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OSM   – Prof. Rajesh Satpathy
: : The history of the organization of work : :

History of the methods by which society structures
the activities and labour necessary to its survival.
Work is essential in providing the basic physical
needs of food, clothing, and shelter. But work
involves more than the use of tools and techniques.

Advances in technology, which will always occur,
help to extend the reach of the hand, expand
muscle power, enlarge the senses, and multiply the
capacities of the mind.
The story of work is still unfolding, with great
changes taking place throughout the world and in a
more accelerated fashion than ever before.

The form and nature of the work process help
determine the character of a civilization; in turn, a
society’s economic, political, and cultural
characteristics shape the form and nature of the
work process as well as the role and status of the
worker within the society.
The world of work-comprising all interactions
between workers and employers, organizations, and
the work environment-is marked by the constant
adaptation to changes in the technological, cultural,
political, and economic environments.
The study of historical changes in the organization of
work can perhaps lead to a better understanding of
the present problems-now on a worldwide scale-
that accompany ongoing technical, political, and
economic changes.

Hence, this study employs both historical and
current perspectives in order to provide a basis for
understanding work in today’s world and to consider
possible changes in the future.
Organization of work in preindustrial times:
Prehistory

Organization of work may have begun before the evolution
of Homo sapiens. Along with tools, a more complex brain
structure, and linguistic communication, the division of
labour (job specialization) may have been responsible for
starting the human conquest of nature and
differentiating human beings from other animal species.
Organization of work in preindustrial times:

Prehistory

In the earliest stages of human civilization, work was
confined to simple tasks involving the most basic of
human needs: food, child care, and shelter.

A division of labour likely resulted when some
individuals showed proficiency in particular tasks,
such as hunting animals or gathering plants for food.
Prehistory

As a means of increasing the food supply, prehistoric
peoples could organize the work of to go from place
to place searching, especially for food and hunting
and, later, agriculture.

There could be no widespread geographic division
of labour, however, because populations were
sparse and isolated. The uncertain availability of
food allowed little surplus for exchange, and there
were few contacts with groups in different places
that might have specialized in obtaining different
foods.
Organization of work in preindustrial times:

AGE, SEX, & CLASS

The most obvious division of labour arose from differences
in age and sex. The oldest people in the tribe lacked
strength and agility to hunt or forage far afield and so
performed more-sedentary tasks. The very youngest
members of the tribe were similarly employed and were
taught simple food gathering.

The sexual division of labour was based largely upon
physical differences, with men taking on tasks such as
hunting while women specialized in food gathering, child
care, and cooking.
Organization of work in preindustrial times:

AGE, SEX, AND CLASS

The earliest human groupings offer no evidence of a division
of labour based upon class. The challenges of providing food
made it necessary for the whole group to contribute, so
there could be no leisure class or even a class of full-time
specialists producing articles not directly related to the food
supply.

There were, however, part-time specialists; a person who
excelled at fashioning flint tools and weapons could produce
enough to trade any surplus for food.
Thank you!

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Osm history cl1

  • 1. OSM – Prof. Rajesh Satpathy
  • 2. : : The history of the organization of work : : History of the methods by which society structures the activities and labour necessary to its survival. Work is essential in providing the basic physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter. But work involves more than the use of tools and techniques. Advances in technology, which will always occur, help to extend the reach of the hand, expand muscle power, enlarge the senses, and multiply the capacities of the mind.
  • 3. The story of work is still unfolding, with great changes taking place throughout the world and in a more accelerated fashion than ever before. The form and nature of the work process help determine the character of a civilization; in turn, a society’s economic, political, and cultural characteristics shape the form and nature of the work process as well as the role and status of the worker within the society.
  • 4. The world of work-comprising all interactions between workers and employers, organizations, and the work environment-is marked by the constant adaptation to changes in the technological, cultural, political, and economic environments.
  • 5. The study of historical changes in the organization of work can perhaps lead to a better understanding of the present problems-now on a worldwide scale- that accompany ongoing technical, political, and economic changes. Hence, this study employs both historical and current perspectives in order to provide a basis for understanding work in today’s world and to consider possible changes in the future.
  • 6. Organization of work in preindustrial times: Prehistory Organization of work may have begun before the evolution of Homo sapiens. Along with tools, a more complex brain structure, and linguistic communication, the division of labour (job specialization) may have been responsible for starting the human conquest of nature and differentiating human beings from other animal species.
  • 7. Organization of work in preindustrial times: Prehistory In the earliest stages of human civilization, work was confined to simple tasks involving the most basic of human needs: food, child care, and shelter. A division of labour likely resulted when some individuals showed proficiency in particular tasks, such as hunting animals or gathering plants for food.
  • 8. Prehistory As a means of increasing the food supply, prehistoric peoples could organize the work of to go from place to place searching, especially for food and hunting and, later, agriculture. There could be no widespread geographic division of labour, however, because populations were sparse and isolated. The uncertain availability of food allowed little surplus for exchange, and there were few contacts with groups in different places that might have specialized in obtaining different foods.
  • 9. Organization of work in preindustrial times: AGE, SEX, & CLASS The most obvious division of labour arose from differences in age and sex. The oldest people in the tribe lacked strength and agility to hunt or forage far afield and so performed more-sedentary tasks. The very youngest members of the tribe were similarly employed and were taught simple food gathering. The sexual division of labour was based largely upon physical differences, with men taking on tasks such as hunting while women specialized in food gathering, child care, and cooking.
  • 10. Organization of work in preindustrial times: AGE, SEX, AND CLASS The earliest human groupings offer no evidence of a division of labour based upon class. The challenges of providing food made it necessary for the whole group to contribute, so there could be no leisure class or even a class of full-time specialists producing articles not directly related to the food supply. There were, however, part-time specialists; a person who excelled at fashioning flint tools and weapons could produce enough to trade any surplus for food.