Career structures and training in internal labour markets in Britain - and comparisons with West Germany.
Manpower studies, 1
The article reports the findings of four UK organizational case studies of the structure of internal labour markets: in the financial sector, banking and insurance, and in process industries, coal mining and chemicals. It builds on the work of Doeringer and Piore (1971). The internal labour markets are found to comprise different subsystems with contrasted internal mobility patterns. In the financial sector, it identifies different career streams which lead to senior positions at different speeds. These have the effect of increasing the proportion of staff who can aspire to such positions, but whereas as some reach them early on, and spend most of their working lives there, others may reach them as they approach retirement. In the financial sector, these career streams are linked to training and geographical mobility within the organization. In the two process industries, the study identifies contrasted mobility patterns for those with process skills compared with those with craft skills. For the former, company-specific training develops with internal movement. For the latter, training is by apprenticeship leading to externally transferable skills. The two sub-systems are interrelated as it is often difficult for the organization to raise the rate of basic pay for those with transferable skills above that of workers with core process skills. Thus in coal mining, management had to deal with retention problems by increasing overtime payments, and by increasing the rate of training. The article also makes some comparisons with similar sectors in Germany.
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