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Collective narratives and politics in the contemporary study of work : the new management practices debate

Stewart, Paul and Martinez Lucio, M. (2011) Collective narratives and politics in the contemporary study of work : the new management practices debate. Work, Employment and Society, 25 (2). pp. 327-341. ISSN 0950-0170

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Abstract

In this article we explore the question of how as sociologists of work we might research those who constitute the substance of our labour process. We approach this question through an examination of the New Management Practices debate, principally in the labour movement where a distinctive and critical view of NMP developed in the late 1980s. Second, we argue that there is a link between this debate and the wider politics of labour process discussion both within and beyond the labour movement which has witnessed a shift away from an earlier engagement with worker interventions. In response we suggest the need to re-evaluate the nature of academic engagement with labour thus reanimating a closer engagement with labour-in-work and collective worker narratives.