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The role of socialist competition in establishing labour discipline in the Soviet working class, 1928-1934

Russell, John (1946-) (1987)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Between 1928 and 1934 Soviet society experienced what amounted to two industrial revolutions: the adaptation of a largely non-industrial working population to industry and the introduction of new technologies and methods of management. These radical changes inevitably gave rise to problems of labour discipline, expressed most graphically in soaring rates of labour turnover and absenteeism. These problems were exacerbated by the pace, intensity and scope of Soviet industrialisation and by the social policies that accompanied this drive. As in any such process these problems had to be tackled by utilising a blend of measures based on compulsion, conviction and incentive. The present work examines the blend employed by the Soviet regime during the period under review to stimulate, in the shortest possible time scale, a general will for industrialisation and, having established that will and destroyed opposition to it, channel the energies thus generated into the desired directions. The distinctive element in this blend is identified as socialist competition, which the regime utilised to stimulate support for and stifle opposition to industrialisation, and, subsequently, to raise work skills to the level required by the modern industry being constructed. Moreover, socialist competition allowed the regime to implement a management system geared to the maximum priority of production interests, while preserving a commitment, albeit in abstract terms, to the concept of a workers' state.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Davies, R. W. (Robert William), (1925-)
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Commerce and Social Sciences
Department:Centre for Russian and East European Studies
Subjects:HC Economic History and Conditions
DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:1290
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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