Scientists, Engineers and the Organization of Work

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Abstract. Scientists and engineers experience job dissatisfaction and perform below potential productivity, largely because of conflict between professionalism and work bureaucracies. Research has documented potential gain on both counts through reduced hierarchical power of management and movement toward greater participation in shared decision‐making. But relative reduction in managerial power is not likely; neither is the spread of unionism for scientists and engineers as an offset to that power. Furthermore, any assumed transfer of power a la Veblen assures no social gain. Work organization for scientists and engineers is of direct relevance for economics. Yet, the human capital development in economics has ignored the entire question of the effect of work organization on productivity and job satisfaction. In doing so, it has divorced economics from other disciplines and sacrificed realism and relevance for quantitative rigor. Copyright © 1981, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

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American Journal of Economics and Sociology