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The evolution of labour welfare after the birth of scientific management: Economics of Fatigue and Unrest revisited


  • Lise Arena

    () (University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis - GREDEG, CNRS)


The impact of the technological innovations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on manual labour and workers’ welfare in industrial factories has been substantially discussed in the literature; yet still leaving the concept of ‘labour welfare’ ambiguous and unclear when located in more theoretical debates. This article explores the notion of ‘welfare’ from both social and organizational angles. Overall, it shows the increasing tendency to leave aside the concept of labour welfare as human resources management waxes while industrial relations wane in the context of the emergence of Business Schools in Britain. Initially apprehended as a purely social object, it is argued that Philip Sargant Florence (1924) applied it in the theoretical context of industrial organization before this was appropriated by the field of industrial relations, which later declined to be transformed by human resources management.

Suggested Citation

  • Lise Arena, 2014. "The evolution of labour welfare after the birth of scientific management: Economics of Fatigue and Unrest revisited," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 22(1), pages 85-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:22:y:2014:1:5:p:85-110

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    Cited by:

    1. Lise Arena & Leonard Minkes, 2019. "The virtues of dialogue between academics and businessmen," Post-Print hal-01620574, HAL.

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