EMPLOYMENT, WELLBEING & PRODUCTIVITY

 
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Ownership and Good Work - A Provocation Paper for the Good Work Commission by Rohit Lekhi and Dr Ricardo Blaug

 Power comes in many forms: physical, economic, political, cultural and personal. So does it have differing effects. Power can thus be hierarchic, it can take the form of capacity and it can make things happen. Ownership of a resource convenes power, for it enables the owner – via the assertion of property rights – to ‘trump’ the wishes of other stakeholders. Ownership is thus a form of economic power that enables the owner (whether legally and/or culturally constituted) to decide organisational goals and dictate the means by which they will be achieved. This report examines how such ownership impacts upon good work outcomes.

 
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Smoke Mirrors & the Employment Relationship - A provocation paper for the Good Work Commission by Rohit Lekhi and Dr Ricardo Blaug

The philosopher Sydney Morgenbesser once remarked that “what’s ‘obvious’ is not obvious.” Each day, for example, the sun moves across the sky, and so, quite obviously, rotates around the earth. Except it doesn’t. Often, we can use scientific instruments and gather evidence to show what is really going on. Sometimes, however, even the evidence confounds. A sundial, for example, is able to measure the apparent movement of the sun around the earth.

Everyone knows the employment relationship is rapidly changing. In the media and in popular understandings, we have become familiar with a host of repeated messages: work is more insecure with the end of the “job-for-life”, exacerbated by the recent recession; it is more individual with collective bargaining becoming less prominent; work is an economic exchange between roughly equal partners conducted in a market for labour. Morgenbesser’s remark does not, of course, suggest the obvious is always untrue, but it does council us to look with greater care. In fact, when we inspect the we confront a variety of competing claims and a range of contradictory evidence.

 
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Stress at Work - a report prepared for The Work Foundation's Principal Partners by Dr Ricardo Blaug, Amy Kenyon and Rohit Lekhi

Stress is everywhere, but as a relatively new phenomenon. How can we define it and how can we explain its extraordinary cost to both business and government? The suffering induced by stress is no figment of the imagination but can we accurately examine the relationship between stress and ill-health? Whatever stress is, it has grown immensely in recent years, which brings us to question – what is happening in society that is causing stress? The report shows that stress has its greatest effects on those at the very top and those at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

 
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New Developments in Deliberative Democracy by Dr Ricardo Blaug

This paper inspects recent theoretical work in deliberative democracy. It identifies three distinct ways in which such theories attempt to justify their claims for an increase in deliberation. Each has its strengths; each has its implications for practice. If the new deliberative theories are to move beyond a critique of liberal democracy in order to articulate a legitimate and practical politics, the respective gains of these three types must be brought together.