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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'We Are Taken as Shovels, Used and Put Aside...': Anthropological Perspectives on the Organization of Work and Workers in Zimbabwean Industry in the First Decade of Independence
Author:Cheater, Angela P.
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:labour relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology and Archaeology
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Labor and Employment
work organization
Industrial relations
Abstract:From the perspectives of different categories of employee, this article examines work and its organization in independent Zimbabwe, drawing on research carried out at two separate enterprises (a textile factory and a heavy industrial enterprise) at two different times (1982-1983 and 1989-1990). Aim of the research was to investigate what the respective managements perceived to be organizational problems. The views of workers in these two enterprises showed some remarkable structural similarities, which the author explores and explains. In order to do so, it is necessary to consider the two workplaces, each with its multiple productive units, within the context of the organizational interfaces among workers, management and the State or government. Although enterprises have formal rules by which they are organized, each also has an 'informal structure' of personal relationships linking role incumbents. Within such informal, personal relationships, workplace issues are actually negotiated among those differentially placed in the work hierarchy. Any investigation of work that fails to take account of the fact that 'workers, too, are human', offers an incomplete analysis of the social processes that enable workplaces to produce at all.