Crisis of work

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People strive in their efforts to do work, which is to increase the degree of satisfaction of his needs and to reduce its burden. Man moves in his conscious actions to improve the quality of life through the creation of better quality products on the one hand and the improvement of conditions of work and reducing the effort required to implement purposes, on the other. Rationally acting person strains to increase the quality of his work and its productivity]. To do so, there should be given proper sense of the concept of work, to restore and expand the real interpretation of the common understanding of the nature of work.

First of all we must remember that the work serves for the performing person, giving him livelihoods (income and products), and shapes his personality. According to Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski - "No work you can neither keep life, nor come to full development of personality" [S. Wyszynski 1946, p. 25] and that "the purpose of human labour is man himself" [S. Wyszynski 1974, p. 25].

In Christian theology, it is assumed that labour is people's vocation, their mission in life. By working people in the external and internal way achieve the objectives of their humanity [J. Majka 1989, p. 66]. Work has its own objective and subjective sense. Person's dominion over the earth is achieved by working on it. The reign comes down to the subordination of nature, by: cultivation, extraction of raw materials, production, benefit services, using various tools and techniques. "There thus emerges the meaning of work in an objective sense, which is reflected in the successive stages of culture and civilization" [John Paul II 1982 p. 1125]. The development of technology does not affect the position of a person as a body of work "There is no doubt that the work has its ethical value, which clearly and directly remains linked to the fact that the one who carries it out is a conscious and free - that is, constituting about the subject" [John Paul II 1982 p. 1128]. Human labour can not be so reduced only to the concept of economics. We have to see personal values in it. Then the economic system and production gains on it. The man in the process of work cooperates with other people. So he wants to make its products serve him and others. Man wants to in the process act as co-operation and co-founder of jobs, which he is working on [John Paul II 1982 p. 1146]. Therefore, it is advisable to implement the participatory forms of governance, and empowerment employees in the organizational or the create the community organization of the company. This means the introduction of the postulate of the three aspects: joint ownership, shared management, participation in the profits and the creation of such system (management communication, consultation), that each employee could easily find his or her place in the system and knows that he or she is the subject of the work process [J. Majka 1989 p. 76]. If we agree with the thesis that the most important in the production process is the man, we should every day recognize his subjectivity.

Sources of crisis of work

The process of socio-economic transformation of the Polish economy is accompanied by the need to overcome the crisis of work, combat with work pathologies and restore the proper meaning of work. The crisis has brought work to a:

  • crisis of sense of the work,
  • crisis of cooperation,
  • crisis of initiative.

The first (crisis of work sense) arises when people begin to notice that their work is useless, and although individual effort turn out to be irrelevant. This leads to pathology of work, since work ceased to be a creative human activity and became a way of wasting resources and efforts of people. [T. Wawak 1989 p. 165] "The emergence of beliefs among the people that work without sense, means that the society severed ties that were essential for communication between the authorities and society, between the citizen and the other citizen" [J. Tischner 1983 p. 27]. In this way was born the crisis of cooperation, which is characterized by a chronic disorder of cooperation, and permanent system of forcing the shifting of responsibility. The agreement "through work" is replaced by a struggle "through work". Work has become the place of the misunderstandings and disputes. Labour harmony was broken and disrupted its synchronization. All this leads to wasted time and lowers the quality. Not creative work, without sense, unrelated to work of another man - induce the worker to lower his quality. If the work ceases to be a place of the agreement of men among themselves then its effects, the products will not adequately meet the needs of consumers and users. All of this will lead to a crisis of initiative, which manifests itself in the absence of a field for initiative. Primitive work can be managed by someone from outside (e.g. by drovers of slaves). The more complex the job, the less is the role of external regulation and greater of internal self-regulatory system of work based on the principles of consistent interaction of people, capital and the state in the correct execution of the work [J. Tischner 1983 p. 17-19, 31-35]. Work is more than a means of life, is a way of being an fulfilled human. If you reduce the work function to sustain human life, there is no room for initiatives that spring from the inner needs of man and manifest themselves when the employee sees the meaning of his work.

The person who does not understand his own work and his role in the social process of labor, who does not feel its subject, does not apply all the attention to the quality of work. He is only interested in the amount of salary, since for him work is a special hardship, a necessary evil, providing only means of livelihood.

Lack of understanding what is work, poor understanding and promotion of employment, labor and replacement of studying the work with propaganda and politicization of work, formed the basis of the Polish labor crisis arising in the era of communism. This in turn has become a major cause of poor quality of work, which was able to produce products with less and less quality. The crisis of work also became the cause of low productivity, falling performance and the source of poor quality of life [T Wawak 1989 s.167].

Read further part in: crisis of work - the overcome

  • All comments about Poland history made by translator to facilitate understanding.

See also:


Author: Tadeusz Wawak