Sociology, Work and Organisation: 6th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sociology, Work and Organisation

6th Edition

By Tony Watson

© 2012 – Routledge

408 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-09-14
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About the Book

Sociology, Work and Organisation builds on the five popular and successful editions of Sociology, Work and Industry. The new text is outstanding in how effectively it explains the value of using the sociological imagination to understand the nature of institutions of work, organisations, occupations, management and employment and how they are changing in the 21st century.

The book combines intellectual depth with accessible language and a user-friendly layout. It is unrivalled in the breadth of its coverage and its authoritative overview of both traditional and emergent themes in the sociological study of work and organisation. It explains the basic logic of the sociological analysis of work and the way work is organised, whilst also providing an appreciation of the different theoretical traditions which the subject draws upon. It fully considers:

  • the direction and implication of trends in technological change, globalisation, labour markets, work organisation, managerial practices and employment relations
  • the extent to which these trends are intimately related to changing patterns of inequality in modern societies and to the changing experiences of individuals and families
  • the ways in which workers challenge, resist and make their own contributions to the patterning of work and shaping of work institutions.

Key features include: a new sign-posting system which integrates material and brings out themes which run through the various chapters; ‘key issue’ guides and summaries with each chapter; and the identifying of key concepts throughout the book, which are then brought together in an unrivalled glossary and concept guide at the end.


‘As a young researcher exploring shopfloor dynamics in the early 1980s, the first edition of this great book was an invaluable source of ideas. In the intervening years, Tony Watson has continued to update his analysis of the multi-facetted, changing and contradictory nature of work and organizations. With its greater emphasis on organisational dynamics, this excellent new edition provides a lucid overview of the field. As an introductory text, this book is very hard to beat, and I can thoroughly recommend it.’David Collinson, University of Lancaster, UK

‘Tony Watson's book has been the best book around for students of the sociology of work and industry. This new edition consolidates its position. Not only has he updated much of the material that has previously been covered, but new areas and developments have been included. The best has got better!’Alan Bryman, University of Leicester, UK

Sociology, Work and Organizations is written to engage its readers and to advance our understanding of the sociology of work. This fully up-dated version improves on an already excellent introductory text.’Darren McCabe, Keele University, UK

‘This nicely crafted textbook by one of the leading and most experienced scholars of sociology of work and organizations provides an excellent coverage of the entire field, combining a historical perspective with a strong awareness of contemporary developments in working life and theory.’Mats Alvesson, Lund University, Sweden

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Studying work society and organisation 2. The sociological analysis of work and organisation: scientific management, human relations and negotiated orders 3. The sociological analysis of work and organisation: institutionalism, labour process and discourse analysis 4. Work, society and globalisation 5. Work organisations 6. The changing organisation and management of work 7. The occupational principle and the social organisation of work 8. Aspects of occupations 9. Culture, work orientations and the experience of working 10. Identity, narrative and emotion in and out of work 11. Conflict, mobilisation and regulation at work 12. Resistance, mischief, humour and the defence of self Concept guide and glossary

About the Author

Tony J. Watson is Emeritus Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Industrial & Organizational Psychology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General