Internal Labour Markets and the Organisation of Work



In this chapter we bring together a number of issues which were touched upon, but not adequately dealt with, in Chapters 2 and 3. One concerns the level of effort supplied by the worker, which was identified as an important determinant of labour productivity but was itself left unexplained. Closely related to this is the organisation of work in capitalist society, which, being both hierarchical and authoritarian, is very difficult to reconcile with the neoclassical view of the employment relation as a free, non-coercive market exchange. There is also evidence that relationships between employers and workers are typically long-term in nature, which distinguishes them very sharply from the mass of buyer-seller transactions. Finally, the rigidity of both money and real wages with respect to changes in labour demand is a real puzzle in its own right, and has major implications for unemployment, inflation and macroeconomic efficiency.


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© J. E. King 1990

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