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Title:Variations in Earnings in the Work Settings: A Work Stratification Perspective (Work Rewards, Achievements, Sexual Inequalities, Managerial Earning Processes, Resource Allocation)
Author(s):To, Benjamin Wing-Kei
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:The debate of what determines earning variations persists between the individualistic and structural views. My dissertation further explores this important question by incorporating into a combined framework the work stratification perspective (Spaeth, 1982), which, often neglected in earnings studies, argues that work power in terms of relational and resource control strongly determines earnings. This research combines individual, work role and organization levels to analyze earning variations, and investigates the generalizability of work power conception, and monetary reward allocation for a sample of Illinois workers and subsamples of men vs. women and managers vs. nonmanagers.
By using block recursive multiple regression analyses, the following results are found: (1) The combined model is powerful in explaining earning variations for all Illinois workers (45%), but more for managers (42%) and men (41%) than for women (36%) or nonmanagers (32%). The explanatory powers of work-related variables (work power attainments and human capital investments) and sex are much stronger than those of organizational contexts and family backgrounds. (2) The work power conception as the major determinant of earning variations is quite "universally" applicable to different groups (except nonmanagers). However, this universality is not absolute but relative (i.e., its effect stronger for some groups, e.g. men, than for others, e.g. women). (3) The allocations of monetary reward reveal strong meritocratic use of criteria: direct measure of actual achievements of positional power is emphasized where such attainments are not restricted for any group; measure of work qualifications is stressed where work power attainments are either more constrained for some groups (here, women) or largely unavailable for evaluation for others (here, managers); less objective but dominant forces (here, societal stratification of sex) emerge to prevail where work power achievements are absent.
Exploring the determinants of work power demonstrates the effectiveness of my basic model in explaining occupational achievement but not work power attainments. However, its success in differentiating large sexual inequalities in work power attainments strongly suggests that while such attainments as criteria of monetary success are objective, the paths to this success may not be evenly smooth for some groups (here, women).
Issue Date:1985
Description:233 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8511680
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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