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population, by inducing Africans to return as farmers to the villages from which they had migrated.

De Schlippe, summarizing the results of moves initiated some years ago by the British Administration in the Southern Sudan to improve Azande agricultural techniques and practices, indicates how pressure to mobilize labor so as to achieve a particular result does not always work out as intended. "Neither early burning nor abstinence from cultivating river valleys, nor resettlement nor cotton growing would survive the withdrawal of administrative pressure," he states. "On the other hand, inconspicuous reforms, such as local food markets, may survive and mark an epoch in Zande history." However, as to "the unexpected changes which, due to cultural linkages, took place as a consequence of intentional changes introduced administratively, it must be stated that in every case these changes were deleterious and undesirable.” 4


From the three papers considered, as from the formulation presented here, it must be clear that study of the commitment of the labor force demands as full knowledge of the traditional sanctions to work in a given society as of the technological, economic, and institutional factors that are introduced into the society. It would seem that something of a reorientation, more fully taking into account the theory of cultural dynamics, is called for. The methodological importance in research of this kind of seeing that changes in the social structures are exhaustively analyzed, and that the generalizations to be drawn from repetitive manifestations of institutional change in different situations are studied to the fullest, is self-evident. Beyond this lie the concepts of cultural theory, based on principles derived from recognition that culture is a learned phenomenon, concepts which lead us to the study of change under development in terms of the observable retentions and reinterpretations. We may thereby reach a deeper understanding of how the people involved in the new situation adapt pre-existing patterns to newly oriented modes of behavior, and how they achieve new psychological sets that make for an equitable adjustment to the broader resources that economic growth can make available to them.

Pierre De Schlippe, Shifting Cultivation in Africa (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956), pp. 254-255.



Peter Gregory

An efficient labor market is one of the most important requirements of large-scale modern industrialization. Efficiency of the market is a function of the responsiveness of a labor supply to monetary and other incentives to enter and remain in the market and of the effectiveness of differentials in guiding the movements of workers within it. In some industrializing societies the development of labor markets has encountered serious obstacles in the form of limited interest in material incentives among the potential labor supply, considerations of status and security based on the traditional community that conflict with the organization of the new industrial work community, or inability of workers to adapt to the discipline and working conditions of modern factory employment.

The evolution of an industrial labor market can be traced from the initial entry of workers in response to the appearance of new employment opportunities, through a transitional period during which new patterns of behavior and responses develop, to the eventually mature and stable market performing its allocative functions smoothly and efficiently. These stages provide logical foci for analyzing the process of achieving commitment, as illustrated by the parallel sequences of prerequisites, transition, and maintenance, defined by Feldman and Moore. Their framework follows the temporal sequence of the development process and delineates the stages and facilitating factors in the passage to full commitment. That this framework is readily adaptable to empirical studies can be demonstrated by analysis of the development of the industrial labor market in Puerto Rico.

Modern and accelerated industrialization in Puerto Rico is a postwar phenomenon dating mainly from 1948. With the exception of rum distillation and raw sugar processing, earlier industrial activity was limited largely to handicraft and needlework. Most of the latter was hardly done under modern conditions; industrial discipline was not highly developed, productive efficiency and wages were low, and management was unschooled in modern rational methods of production.

In contrast, a large majority of the new factories have been established as branch plants of continental United States firms, and North American standards and practices have been introduced. Since output is destined almost wholly for the mainland market, a very rapid attainment of production competitive in both quality and cost has been demanded.

It is true that Puerto Rico, even before the recently intensified drive to industrialize, had been characterized by relatively advanced development, and therefore is atypical of most underdeveloped areas. However, the higher level from which the current industrialization has developed should not obscure the distance that had to be traversed in order to make the Puerto Rican effort a success. In most developing societies the sheltering of the home market and the prevailing wage levels often permit or tolerate relatively great inefficiency or only gradually rising efficiency. In contrast, the level of efficiency required of the new Puerto Rican industry has been defined by mainland United States standards; and speed in the realization of a close approximation of these standards has been crucial to the incipient development program. Thus, the pressures exerted on the industrial labor force to adapt to the more demanding conditions of factory employment in Puerto Rico may be about equal to those felt by new factory workers in other industrializing societies, although the short-run absolute objective in terms of worker performance in the latter is likely to lie considerably below that required of the Puerto Rican worker. Given an approximate equality in the relative degree of change required in the performance of workers, their responses may also prove to be comparable. Credence is lent to this possibility by the high frequency of reports by factory managements of the types of work force problems-high instability, limited consciousness of quality, indifference to financial incentives, and undisciplined work habits-that are typical of all industrializing areas.

The data on which the present discussion is based were obtained in an empirical study of the Puerto Rican labor market during 1953–56. Both sides of the market were intensively studied. The recruitment, training, and employment practices and experiences of some 85 employers were reviewed during a sample survey of plants. On the supply side, formal interviews were held with a sample of 1,045 industrial workers, in which we explored work histories, income and occupational aspirations, as well as attitudes toward factory employment, discipline, and wage incentives. The sample was drawn from three areas: the San Juan Metropolitan area; the second largest city, Ponce, which is also

considered to be among the most "traditional" centers; and a northern coastal area of small urban communities and open agricultural country. One intensive plant study was also undertaken, in which both formal questionnaires and participant observation were employed.1



The emergence of a labor market as an allocative institution depends on the concurrence in time of several conditions. First and most obvious, on the demand side, the emergence of a market implies the appearance of new employment opportunities offering rewards not obtainable in others. On the supply side, its operation depends on the existence of forces motivating entry and participation by the potential labor supply or on responsiveness to the rewards proffered. Intervening are conditions or institutions that facilitate entry and employment. The speed with which a reasonably efficient market becomes established is a function of the ease with which involvement becomes regularized and permanent. In this section we are concerned with the variables that govern, characterize, and facilitate entry and involvement.

Entry and Continuity in the Market

The appearance of employment opportunities, of course, will not assure the appearance of an adequate labor supply; there must also be some motivation or stimulus impelling or inducing workers to enter the market as active participants. Perhaps the most compelling force is a dire need for cash income for current consumption or for discharging debts or other obligations in an environment offering no other adequate sources of cash. Second, entry to the market may follow a rational evaluation of available opportunities and a decision that factory employment maximizes the worker's utilities. Finally, entry may be motivated by a spirit of adventure or a desire to escape the narrow confines of a traditional environment. Which of these motives actually governs a worker's entry into the market may be expected to have important implications for the probable ease with which commitment will be achieved.

Given the opportunities and a potential labor supply, a number of

1 Space limitations preclude a detailed exposition of the scope and methods of the study. For these, readers are referred to the forthcoming volume by Lloyd G. Reynolds and the present author. The study was sponsored by the Social Science Research Center of the University of Puerto Rico.

intervening conditions and institutions may be considered facilitating variables since they link the two sides of the market. For example, active participation in the market is more easily secured, the wider the knowledge or awareness of the job opportunities. Obviously no market can hope to function in the absence of some such knowledge. The more generally knowledge is dispersed, the more likely it is that the attractions of employment will come to the attention of those most disposed to seek and accept industrial employment. Entry also requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the operating principles of the market. Such an understanding usually derives from prior exposure to a market economy, although not necessarily from direct participation in that economy. Of course, entry occurs more readily, the greater the proximity to or involvement in a modern sector of the economy either through residence near an urban center or the sometime wage employment of family or community members. Education, which gives a greater awareness of alternatives to the current situation and which stimulates new wants, is similarly likely to facilitate entry to the modern market. An example of an institution that serves a facilitating function is the labor exchange, which is a source of job information and matches workers with jobs.

For the long-run efficiency of the market and of the new industrial sector, it becomes crucial whether entry is soon followed by withdrawal or whether permanence in and commitment to the new sector characterize the behavior of the new labor supply. Many factors influence the probability and speed of achievement of commitment. Among the most important of these are the immediacy of the goals motivating entry, the speed with which these are fulfilled and new ones are adopted, and the relative weights assigned to the rewards and costs that result from participation. One may hypothesize about the implications for commitment of these factors under each of the conditions motivating entry which were enumerated above. A dire need for cash, for example, may be the motive that is least favorable to commitment. If the need is immediate but can be satisfied quickly, the participation may be short-lived. The period of involvement may be too brief to develop new wants or to overcome the initial resistance to industrial discipline. If the need is continuous because of the inadequacy of other sources of income, commitment may be achieved gradually as a new value system encroaches on and eventually replaces the old. On the other hand, an individual's behavior may approach that of a committed worker in terms of stability and permanence within the industrial labor

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