Hard Work in New Jobs. The quality of work and life in European growth sectors pages:231-249
The chapter offers analyses of preconditions for autonomy in low-skilled jobs. Focusing on three sectors: waste, cleaning and elderly care, the authors draw attention to the respective roles of trust, standardisation, contracts and agreements, and management strategies for workers’ autonomy. The analyses show that although low skills, low levels of customer contact and high levels of standardisation often predict low levels of autonomy, trust, employment relations and management strategies may allow for an alternative work organisation design with higher levels of autonomy. However, autonomy may also have a downside when workers become over-involved in their job, tend to self-Taylorise to achieve the shortest possible working time or to self-exploit to satisfy customer requests.