Challenges and Experiences
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Adrian Wilkinson, Donald Hislop and Christine Coupland
Chapter 4: The changing nature of professional and managerial work: issues and challenges from an empirical study of the UK
The Quality of Working Life (QWL) series of surveys began in 1997 (Worrall and Cooper, 1997); it has focused specifically on UK managerial and professional workers and it has allowed us to examine how the organizational settings in which managerial and professional work takes place have changed and how these changes have impacted on the nature of managerial and professional work as experienced by the workers themselves. A core theme has been to explore how organizations have changed and how organizational change has driven the redesign of work and working practices which, in turn, have impacted upon managerial and professional workers’ lived experience of work (Worrall et al., 2004). More specifically, the studies have allowed us to assess how macroeconomic pressures have impacted on the pace and nature of organizational change and how this has affected managers’ well-being, the hours that managers and professionals now work, how their work has intensified and how their sense of control over their own jobs has changed. In parallel with the QWL project, which is a quantitative survey, we have also been conducting a programme of qualitative research in the UK public sector.
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