Les auteurs vérifient, auprès d'employés d'un Centre local de services communautaires, l'hypothèse de la prédominance du mode de vie sur la crise du travail.
This article relates the results of research based on a case study involving the professionals and semi-professionals of a CLSC. In the face of a work crisis among this group of employees (greater accent on private life), the researchers formulated an initial hypothesis that changes in life-style could be responsible. A questionnaire based on work satisfaction, to which had been added a series of questions on lifestyle, tended to confirm this hypothesis.
In-depth interviews conducted with management and employees, however, indicated that management-style went along way to explaining both resignations and loss of motivation. Life-style played rather an indirect role, in that union and political detachment left management an opening to pursue its project of rationalization and work organization. By adopting an authoritarian and bureaucratic management-style, management addressed itself first to changing the rapport between staff and clientele, making them less personal and more functional. This observation led the researchers to formulate a new hypothesis concerning the dual determination of the work process.
In the production of public services, the work process is determined on the one hand by the social rapport of capitalist production (work rapport) and on the other by the rapports developed between forms of production of services and the clientele benefitting from them (clientele rapport). The second hypothesis, concerning changes in the work process of professionals, forces us to go beyond approaches insisting exclusively on the work rapport (eg classic marxism) and others (eg cultural and social movement approaches) equally exclusive regarding clientele rapport.
This article is subdivided into two parts. The first deals with the initial hypothesis and attempts to identify the various approaches to the work crisis. The second presents certain results and puts the accent on the case of community organizers and nurses. In conclusion, the researchers attempt to reformulated their analysis with a view to further research. They readily admit the limits involved in such a case study. Nevertheless, they reflect on the potential of this second hypothesis in helping explain why works rationalization (and more directly Taylorization) has been put into practice at different times and with different rhythms than in the industrial sector.
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