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Some Social and Psychological Consequences of The Longwall Method of Coal Getting

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MN 1001B: COURSE ASSIGNMENT 1 Some Social and Psychological Consequences of The Longwall Method of Coal Getting By Giacomo Bareato The article discusses about the sociological and psychological structure within a mechanistic system: a coalmine. It's divided into sections that relate to various issues concerning mainly the humanistic development within a contained social structure and how it interrelates with a larger scale 'mass' organisation. In coal mines, the workers are interdependent for any part of the process needed to extract the coal meaning that each individual's job was strictly dependant on the job which previously needed to be done in order to carry out the process. Generally speaking, the work consists of a primary work-group that is then divided into the individual or pair, depending on the job. A vast distinction exists between the two phases of the structure: before mechanisation and after. Pre-mechanised structure mainly consisted in craftsmanship and was treated as such. ...read more.


Generally speaking this structure produced an ideal social structure that influenced positively their interaction with work. This was mainly induced by the fact that even under good conditions, the amount of work is adjusted depending on the individual. The disadvantages of this structure that the article argues about is the fact that psychologically, the small 'craftsmen' have difficulties in adapting to larger scale structures, which leads us to the mechanised structures. The longwall structure can be best compared with an assembly line similarly practiced in car manufacturing. The process is broken down in a rigid succession of events that is precisely interrelated. This meaning that a cut on one single mechanised job would stop the whole process. This structure includes fewer workers, which decreases the cost in labour. Whenever a large job needs to be carried out, larger groups interact with individuals or pairs. This type of structure can also be compared to the Tayloristic theory that divides labour into specific and mono-skilled tasks. ...read more.


According to the article, the work environment needs to associate two distinct factors together. First of all, the production cycle and secondly, the interferences that are brought out from the first mentioned within the social structure as well as the straight hierarchical structure. The association is vital in order to create production efficiency, and according to the author, it can be gained only with years of experience. I believe that the facts explained in the article are a reality as a particular social environment difficultly finds ease in catapulting itself in a new larger environment, and this is true for everything. Mainly, I also believe that the article also deals with the fact that there is no best way to organise a structure. Many factors depend on it. In this case, theoretically, a combination of the two structures would bring about to maximum output and perfect working conditions. Word Count: 804 MN1001B: COURSE ASSIGNMENT 1 Some Social and Psychological Consequences of The Longwall Method of Coal Getting By Giacomo Bareato 23/11/2001 Seminar Tutor: Dr. Ed Clark ...read more.

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