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Relational InequalitiesAn Organizational Approach$
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Donald Tomaskovic-Devey and Dustin Avent-Holt

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190624422.001.0001

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Relational Claims-Making

Relational Claims-Making

(p.162) 7 Relational Claims-Making
Relational Inequalities

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

Dustin Avent-Holt

Oxford University Press

Relational claims-making is a two-step process and the proximate causal mechanism generating inequalities. The process is initiated by a claim on organizational resources and completed when that claim is endorsed or rejected by powerful actors. The ability to make a claim and its legitimacy reflect the social relations of status and power of the actors involved. Actors’ claims can be explicit, implicit, or silenced. Overt claims are explicit, but claims become implicit when they become embedded in taken-for-granted practices. Claims are silenced when actors lack the relational power to act or make claims. Claims-making is illustrated with cases examining the emergent division of labor in mental hospitals and pulp and paper plants, pregnancy discrimination cases, work–family policies, employer bonus systems, productivity metrics, sexual harassment, financial wealth distribution, declining union power, shifts from production to financial discourses, and diversity rhetoric.

Keywords:   claims-making, legitimacy, power, division of labor, work–family policy, bonus system, pay for performance, unionization, diversity rhetoric

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