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'Managing' Reductions in Working Hours: A Study of Work-time and Leisure Preferences in UK Industry


  • Dan Wheatley
  • Irene Hardill
  • Bruce Philp


This paper, which is predicated on the view that reductions in work-time are generally desirable, explores the working hours of managers and professionals in UK industry. Managers and professionals are often grouped together in empirical and theoretical work, e.g. in the literature on the professional-managerial class, and Goldthorpe's 'Service Class'. Nevertheless, there are differences: professionals, historically, are autonomous workers; the role of managers, in contrast, is to extract work from others on behalf of the organisation. Using data collected from the 2005 Labour Force Survey we establish there are statistically significant empirical differences between managers and professionals; one of these differences is in attitudes to work-time. We theorise that this is because managers' roles align their attitudes with those desired by the firm or organisation, and we conclude that, as a consequence, the 'voluntary' nature of work-time regulation should be revisited.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Wheatley & Irene Hardill & Bruce Philp, 2011. "'Managing' Reductions in Working Hours: A Study of Work-time and Leisure Preferences in UK Industry," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 409-420.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:23:y:2011:i:3:p:409-420
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2011.583832

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Wheatley & Zhongmin Wu, 2014. "Dual careers, time-use and satisfaction levels: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(5), pages 443-464, September.

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