A Business and Labour History of Britain


The authors bring together historical case-study evidence from the public and private sectors to provide valuable insights in the field of work organization, the social relations of production and the detailed division of labour in some key British industries and workplaces between the 1830s and the 1990s. These studies reveal the constant ebb and flow of power and influence between capital and labour and the initiatives both sides took to defend their interests. Over this extended span of history such cases identify a series of constants that have come to reflect the unique qualities of the relationship between British capital and labour and the sectors and industries that have given this country such a distinctive and, as some might argue, skewed economic structure.

Notwithstanding the diversity of these cases, extending over time, and place, the common thread which connects them is that they examine changes in aspects of the labour process, such as scientific management, mechanization, deskilling, micro-technology, gender division of labour, work organization and labour relations, in differing industries.

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