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Durham e-Theses
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Orientations to work: the effects of work experience and a search for other influencing factors

Zwanenberg, Nigel van (1982) Orientations to work: the effects of work experience and a search for other influencing factors. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In order initially to attempt a resolution of that part of the controversy between W W Daniel and J H Goldthorpe that concerns the strength of factors at work and outside it that may influence Orientations to work and hence to contribute to the wider debate on the nature and place of the Orientations approach, this study examines the effect of initial work experience on 'naive' subjects. The samples used in the study are degree students, one year of whose course is spent in industry, employees of a branch of F W Woolworth and mature part-time students following a course for works managers. The initial definition of Orientations and the instruments used in measurement are extensions of those provided by R Bennett. The instruments are validated by comparisons between certain of the samples. The comparisons then made between students before and after their industrial placement year show that only one student sample differs from the others. This difference cannot be explained with reference to the effects of industrial experience and is tentatively attributed to changes in the economic environment. A search for other factors influencing Orientations is then made within the samples. The variables that appear most influential are the current job and gender of the Woolworth employees; for the other samples none of the factors examined has significant influence. The results of these parts of the study do not provide a complete resolution of the Daniel - Goldthorpe controversy. Finally, prompted by the experience and results of the study, a review and restatement is made of the nature and place of Orientations in the social action perspective towards work. A central position is given to 'control', viewed as the freedom of action available to the actor. Tills provides a framework into which much work in the fields of industrial sociology and psychology, previously not included in the action perspective, may be integrated. The scope of the Orientations approach in both research and management is thus considerably extended.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:16

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