The image of a job captures our imagination from an early age, usually prompted by the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'. Work — paid, unpaid, voluntary, or obligatory — is woven into the fabric of all human societies. For many of us, it becomes part of our identity. For others it is a tedious necessity. Living is problematic without paid work, and for many it is catastrophic.
Steve Fineman tells the fascinating story of work - how we strive for security, reward, and often, meaning. Looking at how we classify 'work'; the cultural and social factors that influence the way we work; the ethics of certain types of work; and the factors that will affect the future of work, from globalization to technology, this Very Short Introduction considers work as a concept and as a practical experience, drawing upon ideas from psychology, sociology, management, and social history.
Stephen Fineman is Professor Emeritus at the School of Management, University of Bath, UK. He has a long and distinguished reputation in the field of organizational behaviour, publishing specialized monographs, edited books and textbooks, all directly or indirectly concerned with the world of work.
1: Why work?
2: A spectrum of jobs
3: Working a career
4: Men's work, women's work
5: Struggling, surviving, thriving
6: Emotion at work
7: Virtual work
8: Changes and transitions
9: Where does this leave work? A brief postscript
References and further reading