1.) With reference to specific examples from the film, critically reflect on how Office Space illustrates tensions in the wage and effort bargain between management and workers.
The purpose of this question is to illustrate tensions in the wage and effort bargain between management and workers, more specifically, the wage and effort bargain issues that arise in the film Office Space. Throughout this essay we will discuss the theory behind the wage effort bargain and assess how the balance of power between the workers and managers affects the performance in the work place. We will begin with looking at the history behind the wage and effort bargain. We will also look at how the motivation of employees is effected, outlined through the characters point of view in the film Office Space. The film follows the working lives of the employees in the Initech, and how they are unfulfilled in their jobs.
The wage and effort bargain is a situation which occurs in the workplace between workers and managers. In a capitalist economy the main objective for firms is to maximise their profits. In order to do this, these firms must produce goods and services in order to accumulate more money than they invested in their business, and continue the circuit of capital. However, this firm must employ labour in order to initiate production. Therefore, these two parties will meet in the labour market and agree to enter into an employment relationship, specified by an employment contract. However, it is common for this contract to be afflicted with tensions associated with the wage and effort bargain. The wage effort bargain was first used by Hilde Behrend in 1957 and it became an internationally used term in the 1961’s in “Efficiency and Effort” by W. Baldamus. The worker aims to increase the wage they receive, however the capitalist aims to cut costs and maximise profits. However, when using piece rates the worker will aim to restrict output, as if