This collection of original research papers presents a perceptive view of the individual at work. The Worker in Australia investigates the actions and behaviour of workers and examines their attitudes to their jobs and their work environment, their fellow-workers and their unions, their overseers and their employers, their rewards and job satisfactions.
The seven-case studies presented, which use methods ranging from verbatim reporting of interviews to detailed statistical analysis, show the worker in diverse occupations and work situations. Richard Trahair’s study of mine-workers at Broken hill examines the way mine employees judge various aspects of their job. Ruth Johnston analyses the employment patterns of migrants in Western Australia. Alan Williams investigates the motivations and characteristics of independent entrepreneurs who start and operate small business. Robert Page and John McCormick, two officials of the Police Association of New South Wales, give a history of their union and explain its changing role in the union movement. White-collar and professional unionism and the growth of the clerical sector of the work-force are examines by Russell Lansbury. Women factory workers employed on an assembly line, pre-dominantly migrants, are the subject of Helen Hurwitz’s case-study, and the final chapter by Chris Phillips, is concerned with the disadvantaged worker and the vicious cycle that often entraps him.
Allan Bordow’s introductory chapter gives a comprehensive review of the literature on the worker in Australia since World War II.
This book will be of value to the scholar as a source text and to the undergraduate student in such courses as administration, behavioural and social science, industrial relations, and management. The practitioner should also find the work a valuable aid in his understanding of current issues facing the worker as enunciated by the worker himself.
Allan Bordow is senior lecture in behavioural science at the University of New South Wales. A psychologist and a former American Peace Corps Volunteer, Dr Bordow is specially interested in the psychology of worker behaviour and in the communication processes as they occur within the work organization.