Consent and Control in the Authoritarian Workplace: Russia and China Compared

ISBN : 9780198806486

Martin Krzywdzinski
336 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
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Today, a large proportion of the world's states are under authoritarian governments. These countries limit participation rights, both in the political sphere and in the workplace. At the same time, they have to generate consent in the workplace in order to ensure social stability and prevent the escalation of conflicts. But how do companies generate consent given that employee voice and interest representation may be limited or entirely absent?

Based on a review of research literature from sociology, organizational psychology, and behavioural economics, this book develops a theory of consent generation and distinguishes three groups of consent-producing mechanisms: socialization, incentive mechanisms, and participation and interest representation. It presents an empirical analysis of how these mechanisms work in Russian and Chinese automotive factories and shows how socio-cultural factors and labour regulation explain the differences between both countries regarding consent and control in the workplace.

The book contributes to two research debates. First, it examines the generation of consent in the workplace-a core topic of the sociology of work and organization. Its particular focus is on consent generation in authoritarian societies. Secondly, the book contributes to the debate about the reasons for the completely different trajectories of post-communist Russia and China. The book provides an empirical analysis that explains the different work behaviours of employees in both countries and links the micro-level of the workplace and the macro-level of institutions and organizational cultures.


1 Introduction; 2 Theory and State of the Research; 3 Consent: The Plants in Comparison; 4 Organizational Socialization; 5 Incentive Systems; 6 Participation and Interest Representation; 7 Conclusions

About the author: 

Martin Krzywdzinski heads the project group 'Globalization, Work, and Production' at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). He studied political science at the Free University of Berlin and at the Universite Paris VIII (1996-2002), completing his doctorate at the Free University of Berlin (2007). He is a member of the steering committee of the international automobile research network GERPISA. His field of interest is the sociology of work, covering such areas as production systems, work organization, technology, and employment relations, as well as the development of multinational corporations and global value chains.

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