Another thing I found important, yet lacking, in the interviews, was a good grasp of how our society views work and the unspoken beliefs we subscribe to. In this section, I supply a few informational resources that I think are fascinating to read if you’re interested in why we work and how that’s changed throughout time (and will continue to change!)
1. Actipedia (Corporate Power)
Actipedia is an online resource that showcases creative and intellectual projects in regards to a number of different social topics. This section is particularly on corporate power. Look into the different ways we look at work and corporate power, through creativity, art and critical analysis. One of my favorites is Steve Lambert’s “Capitalism Works for Me!”
2. Who Rules America? by Dr. G. William Domhoff
A history of labor unions from Dr. William Domhoff, UCSC.
- What Makes Life Meaningful? Views From 17 Advanced Economies (Pew Research Center)
- Valuing Time Over Money Predicts Happiness After a Major Life Transition (Harvard Business School: Ashley V. Whillans & Elizabeth W. Dunn)
- Productivity-Pay Gap (Economic Policy Institute)
- Learn about the productivity-pay gap from the Economic Policy Institute. Take a look at how work has changed throughout history and how that exacerbates inequality for workers in the modern era.
- The History of Burnout (Washington Post)
- A Brief History of the Corporate Form (Fordham Law School)
- The Impact of Corporate Power on Workers and Consumers (Economic Policy Institute)
- Read the testimony of Heidi Shierholz, the president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, D.C. in regards to the impact of corporate power on workers and consumers.
- Get the Boss to Buy In (Harvard Business Review)
- This is a great article from the Harvard Business Review on speaking up effectively at work. Get a step by step process on the psychology and structural factors that make a pitch successful.
- How to Sell Your Ideas up the Chain of Command (Harvard Business Review)
- Got a Job Offer? Here’s How to Negotiate. (CNN Business)
- Aside from TikTok and social media, there’s been a lot of media coverage on work sustainability and negotiation for the benefit of the worker. Of course, be careful when you’re consuming any news source. Take what works for you!
- Corporate Culture: The Last Frontier of Control? (Journal of Management Studies)
- How to Quit Your Job (Washington Post)
- The Great Resignation Is Accelerating (The Atlantic)
- Why We Need To Build Human Scale Organizations
- Extremely interesting article by umair haque on how we must change how we look at work, productivity and development to create sustainable systems. Even though it isn’t empirical or solution oriented, it offers an interesting viewpoints that challenge mainstream dialogues on work, value, capitalism, and globalization.
- An Empirical Examination of the Causes of Corporate Wrongdoing in the United States (Human Relations)
- It’s essential to understand how the corporate form lends itself to inequality and the reproduction of power and money. Look into how the size and scale of companies lend themselves to the reproduction of corporate wrongdoing.
4. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Karl Marx)
A foundational theoretical text in materialist philosophy, critique of political economy and politics by Karl Marx. To understand modern labor laws and labor relations, there’s no better place to start. Marx has long been misinterpreted and has developed a persona that seems to be synonymous with socialism in our modern day dialogue. However, Capital uncovers the economic systems that lead to real implications on our social relations as well as economic structure. It’s also just very interesting, even if you don’t believe it. If you’re interested in work and the systems of work in our society, I encourage you to give it a try.
5. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Max Weber)
Sociological theory everyone should read! Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism outlines how history (particularly the rise of Protestantism) impacts our modern day condition.