Alienation from work: Marxist ideologies and 21st Century practice

Shantz, Amanda, Alfes, Kerstin and Truss, Catherine (2014) Alienation from work: Marxist ideologies and 21st Century practice. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25 (8). pp. 2529-2550. ISSN 0958-5192

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This paper responds to calls for research that takes into consideration the broader ideologies underpinning the employment relationship within capitalist societies by building and testing a model of work alienation. We examine how three work-related factors identified originally by Karl Marx act as precursors of alienation, that is, a disconnection of oneself from work, that are experienced in the modern workplace, namely the extent to which voice behaviours are enacted, whether an individual perceives his or her skills to be used in the course of work, and a lack of perceived meaningfulness of work. Further, we investigate whether alienation leads to emotional exhaustion and stifles well-being. Data from 227 employees in a manufacturing organisation in the UK support this model, in that a lack of voice, person–job fit and meaningfulness lead to alienation at work, and emotional exhaustion and lower levels of well-being are its consequences. The present study demonstrates that alienation should be a focal point for human resource management scholars in the twenty-first century.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special issue: Ideas at work
Keywords: alienation; emotional exhaustion; meaningfulness; person–job fit; voice; well-being
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Joy Blake
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2012 14:14
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2014 11:02
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