Work Reform In The Workplace Essay

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Introduction
The benchmark of democratic society is that citizens have a participatory voice and a stake in decision-making, translating to (notional) control over their destiny. The generations-old bureaucratic work environment has taken control of work and organizational decision-making from workers as management focuses on realizing profit over supporting workers’ needs. The resulting lack of participation and dehumanization of work have led to power struggles and dissatisfying conditions in the workplace. To increase worker satisfaction, work needs to be reformed, but is the kind of humanistic work reform required to increase satisfaction (through participation and/or work reorganization/job redesign) attainable in a neoliberal, capitalist economy?
This essay investigates the probability and viability of work reform to increase workplace/worker participation and satisfaction, including the roles and interests of involved parties, the impact of work reorganization, the reconciliation of humanistic factors with productivity and profit, and theoretical insights into likely outcomes.
Work Reform: Motivations and Goals
Work reform is prompted by
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Unions provide a vehicle for employee resistance and possible gains (including a participatory role in the business) under the right economic conditions (Rinehart, 2001, p. 181). Through collective bargaining, unions can negotiate for better security, work design, workplace rules, training standards, health issues, etc. to increase worker well-being and satisfaction. Unions defy management attempts to adopt “lean” production methods (Rinehart, 2001, 190). Unions can also enter into joint union-management decision-making, which, if pursuing the interests of workers can equate to greater levels of participation and satisfaction (Rinehart, 2001, p. 191). However, through concessions or a management-bias, unions can adversely affect worker satisfaction (Rinehart, 2001, p.

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