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Kusterer or Manwaring and Wood on the High-Tech Labor Process? Analyzing the Nature of Skill, Deskilling and Managerial Control of Labor in a U.S. Medical Electronics Factory

  • Victor G. Devinatz
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Abstract

Since Braverman’s (1974) work revived interest and research in labor process theory, labor process theorists have developed differing conceptions of the nature of skill, deskilling and the managerial control of labor in the capitalist work organization. In this article, I examine two labor process theories, K. Kusterer’s (1978) theory of working knowledge and Manwaring and Wood’s (1985) theory of tacit skills, with regards to the nature of skill, deskilling and the managerial control of labor and test these two theories with respect to data obtained on unskilled and semiskilled production work at a high-tech medical electronics factory. I conclude that there is more support for Manwaring and Woods’ (1985) theory of tacit skills than for Kusterer’s (1978) theory of working knowledge for high-tech production work.

Keywords

labor process managerial control high-tech industry 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and Quantitative MethodsCollege of Business, Illinois State UniversityNormal

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