The Moderated Consequences of Post-industrial Employment

  • Ewan Carr

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis considers how work has changed in post-industrial society. It shows that while insecure or stressful work can be reliably linked with poor health, individual outcomes depend upon a range of micro- and macro-level moderators. Bad jobs are invariably harmful, but context matters.It begins by charting the shift in advanced economic nations from industry and agriculture to service sector and knowledge-based employment. Most accounts of post-industrialisation share common flaws. Namely, the tendency for technological determinism; the depiction of discontinuous, all-encompassing social transformation; and the dislocation from individual experience. Such failings, however, do not negate the micro-level impact of these changes. This thesis focuses on two: job insecurity and work intensity. Recent decades have witnessed a destandardisation of employment relations and an intensification of working conditions. These changes have important consequences for well-being, whether or not they collectively constitute a new form of society.The methodological theme is one of moderation. Successive analytical chapters show how the consequences of insecure or stressful work depends upon (a) family arrangements, (b) economic climate, (c) labour market policies, (d) job resources and (e) national characteristics such as culture or trade union density. The analyses combine European survey data and contextual information using a range of quantitative methods, including multilevel modelling, structural equation modelling and latent class analysis. While the empirical chapters contribute to their respective literatures, they also feed into broader arguments regarding the synthesis of micro- and macro-level perspectives. Work invariably impacts upon health, but a simultaneity of moderating influences results in a diversity of outcomes. These findings underline the contextual sensitivity of work-related policy.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMark Tranmer (Supervisor) & Mark Elliot (Supervisor)


  • post-industrialisation
  • job insecurity
  • work intensity
  • subjective well-being
  • moderation

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