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The political economy of employment relationships in New Zealand

This thesis investigates the nature of employment relationships in New Zealand. The analysis is based on the assertion that much of the 'established wisdom' about employment relationships in New Zealand workplaces is not accurate and that this lack of accuracy obscures the true nature of New Zealand's political economy. In the course of its analysis, the thesis utilises a radical humanist methodology, which highlights the nature of employment relationships and their role in New Zealand's political economy. The methodological framework is Marxist, and specifically incorporated labour process theory, French Regulation analysis, and Gramscian andDurkheimian analysis. The framework is termed 'middle range' because reflects a deliberate attempt to combine high and low order theory about employment relationships. Arising from analysis of literature and primary research results, the thesis concludes that employment relationships are instrumental in the formation of social ideologies and hegemonies and alliances necessary to sustain new manifestations of political economy. However, employment relationships themselves are shaped by academic families of disciplines that reflect the wider structured antagonism that is inherent in capitalism. However, core finding in the thesis is that although the academic disciplines are inextricably linked with the nature of employment relationships in New Zealand, caution must be exercised when this link is utilised. This is because the primary research indicated that the established views in the literature about the operation of certain academic disciplines did not closely match the reality of practice in New Zealand workplaces. Therefore, the assumed nature of employment relationships that might be thought to arise out of such literature cannot be relied upon to be entirely accurate. This finding of a lack of congruence between the established view in the literature and the actual practices in New Zealand workplaces might potentially cause dismay, but its explanation actually provides the kernel to the new knowledge this thesis adds. The lack of congruence simply indicates that the uniqueness of New Zealand's of political economy has bred a unique set of employment relationships.
Type of thesis
Cullinane, J. (2003). The political economy of employment relationships in New Zealand (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13327
The University of Waikato
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