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Zur Logik kollektiven Handelns von WissensarbeiterInnen (On the Logic of Collective Action of Female Knowledge Workers)

Susanne Pernicka, Astrid Reichel and Stefan Luecking

Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, 2010, vol. 17, issue 4, 372-392

Abstract: Auch wenn WissensarbeiterInnen nur eine Minderheit unter den Beschaeftigten bilden, repraesentieren sie doch einen Prototyp in einer veraenderten Arbeitswelt, in der die Neigungen zu kollektivem Handeln und gewerkschaftlichem Engagement abnehmen. Existierende Theorien erklaeren die geringe Organisationsneigung von Hochqualifizierten in wissensintensiven Feldern mit individualistischen Orientierungen und der Verfuegungsmacht ueber knappes, oekonomisch verwertbares Wissen. Wir schlagen eine differenzierte Perspektive auf verschiedene Formen hochqualifizierter Arbeit und deren dominante Steuerungslogiken (Profession, Markt, Buerokratie) vor, die in ganz unterschiedlicher Weise auf die Bereitschaft zu kollektivem Handeln einwirken. Die Ergebnisse einer quantitativen Befragung in drei Feldern (universitaere Forschung, ausseruniversitaere Forschung und Unternehmensberatung) in OEsterreich verweisen partiell auf die Plausibilitaet des vorgeschlagenen Modells. (Although knowledge workers constitute only a minority of all workers, they represent a prototype in a changing working environment where collective action and union engagement have diminished. Existing theories explain the low propensity of highly skilled workers in knowledge intensive fields to organise by individualistic orientations and power derived from their possession of scarce, economically exploitable knowledge. We propose a more sophisticated model that distinguishes between three categories of knowledge intensive work and hence, their dominant logics of governance (profession, market, hierarchy) that in turn are linked with the propensity to organize collectively. The results of a quantitative survey in three fields (university research, non-university research and business consultancy) in Austria partly support the plausibility of the model.)

Keywords: trade unions; collective action; universities; management consultancy; knowledge work (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J44 J51 J81 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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