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Post-fordism and skill

Theories and perceptions

Denise Thurfield

Ashgate, Aldershot, 224 sider, 2000 ISBN 0 7546 1509 X

This text aims to redress the general neglect of manager and worker perceptions of skill through the presentation of empirical evidence from three case study organizations. This is used to construct a model through which to explain subjective perceptions of skill and the causal processes that shape them. This approach serves to shift analysis away from definitions of skill constructed by sociologists and towards a theory of skill that is grounded in the subjective definitions of those directly involved in production. Further issues dealt with in the book are: the extent to which the causal processes identified as shaping subjective perceptions are explicable in the context of existing theories; an examination and explanation of the perception of skills in the context of an alleged shift between Fordist and post-Fordist production paradigms; and how management and worker perceptions relate back to the wider capitalist system. Finally, comparison is made between workers and managers perceptions and skill, and sociological definitions of skill. The author also shows that the causal process that shape perceptions of skill occur of a variety of levels.