Examines the deep structure of the discourse on the organization of work and shows that the most successful texts share a common structure: they construct an ideal model in which performance and quality go hand-in-hand. Provides explanations for the self-constructed gap between the model and reality, and recipes for change. This type of discourse has widespread appeal, but there are shortcomings attached to it: an inevitable neglect of the employment relation (and accordingly inadequate analysis of resistance to organizational change), and undue optimism about the quality of working life (thereby de-legitimizing efforts, such as in Scandinavian and Dutch working conditions legislation, to establish the quality of working life as a value in its own right). Critical and empirical evaluative alternative approaches seem unable to capture substantial mind share.

Discourse Analysis, Organization Theory, Performance, Quality of Working Life, Workers
dx.doi.org/10.1108/09534810010339077, hdl.handle.net/1765/463
Journal of Organizational Change Management
Department of Sociology

Pruijt, H.D. (2000). Performance and quality of working life. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 13(4), 389–400. doi:10.1108/09534810010339077