People’s work orientations and attitudes to paid work are highly important for the welfare of any country. Still, little is currently known about how such attitudes are distributed among different countries, men and women, classes, occupations, age groups and so on. Even less is known about how work orientations have changed during the dramatic social transformations of economies and labour markets during recent decades. What happened, for example, to work orientations in Iceland when the country went bankrupt? The answer is quite surprising. Or, is it true that work is losing its position in people’s lives in Western world? What is the relationship between people’s attitudes to work and the way they actually behave on the labour market?
This timely book deals with these questions – and more – presenting fresh knowledge on changes in work orientations in many countries. It is based on genuine theoretical arguments and thorough empirical studies, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. It is a great source of new knowledge on work orientations and changes in attitudes to work.
Table of Contents
1. The Relevance of Studying Work Orientations. Bengt Furåker, Kristina Håkansson and Jan Ch. Karlsson 2. Theoretical and Conceptual Considerations on Work Orientations. Bengt Furåker 3. Declining Work Centrality in Western Europe – Myth or Reality? Frans Hikspoors, Tómas Bjarnason and Kristina Håkansson 4. Work Orientations in Western Europe and the United States. Tomas Berglund 5. Work Attitudes, Employment and Work Mobilization: A Comparison between Anglo-Saxon and Nordic Countries. Bengt Furåker 6. Work Attitudes in Low-Status Occupations: More than Instrumentalism. Ylva Ulfsdotter Eriksson 7. Administrative Service Work, Occupational Identity and Work Orientations: Much-discussed Problems and Underrated Strengths. Anette Karlsson 8. The Development of Attitudes to Work in Sweden. Birgitta Eriksson, Jan Ch Karlsson, Tuula Bergqvist 9. Employee Satisfaction, Exchange Paradigms and Community versus Autonomy in Employment Relations. Dan Jonsson 10. Work Attitudes in a Crisis. Tómas Bjarnason 11. Agency Workers and Organizational Commitment. Kristina Håkansson and Tommy Isidorsson 12. Work Travel: Stimulating or Stressful? Bengt Furåker List of Contributors Bibliography Index
Bengt Furåker is Professor of Sociology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His research is mainly focused on labour market and working life issues and the relationship between the labour market and the welfare state. In 2007-2010 Furåker was editor of Acta Sociologica, the journal of the Nordic Sociological Association.
Kristina Håkansson is associate professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Gothenburg. Her main research interest is oriented towards work organization and strategies for flexibility. In particular, she focuses on examining the consequences of flexibility for individuals, work organizations and the labour market.
Jan Ch. Karlsson is professor of sociology at the Department of Working Life Science, Karlstad University. His publications are concerned with the concept of work, modern work organization, class and gender in everyday life, and critical realism and methodology in the social sciences.
‘This book provides a fresh approach and interesting insights on a topic of crucial importance: the continued centrality of work in our lives.’ – Harriet Bradley, Bristol University, UK