Work in traditional and modern society

Prentice-Hall Englewood Cliffs, NJ Published In Pages: 134
By Udy, Stanley H., Jr.


Udy divides methods of work organization into 'production determined', 'technologically determined', 'socially determined', and 'pluralistic' types, and examines their prevalence across societies with varying subsistence activities and levels of social and political stratification. Special attention is paid to processes of integration and differentiation and their role in effecting transitions between organization types.

Hypotheses (17)

"With preindustrial social development comes a progressive decline in the prevalence of production determined work organization, and a progressive increase in the prevalence of socially determined work organization" (35-36)Supported
"Production determined organizations tend to be temporary, and socially determined organizations tend to be permanent" (36)Supported
The prevailing type of social base is related to the state of social development. Familial work organization receives its greatest relative impetus with the advent of sedentary agriculture. Specialized political units receive their greatest impetus with centralized government when they displace familial forms and gain control over resources (41-42)Supported
In preindustrial societies social development produces a trend toward increasingly less efficient manpower allocation (45)Supported
"Preindustrial social development brings increasing continuous types of technology . . . [however] relatively little continous constant work emerges" (47)Supported
Production determined organizations possess the exact number of authority levels required by the technology. Socially determined organizations possess more levels of authority than technologically necessary, and hence are inefficient (49)Supported
"Social development . . . results independently in decreased rationality for production determined and political forms and increased rationality for familial and contractual forms" (56)Supported
Neither corporate businesses nor occupationally based contractual situations exist in preindustrial work to any extent. Such as exist are either occupationally based or at least job specific. The two structural types (characterized as developmental dead ends), 'ascriptive core-ascriptive group employee' and 'mutual associations' do not progress beyond the employer-specific level. The structural form, 'ascriptive employer-individual employee', however, does appear to be developmentally fertile (78)Supported
When the work load is too heavy for the familial type of work organization, then the response is to extend the work organization to either familial with reciprocity or familial with contract (67)Supported
". . . as contractual organizations move closer to technological determination, they tend to become differentiated along pluralistic lines . . ." (109)Supported
". . . social development results in increasingly less efficient forms . . . of authority structure" (51)Supported
"Both the ascriptive group employee type and the mutual association form of contractual work organization do enjoy some advantages of efficiency over both reciprocity and political labor" (71)Supported
"Production determined . . . organizations have marked tendencies toward rationality even . . . in the absence of any technological necessity for them to be so . . ." (55)Supported
". . . contractual agreements often seem to limit the social content of work roles. Political organizations . . . do so less. . . . Production determined forms are just as likely to be rationally organized as are contractual form" (54)Supported
". . . traditional social development involves a trend away from work requiring undivided attention . . ." (53)Supported
"Each successive stage . . . [of contractual organization] . . . represents a progressive disengagement from the social setting, and consequently leads to a more rational, and hence more efficient, mode of work organization . . ." (76)Supported
". . . change from one stage to another . . . [of social complexity] . . . does not mean that the forms of work characteristic of the preceding stage cease to exist. . . . The pattern of change is more that of a cumulative scale than a series of transformations" (77)Supported

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:mas jack.dunnington