Intensification versus rationalization: industrial disputes in Japan and the United States, 1961-1980

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This study looked at the effects of the labor process on the occurrence to industrial disputes. In Marx's view, changes in the capitalist labor process result in an increase of industrial disputes. However, Dahrendorf envisioned that there is a decrease of industrial disputes, especially a decrease of intensity and violence of disputes in industrialized societies, in which rationality is a dominant value. Thus, the relative validity of the two major theoretical accounts was assessed. Samples were drawn from two developed countries, the United States and Japan, to add a cross-national comparative dimension to the assessment. The results suggest that neither theory consistently accounts for the relationship between labor process variables and levels of industrial disputes in both countries. However, Marx's view appears better fitted to the results for the United States. Dahrendorf's theory seems to be the least appropriate for both societies.