Congresos y reuniones científicas
Technological change, labour process reorganization and composition of the working force in an Argentine factory: re-connecting labour and valorisation process
Congreso; The 39th International Labour Process Conference.; 2021
Institución organizadora:
Centre for Research in Employment and Work, University of Greenwich
The aim of this paper is to propose a research design capable of analyzing the effects of technological change and labour processes transformations on the composition of the workforce in ARCOR, Argentina?s leading candy factory, between 1991-1998. This research design is based on three levels of analysis. At a macro level, the goal is to analyze the distinguishing features of Argentina?s process of industrial restructuring and its articulation with this country?s regime of accumulation. At a meso level, the evolution of the sweets sector and its relationship with the overall regime of accumulation will be reconstructed. At a micro level, the main technological and organizational changes in the labour process at ARCOR's candy factory will be evaluated. Then, this multi-level analysis will make possible to examine the process of transformation of social relations within the factory and its mediating role between the restructuring process and the changes observed in the composition of the workforce. In this way, the research design seeks to examine the connections between the labour process and both the laws of accumulation in Argentina and ARCOR?s accumulation process, on the basis of a dialectical analysis that puts the Marxist Theory of Value and class struggle at the center. In order to do this, three groups of concepts will be considered. The first group consists of the key analytical categories developed by Marx and Braverman. The second group builds on the post-Braverman Labor Process Theory research program (Burawoy, 1979, 1985; Edwards, 1979; Thompson, 1990; 2010), emphasizing the heterogeneous dynamics of control, consent and resistance. Thus, considering the aforementioned objectives, an attempt will be made to link the changes in the labour process with the broader political economy (Jaros, 2005), considering the labour process as dominated by the valorisation process (Braverman, 1974; Aglietta, 1976). It is here where the third group of concepts, composed of the intermediate categories developed by the French Regulation Approach will play a fundamental role. Concepts such as regime of accumulation, mode of regulation, output norms, labour norms, productivity norms, etc. will be particularly important (Aglietta, 1976; Coriat, 1979, 1990). This research design?s main contribution will be to use the regulationist categories to reconnect the labor process with both the process of valorisation and the general laws of accumulation (Aglietta, 1976; Cohen, 1987; Spencer, 2000). Consequently, it is assumed that the restructuring of the Argentine regime of accumulation implied the introduction of organizational and technological innovations in the ARCOR factory that would affect the composition of its workforce. These impacts, according to this reading, were mediated by transformations in social relations within the factory (management strategies, bargaining, etc.). These mediations will be identified by resort to LPT?s characteristic triad of concepts ? consent, control and resistance ?, which will make visible how the transformations in the organization of the labour process are crystallized. Regarding methodology, quantitative methods will be used for the first two levels of analysis, while qualitative methods will be deployed in the case study proposed at the micro-level., i.e. mixed methods (Creswell, 2014).