Restructuring Electricorp: the labour process, profit, technology and work organisation
AbstractThis paper presents a case study of the restructuring of Electricorp,focusing specifically on the central North Island hydro stations managed by the corporation's Production Division. It does not necessarily cover all of the changes occurring within Electricorp's other divisions or subsidiaries. While the utilisation and development of new technologies is a key facet of the restructuring process, other factors are of equal, if not greater, significance- namely, new forms of work organisation (i.e. staffing composition and more 'flexible' work practices) and a narrowed emphasis on profitability. This paper examines all these factors in the context of the blueprint for the commercially oriented restructuring of the New Zealand Electricity Department set out in the 1986 Taskforce Report. It also views the restructuring exercise from the perspective of labour process theory, discussing the reorganisation plan as a managerial strategy for control over the labour process and looking at worker resistance to these managerial initiatives.
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