Testing the Sociological Theory

  • Tom Dwyer
Part of the Plenum Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)

Abstract

Four general discussions come together in this chapter: the workplaces to be examined are each a product of sociohistorical processes; professional and administrative institutional interventions in the workplaces in the name of safety are examined; hypotheses drawn from the sociological theory constructed in Chapter 3 are tested; and to do this, methods and study design discussed in Chapter 4 are called upon.

Keywords

Social Relation Night Shift Safety Management Sociological Theory Bonus System 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    T. Dwyer. 1981. Industrial Accidents and Nightwork in the Manufacturing Sector. Wellington: Department of Labour. It should be noted that this was originally written as a government research report, and for this reason some sensitive data were excluded. A fair amount of the descriptive material was changed to protect the anonymity that was requested by and guaranteed to companies and unions. The original report is a preliminary one, and some of the data gathered and reported are here presented in a different light subsequent to modifications, frequently induced by the research, of the theory. Interviews with staff always included a very early question: “Have you ever had an industrial accident?” which was followed by, “Have any of your workmates ever had an accident?” Starting from such a base anchors the interview in concrete events and not, as do most surveys of safety, in abstract concerns. All interviews obligatorily covered several other questions: what do you think are the most important causes of accidents in this plant? How can accidents be best prevented? Questions were asked pertaining to the individual member, organizational, command, and rewards levels, and their functioning and their roles in accident production. In addition perceptions of intershift differences and of accident causation differences between shifts were solicited. Interviewees were always invited to ask questions of the interviewer and to introduce observations of their own. Throughout the interviews, observational data would be introduced as would data from previous interviews, and this would occur especially where conflicts and differences were perceived. Over 200 people were interviewed giving approximately 900 pages of notes.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The reduction in labor turnover reflected national trends generally attributed to the retraction in the labor market due to national economic difficulties.Google Scholar
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    M. Crozier. 1964. The Bureaucratic Phenomenon. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
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    A. W. Gouldner. 1954. Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy, pp. 215–228. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. Touraine. 1972. An historical study of the evolution of industrial skills, in L. E. Davis and J. C. Taylor (eds.), Design of Jobs, pp. 52–61 (p. 58). Harmondsworth: Penguin. (Essay first published in English in 1962.)Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Gouldner, 1954, pp. 215–218.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    T. Dwyer and A. Raftery. 1990. Industrial Accidents Are Produced by the Social Relations of Work: A Sociological Theory of Industrial Accidents. Paper delivered to the Annual Conference of the American Sociological Association, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
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    D. R. Cox. 1970. The Analysis of Binary Data. London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
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    R. J. Baker and J. A. Neider. 1978. The GLIM System, Release 3. Generalised Linear Interactive Modeling. Oxford: Numerical Algorithms Group. See also: P. McCullagh and J. A. Neider. 1989. Generalised Linear Models. London: Chapman and Hall (2nd edition).Google Scholar
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    McCullagh and Neider, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Dwyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Estadual de CampinasSão PauloBrazil

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