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Reduced Worktime and the Management of Production

Reduced Worktime and the Management of Production

ISBN: 9780521345477
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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$56.13

This book examines the tendency in market economies to reduce the time workers spend at their place of employment and considers the role scientific management has played in this development. The author contends that the changing nature of worktime can be explained by changes in both the capitalistic production process and the demands that this process places on the psycho-physiological capacities of human beings. Between 1870 and 1980, the total annual worktime in major industrialized nations decreased by approximately 40 percent. This accelerated rate of worktime change is discussed in the context of the economic revival of capitalism that began in the first half of the twentieth century and culminated in the "long boom" of 1945-1970. Professor Nyland argues that this revival is primarily explained by the rapid development and application of the process associated with scientific management. He further asserts that this science has been seriously misunderstood by most modern scholars outside socialist nations. Few have recognized the extent to which it has expanded the capacity of human beings to overcome poverty and to limit the power of the market's invisible hand.

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