Changing patterns of task discretion in Britain

Gallie, Duncan and Felstead, Alan and Green, Francis (2004) Changing patterns of task discretion in Britain. Work Employment & Society, 18 (2). pp. 243-266. ISSN 0950-0170. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Task discretion has held a central place in theories of work organisation and the employment relationship. However, there have been sharply differing views about both facts that determine it and the principal trends over time. Using evidence from three national surveys, this article shows that there has been a decline in task discretion since early 1990s. This contrasts with an increase in other forms of employee involvement. Many of the arguments in the literature about the factors that favour higher task discretion are supported by our evidence-in particular those emphasizing the importance of skill levels and the broader organizational ethos with respect to employee involvement. However, such factors do not account for the decline in task discretion, implying that existing theories fail to address some of the crucial determinants. It is tentatively suggested that it may be necessary also to take account of macro factors such as competitive pressure, public sector reform programmes and the growth of accountability structures.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: G.F. Green
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2008 01:52
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 09:41
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