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Durham e-Theses
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The social structure of crews of British dry cargo merchant ships: a study of the organization and environment of an occupation

Fricke, Peter H. (1974) The social structure of crews of British dry cargo merchant ships: a study of the organization and environment of an occupation. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This study, undertaken from 1967 to 1969, was of the crews of 28 British merchant ships. All told, 824 seafarers were interviewed, and basic sociographic data were obtained which were then applied to an analysis of the effects of the organization and social environment of seafaring as an occupation. The theoretical basis for the study was taken from the work of Burns and Stalker (1961) and Lawrence and Lorsch (1967, 1969). The concern was with the analysis of the organizational variables of shipboard life in relation to the attitudes and expectations of the seafarers. To isolate the organizational variables, matched pairs of shipping companies were chosen by size, type of trading pattern, and ownership. Bach company had also been ranked by seafarers in terms of preference as an employer, and each pair had a company that was preferred and one that was not. Six companies took part in the study. It was found that the preferred company in each pair was relatively organismic in comparison with the other company, and that companies with moderately certain market environments were less bureaucratic than companies with very certain or very uncertain market environments. The conclusion reached was that where there was a high level of integration of organizational subsystems, seafarers had a high level of perceived job satisfaction. The major factor in this integration was the ability to innovate within the work role of the individual seafarer and thus to create a sense of self-determination of the operation of the ship by the members of the shipboard community.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1974
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:33

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