Excess Baggage

Excess Baggage

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Based on groundbreaking research on the working conditions of airport check-in workers in two countries, a previously unstudied category of predominantly women workers, Ellen Rosskam describes a form of work characterized as modern-day Taylorism. An occupation greatly affected by new forms of work organization and management practices-caught in the throes of rapid change due to international competition, alliances, mergers, and the application of cost-efficiency strategies-check-in work has been undermined in recent years by the adverse effects of liberalization and technological change. By peeling away the veneer of glamour associated with airport check-in work, Rosskam reveals how changes in work organization in this sector have de-skilled, disempowered, and ultimately demoralized workers. In Excess Baggage, weaving through the psychological distress, physical pain from musculoskeletal disorders, strain, and violence that check-in workers experience and describe in their own words, a picture emerges of a job perceived to be qsafe, q qclean, q qglamour girlq work, but which is comparable to industrial workplaces that require heavy manual lifting, obligingly performed in skirts, dresses, and pretty little shoes.Rosskam describes the widespread insecurity that affects check-in workers, linked to structural and cultural hegemony, modern management practices, and modern management myths. Through her pioneering research, she provides valuable information on the untold hazards associated with various service sector jobs, largely performed by women. These are jobs known to produce increased job strain that manifests as heart disease, psychological distress, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, burnout, and other physical and psychological health effects. By applying an action-oriented approach, Excess Baggage makes a convincing case for taking a holistic approach to viewing jobs, considering them as qentire work systemsq and not merely as a series of individual factors. Rosskam makes an eloquent plea for involving workers in organizational decision-making and a convincing case for using the collective voice as a critical key for improving working conditions. An expert in her field, Rosskam demonstrates the way in which destructive and disempowering management practices have direct adverse consequences for workers' health, well-being, and performance on the job. She describes the insidious role of qdehumanizingq managers-undergoing a disturbing proliferation in today's workplaces-in undermining workers' health, and the effects this has on an organization's qbottom line.q The behavioral and personality characteristics of perverse individuals in the workplace are presented, followed by recommendations for organizational change.J. Prado-Lu, Organizational Factors That Are Associated with Hypertension Among Women Workers in Industries That Have ... Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases, Newport Beach, California, March 10 , 2005. ... les Emplois de Service [Useless Suffering: Static Standing Posture in Service Jobs], in Travail, Genre etSocietes, 12, pp. ... T. R. Waters, V. Putz- Anderson, and A. Garg, Applications Manual for the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation, Publication No.

Title:Excess Baggage
Author:Ellen Rosskam
Publisher: - 2007-01-01


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