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Individual Traits and Organizational Incentives: What Makes a "Good" Worker?

Richard C. Edwards
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Winter, 1976), pp. 51-68
DOI: 10.2307/145073
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/145073
Page Count: 18
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Individual Traits and Organizational Incentives: What Makes a "Good" Worker?
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Abstract

This paper focuses on the organization of the firm in order to investigate what worker attributes and behavior get rewarded in the large enterprise. It develops a Marxian model of the firm, stressing the importance of the social (boss-worker) relations, to counterpose to the neoclassical tradition's emphasis on technological (people-nature) relations, especially as the latter is expressed in the "human capital" framework. On the basis of two samples of workers, it finds considerable support for the importance of the Marxian variables. The paper concludes by noting the similar work of other radical economists in developing a neo-Marxian theory of the firm. Press On! Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. McDonalds advertisement, N.Y. Times Magazine, November 19, 1972

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