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M.A. Sociology (November 2012)
David Arthur Schwartz


Abstract

The study sought whether the manpower cooperatives model holds advantages for workers over two prevalent Filipino work models—regular worker and for-profit agency-manpower worker—in terms of the kind of decent work that mat correlate positively with their material well-being—inversely with their poverty situation)—or quality of life as indicated by worker perceptions of well being. The study hopes to do this by comparing the workers representing the three models along different indicators of poverty and well-being:

The cross-sectional study explored the relationship between the work models and indicators of subjective socioeconomic well being based on dimensions of poverty that included assets, vulnerability, and material and psychological well being derived from definitions of poverty articulated in the World Bank's Voices of the Poor (Narayan et al., 2000), an inductively generated treatise on poverty. It is based on a survey conducted in 2007 with a total of 247 respondents, comprising a non-probability sample of 61 regular workers, 75 for-profit manpower workers, and 111 manpower cooperative workers.

The findings of the study revealed that being a manpower cooperative worker corresponds significantly with more positive perceptions of well being derived from World Bank poverty definitions than being a for-profit manpower worker, and that manpower cooperative workers scored higher on some perceptions of well being than regular workers. It showed, however that of the three work models, “regular worker” is statistically associated with the most positive perceptions of well being.

Specific findings include the following. Regarding the poverty dimension “assets,” including “food security” and “salaried employment,” no differences among the work models were found for food security. Cooperative manpower workers, however, indicated more positive perceptions of well being than manpower workers but less positive perceptions than regular workers for “salaried employment.”

Regarding the poverty dimension “material well being” that includes physical capital, such as land and material belongings; human capital, such as health and medical care, education, training and labor power; and social capital, such as social networks; no differences among the work models were found for physical capital; whereas for human and social capital, cooperative manpower workers indicated more positive perceptions of well being than manpower workers and generally fewer positive perceptions than regular workers.

Regarding the poverty dimensions “psychological well being, including power and voice, such as feelings of hopefulness and empowerment; “cultural and social norms,” such as shared identity; and vulnerability, such as financial security, access to resources, and psychological impotence, cooperative manpower workers indicated more positive perceptions of well being than manpower workers and generally fewer positive perceptions than regular workers.

Findings of the study suggest that the manpower worker cooperative model may hold greater advantage over the for-profit manpower model, but less advantage when compared to the regular worker model.

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