such, the nature of the work (for example, if it is repetitive and routine) can inhibit satisfaction in the workplace. Work can become more humanistic by allowing the worker to be in a position that gives them more satisfaction, participation and challenge in their daily work life. [...]
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