labour process theory

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Is concerned with analysing how a workforce's labour power (its ability to work) is directed towards the production of commodities (goods and services) that can be sold at a profit. The control of this labour process by managers is essential because profit is accumulated in two stages: first, through the extraction of the surplus value of labour (the price of a commodity greater than the costs incurred in its production); and second, through the realization of that value when commodities are actually sold. These two stages are frequently referred to as valorization. In other words, managers seek to control the way work is organized, the pace of work, and the duration of work because these are crucial to profitability. Labour process theorists are therefore particularly concerned with the social relations of production, and issues of workplace conflict, control, and regulation. [See critical management studies.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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