The enthusiastic worker : another look at Marx and Taylor

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Mathieu BONNET

Ingénieur des Mines (authors of L’ouvrier enthousiaste, Marx et Taylor revisités, École des Mines)

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Ingénieur des Mines (authors of L’ouvrier enthousiaste, Marx et Taylor revisités, École des Mines)

Jean-Louis BEFFA

Chairman and managing director, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain

Francis PAVÉ

Sociologist, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : National Centre for Scientific Research)

Seminar Guest speakers | Monday September 27, 1999

What has become of the workers, those who simply carry out orders, as described by Frederick Taylor; and the exploited proletariat as defined by Karl Marx ? A study of about ten Saint-Gobain factories, carried out by Mathieu Bonnetand David Emond, shows that workers are now intelligent, in charge of complex machines and are often shareholders in their companies. The time has come for people who study the working class to take into account these developments in an industry which has transformed the relation with knowledge and with machines and the financial position of workers who have become operators. Nevertheless, there are still real proletariats, workers in unstable jobs or jobless people who are not connected with this industrial world. For them too, traditional, conceptual schemes are no longer representative and are inadequate to improve their fate.

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This session was published in issue n°21 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Vous avez dit burlesque ? .

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