Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ronald C. Kramer

Second Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Third Advisor

Dr. Rudolph Siebert


Work is an everyday activity which is a normal part of life. A sociological analysis combined with a historical orientation allows for an examination which goes beyond surface appearances in order to examine the social relationships embedded in the organization of the labor process. An adverse manifestation of the social relationships contained in the labor process is occupational injuries.

The review of historical research explicates the social construction of the labor process which is an outcome of the struggle between capital and labor. Research also documents that the organization of work which emerged has created problems in the workplace. Worker participation, an alternative organization of work, has been offered as a means to ameliorating the negative outcomes of traditional management.

A questionnaire was sent to companies which have been identified as having either a worker participation program or a form of employee ownership. Employee owned firms were included since research has indicated that this form of ownership is strongly associated with worker participation. The questionnaire was designed to gather information regarding the extent and type of participation and the rate of occupational injuries within the companies sampled.

Bivariate tables were constructed to assess the relationship between worker participation and occupational injuries. In general, the data indicated that the more workers were involved in the decision making process, the lower the injury rate would be. Limitations were placed on the interpretation due to the small size and purposive nature of the sample.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access