Beyond the Market/Non-Market Divide: A Total Social Organisation of Labour Perspective

International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 37, No. 6, pp. 402-414, 2010

13 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to move beyond the market/non-market divide and to recognise the plurality of labour practices in societies by adopting a variant of what Glucksmann calls “a total social organisation of labour” approach.

Design/methodology/approach – To transcend the conventional depiction of separate market and non-market spheres, this paper adopts a total social organisation of labour approach which recognises a multiplicity of labour practices existing on a spectrum from market to non-market practices crosscut by another spectrum from wholly monetised to wholly non-monetised practices. This conceptual lens is employed to analyse the results of 861 face-to-face interviews on the labour practices used in affluent and deprived urban and rural English localities.

Findings – The outcome is to reveal the multifarious labour practices in these English localities along with how both work cultures and the nature of individual labour practices vary socio-spatially. While affluent and rural populations draw more on an array of market-oriented and monetised labour practices, deprived populations and urban localities are found to rely more on a range of non-market and non-monetised labour practices, and all labour practices are more likely to be conducted out of necessity in deprived and urban populations and out of choice in affluent and rural populations.

Research limitations/implications – The paper only provides a snapshot survey. It does not show the changes taking place over time.

Practical implications – It reveals how it is mistaken to privilege the development of labour practices in the formal market economy and displays the feasibility of, and possibilities for, alternative futures beyond market hegemony.

Originality/value – The paper transcends the market/non-market dualism and proposes an alternative conceptual framework to capture the multifarious labour practices in societies.

Keywords: Labour market, Mixed economies, Industrial relations, Urban areas, Rural areas, England

JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin, Beyond the Market/Non-Market Divide: A Total Social Organisation of Labour Perspective (2010). International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 37, No. 6, pp. 402-414, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2702983

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

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