Anthropology: Essay Samples
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Factory, Workplace, Human Resource Management, Capitalism, Management, World, Company, Entrepreneurship
The book privatizing Poland by Dunn was the winner of the 2005 Ed A. Hawett prize and the 2005 AAAS.
Privatizing Poland explains that the transition that has been experienced in Eastern Europe from Socialism should not be viewed as an event that is isolated. The transition is part of a larger shift in the world into capitalism. By using a blend of economic geography and ethnography, Elizabeth Dunn clearly shows how strategies in management technologies like accounting, niche marketing, standardization, and auditing build a unique form of labor discipline for capitalism.
Privatizing Poland carefully examines how changes in “personhood” are related to political and economic transitions. It also examines the effects brought by privatization to workers and effects of foreign capital and globalization on how Europe integrates itself into the world economy. Dunn investigates these topics by carefully studying workers and altering management techniques at a factory in Poland. The factory is known as Alima Gerber factory. The factory is a former State-owned enterprise that was privatized by Gerber Products Company.
Alima Gerber instituted job evaluations, rigid quality control measures and training methods in the factory. Sophisticated distribution techniques were also developed in the factory by Gerber. The author finds out that the core principle that was behind the changes was that for a factory to produce goods targeting the capitalist market, the factory also needs to have workers for a capitalist enterprise. Dunn worked side by side with workers from the Alima Gerber and had a firsthand experience of how the new technologies attempted to change workers’ identities and the organization of production. Dunn’s narrative clearly shows the resistance that came from the workers. They redefined and tried to negotiate work processes for themselves in resistance.