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Managing reductions in working hours: a study of work-time and leisure preferences in UK industry

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  • Dan Wheatley
  • Irene Hardill
  • Bruce Philp
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    Abstract

    This paper is predicated on the view that reductions in work-time are generally desirable. We analyse historical trends in working-hours, the organisation of production, and theories of power and authority in firms and other organisations. Then we consider this in relation to patterns of work in the UK, demonstrating empirically that managers are more wedded to a ‘long-hours’ culture than are other employees. We theorise that this is because managers’ roles align their attitudes with those desired by the firm or organisation and conclude that, as a consequence, the “voluntary” nature of work-time regulation should be revisited.

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    File URL: http://www.ntu.ac.uk/research/document_uploads/85415.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division in its series Working Papers with number 2008/5.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:nbs:wpaper:2008/5

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    Web page: http://www.ntu.ac.uk/nbs

    Related research

    Keywords: Working hours; Hierarchy; Power; Preferences;

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    1. John MacInnes, 2005. "Work-Life Balance and the Demand for Reduction in Working Hours: Evidence from the British Social Attitudes Survey 2002," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(2), pages 273-295, 06.
    2. Joao Ricardo Faria & Miguel A. Leon-Ledesma, 2004. "Habit formation, work ethics and technological progress," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(3), pages 403-413, 06.
    3. Bruce Philip, 2001. "Marxism, Neoclassical Economics and the Length of the Working Day," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 27-39.
    4. Francis Green, 2001. "It's Been A Hard Day's Night: The Concentration and Intensification of Work in Late Twentieth-Century Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 53-80, 03.
    5. Bosch, Gerhard & Lehndorff, Steffen, 2001. "Working-Time Reduction and Employment: Experiences in Europe and Economic Policy Recommendations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 209-43, March.
    6. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
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