The machines in division of labour studies. Facts and debates


Freyssenet M., The machines in division of labour studies. Facts and debates, in Maletzky M., Seeliger M., Wannöffel (Hg.), Arbeit, Organisation und Mobilität, Berlin: Campus, 2013. Digital publication,, 2013, 127 Ko, ISSN 1776-0941.

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It is an adapted version of Freyssenet M., The importance attached to machines in division of labour. Facts and debates. A brief critical history, Proceedings of 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, 27-29 March 2012. Digital publication,, 2012, 200 Ko, ISSN 7116-0941.


The debate about technology, through researches on labour and automation, progressed because the participants renounced to discuss about the technology in general, but about concrete techniques designed and implemented in different social contexts. The social endogeneity of the productive techniques seems to be today widely accepted. From the technological determinism, dominant in the past in many researches, we have moved to the analysis of the social genesis of production techniques actually used. The production techniques have a direct influence on the intellectual content of work by the objectives and assumptions underlying their design and their use. The debate remains open to know what are the social determinants of these objectives and assumptions.

Key words

Automation, productive models, production techniques, intellectual division of labour, reflective production, taylorism, toyotism,

Concerned disciplines

Anthropology, Economics, Ergonomics, Management, History of Sciences and Technologies, Engineering, Philosophy, Cognitive sciences, Political Science, Sociology

Writing context

to personal questioning
to scientific reflection of research laboratory or network
to national and international scientific debate
to diffusion of scientific results
to implementation of scientific results

References, commentaries, critics

Current relevance

See also

Technical choices and automation

Date of the on lining of the downloadable text


Dates of updatings

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