A new indicator of technical complexity at work

A new indicator of technical complexity at work Purpose – This paper aims to conceptualise and measure the technical aspects of the division of labour (DoL) with a new survey indicator of technical complexity (ITC) at work. Design/methodology/approach – Two technical criteria skills and functions are used to distinguish positions in the DoL and to cluster and rank them into a 28‐category ordinal survey ITC. The indicator's construct‐validity is tested by assessing the correlation between these criteria and occupational activities' levels of substantive and organizational complexity, as uncovered by categorical principal component analysis. Criterion‐validity is assessed by testing the indicator's ability to predict occupational prestige, absolutely and relatively to other indicators. Findings – The indicator shows high levels of construct and criterion‐validity. Originality/value – The paper contributes to a better understanding and measurement of technical constraints in the DoL, facilitating a future evaluation of their impact on class inequalities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy Emerald Publishing

A new indicator of technical complexity at work

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-333X
DOI
10.1108/01443330810881222
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to conceptualise and measure the technical aspects of the division of labour (DoL) with a new survey indicator of technical complexity (ITC) at work. Design/methodology/approach – Two technical criteria skills and functions are used to distinguish positions in the DoL and to cluster and rank them into a 28‐category ordinal survey ITC. The indicator's construct‐validity is tested by assessing the correlation between these criteria and occupational activities' levels of substantive and organizational complexity, as uncovered by categorical principal component analysis. Criterion‐validity is assessed by testing the indicator's ability to predict occupational prestige, absolutely and relatively to other indicators. Findings – The indicator shows high levels of construct and criterion‐validity. Originality/value – The paper contributes to a better understanding and measurement of technical constraints in the DoL, facilitating a future evaluation of their impact on class inequalities.

Journal

International Journal of Sociology and Social PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 20, 2008

Keywords: Surveys; Jobs; Skills; Technicians; Functional specialization

References

  • Organization and Environment
    Lawrence, P.; Lorsch, J.
  • Sex segregation in the workplace
    Reskin, B.

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