Maybury, Andrew David (2019) Control, resistance and the labour process: a study of information communication technology utilization in local government Revenues and Benefits departments. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis provides a qualitative study of control of the labour process and its relationship to technology in Revenues and Benefits departments within local government. The study, from a Marxist analytical perspective, focuses on three aspects of Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool of control within the labour process. Firstly, why would management seek to control the labour process in a sector where the profit motive is absent? Secondly, having established a motive for control, how has ICT been utilized as a means to achieve it? Finally, how has the use of ICT affected workers’ capability to resist such control? The thesis seeks to place these aspects within the context of the state’s position within the capitalist system as an employer of labour and the relationship between central and local government. Literature has been reviewed around the three aspects identified and feeds into the research. Research was carried out at two metropolitan authorities responsible for the administration of Revenues and Benefits. The components of this fieldwork were questionnaires, with the two-fold objective of gathering data on worker attitudes and as a means of interview selection, and a total of 35 interviews carried out with managers, workers and trade union officials to gauge views across a range of perspectives within the workplaces. The findings of the thesis locate the desire for control of the labour process in the public sector within its position as a component part of a capitalist system and within a dynamic relationship between central and local government. This has led to management seeking to use ICT as a tool of control to achieve an intensification and displacement of labour, and to a challenging environment for labour to exercise resistance. However, the thesis still views the frontier of control as shifting and not finally settled.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Keele Business School
Contributors: Thornley, Carole (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 14:58
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 14:58
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7133

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