Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

The Lumber Yards: A Case Study in the Management of Convict Labour 1788-1832

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2000), 79, (1), 141–161.

Abstract

This is a study of the management of convict labour at Australia’s first large-scale manufacturing enterprises, the Sydney and Parramatta lumber yards, 1788-1832. It is clear that these were much more complex workplaces than popular perceptions of the terror of the convict system would suggest because of the sophistication of labour- management policies, objectives and strategies as well as the existence of covert convict resistance. To gain greater insight into these organisations, use is made of Edwards’ simple, technical and bureaucratic models of the control of the labour process. It is concluded that the management of the labour process at the lumber yards relied upon a sophisticated and complex bureaucratic system of control.

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Author details

Robbins, W.M.

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