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Human Development in Organisations: Operationalising the Capability Approach in the German Manufacturing Industry

HUHN, GIANNA (2020) Human Development in Organisations: Operationalising the Capability Approach in the German Manufacturing Industry. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This study aims to operationalise the Capability Approach in the German manufacturing industry, thereby extending knowledge surrounding the links between Human Development and organisational studies. To achieve this aim, this study is an explorative piece of research which reviews previous works on capabilities and proposes a capabilities list exploring the individual, organisational, and institutional levels of Human Development in organisations. With this in mind, it answers three main Research Questions (i) does the Human Capabilities Development framework provide a robust framework to assess Human Development in organisations and is the framework applicable in the German manufacturing industry? (ii) what are current organisational conditions that shape Human Development and Human Capabilities Development in organisations and what are their effects on people’s perception of the workplace? (iii) is there added value in applying the capabilities perspective to the workplace and can the Capability Approach be operationalised in organisations? Conducting case study research in the German manufacturing industry, this study uses template analysis to evaluate qualitative data from two companies and 58 face-to-face interviews, split into two phases. The findings demonstrate that the Capability Approach provides key insights into the social dimension of organisations and identifies core drivers and barriers of Human Capability Development in the workplace. This study finds that traditional industries – such as the manufacturing industry – continue to be characterised by utilitarian thinking and are shaped by active union representation and worker protection. It concludes that the Capability Approach offers a systematic and holistic perspective of the workplace outside socio-economic and political power imbalances of traditional worker representation. This study finds that the Capability Approach harmonises the social and organisational dimension of organisations and shifts the debate surrounding workplace assessments to include non-utility dimensions.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Human Development, meaningful work, Capability Approach, Sen, Nussbaum, manufacturing, works councils, unions, template analysis, organisational studies
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Management and Marketing, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:11 Jan 2021 16:25

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