The ethnographic contribution to understanding co-worker relations

by Randy Hodson
British Journal of Industrial Relations ()


Relations among co-workers are becoming both more important and more complex in modern workplaces as authority over job decisions is shifted from supervisors to quasi-independent teams. The author develops a model of co-worker relations that recognizes these changes and evaluates this model using data content coded from the full population of published book-length workplace ethnographies ( N = 204). Confirmatory factor analysis techniques support the existence of three distinct aspects of co-worker relations: cohesiveness, conflict and peer supervision. The most important determinants of co-worker relations are employee involvement programmes and management behaviour. Returning to specific case studies allows a theoretical elaboration of how employee involvement and management behaviour condition co-worker relations. The author concludes by noting the importance of intellectual exchanges between qualitative and quantitative methods for generating new advances in the study of work and employment relations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of British Journal of Industrial Relations is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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