Integration, exclusion and job mobility in different types of Norwegian work organizations
The aim of this project is to generate new knowledge about specific factors that influence work place integration, exclusion and job mobility for employees within different areas of Norwegian working life. Based on a selection of firms/organizations from different branches and sectors within the labour market, we will undertake a series of studies to disclose mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion that operate in particular work contexts, in relation to specific categories of employees. We will primarily focus on how processes of integration and differentiation operate in relation to ethnic background, gender and age, and how such processes interact within particular work environments.
The main premise for such a project is that processes of work life integration are not uniform. On the contrary, the character of these processes may be expected to be quite different between various sectors, industries and occupational contexts. This is not only because jobs are designed differently and demand particular skills and standards of work performance, but also because these differences tend to generate specific work environments and occupational cultures with their own implicit norms and values, which function as important rules for inclusion and exclusion (Jenkins 1986). Such local and context specific mechanisms of integration and segregation have been relatively little studied within Norwegian work life research.
Secondly, processes of inclusion and exclusion do not only concern the “point of entrance” to work life – the fact of being or not being in an employment contract. Such processes also concern selection mechanisms affecting the further development of people’s work careers. By studying patterns of career development and job mobility for different categories of employees (both within and out of the selected organizations), we will be able to obtain further knowledge about mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion operating at various stages within particular occupational cultures.
The project will make it possible to identify conditions that are of particular importance on order to promote institutional change. Our main question will be: what are the “cogs and wheels” of the integration processes within a firm? To answer this question, we want to apply a design aimed to go behind statistical measures, through an in-depth analysis of the actual processes at work. By studying and comparing the specific character of such processes within different organizational and occupational settings, our aim is to contribute to a more qualitative and contextual understanding of work life integration.