IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Wages and Bottlenecks: Home-Based Work and Factory System in Ýstanbul

In: Proceedings of the Conference on Globalization and Its Discontents

  • Utku Balaban

    (State University of New York at Binghamton)

Registered author(s):

    Analyzing two research projects on the industrial home-based work (HBW) in 2003 and 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey, this paper argues that two forms of rigidities shape the organizational characteristics of the HBW: limited physical mobility of the homeworkers and the in-built pressures within the labor process of the factory system. On one hand, the rigidities regarding the mobility of homeworkers determine the conditions of the labor process of the HBW. Among some dimensions of the labor process of HBW, mechanisms for the distribution of piecework, the training of homeworkers, or storage of the piecework are directly related with the physical mobility of homeworkers. On the other hand, the co-existence of labor- and capital-intensive processes in the factory system unavoidably creates management bottlenecks, which account for another form of rigidity. HBW appears as the solution for such management problems. These corresponding rigidities characterize the organizational variety of the HBW. Negative work conditions of the homeworkers such as low piece-wages and precariousness in the employment practices are accounted for by these rigidities. As much as the low piece-wages generally associated with the HBW in the literature. Thus, investigation of the HBW should go beyond the argument about the low piece-wages and start to analyze the actual conditions of organization resulting in the deteriorating conditions of work for homeworkers. The literature emphasizes the centrality of the low piece-wages turning this form of labor into an alternative for the factory system. Although the research projects analyzed in this paper verify this consensus, two forms of rigidities motivate both workers and employers to 'get into the HBW-nexus': Homeworkers shape the organizational arrangements significantly, given that HBW does not pertain to a formal form of employment. Thus, their conditions of physical mobility account for a key element in the organization of HBW. Since the state of mobility by homeworkers is rather one of rigidity than an advantage, their regarding condition should be the focus to understand the mindsets of the homeworkers.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    in new window

    This chapter was published in:
  • Oguz Esen & Ayla Ogus (ed.), 2007. "Proceedings of the International Conference on Globalization and Its Discontents," Proceedings of the IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics, Izmir University of Economics, number 2007, October.
  • This item is provided by Izmir University of Economics in its series Papers of the Annual IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics with number 200703.
    Handle: RePEc:izm:prcdng:200703
    Contact details of provider: Fax: (90) 232 279 2626
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Mendels, Franklin F., 1972. "Proto-industrialization: The First Phase of the Industrialization Process," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 241-261, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Prugl, Elisabeth & Tinker, Irene, 1997. "Microentrepreneurs and homeworkers: Convergent categories," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1471-1482, September.
    4. Mario Biggeri & Santosh Mehrotra, 2002. "Social Protection in the Informal Economy: Home based women workers and outsourced manufacturing in Asia," Papers inwopa02/24, Innocenti Working Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:izm:prcdng:200703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ayla Ogus Binatli)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.