updated: 23 August 2007


Tacit knowledge
The term 'tacit knowledge' refers to the knowledge or skill a person has, without necessarily being aware of it, which enables this person to exercise some particular skill or craft.
Read more
The word 'Taylorism' is used to describe type of work organisation for mass production, based on some (not all) of the principles of Frederick Taylor's time and motion studies and his 'Scientific Management' (1911), such as the detailed division of the production process into distinct, minute and standardised tasks; the complete separation between intellectual and manual work; and the pyramidal centralisation of the production process.
Read more
Sometimes labelled 'semi-autonomous', 'self-directed' or 'self-managed', teams are groups of workers who gradually take charge of many activities and decisions concerning the organisation and coordination of their work, many of which used to be dealt with by front-line supervisors.
Read more
Technological determinism
Technological determinism describes the assumption that the introduction of any given technology will inevitably result in particular economic and social consequences, regardless of the particular historical context or the behaviour of the social actors involved in or affected by its introduction. Critiques of technological determinism in the 1970s led to the concept of social shaping of technology.
This term (coined by Huws in the 1990s) refers to the ability to transmit information (digitised data or voice traffic) by means of a telecommunications link. Telemediated work is therefore work whose content can be transmitted by this means, and is therefore capable of being carried out remotely provided the appropriate infrastructure is in place and the worker has the appropriate skills.
See also eWork.
(Source: Ursula Huws)
Temporary worker
There are several different definitions of a temporary worker. One of the most common refers to an employee on a fixed-term contract. In some countries the use of such contracts is limited: after a certain period of time, or a certain number of consecutive fixed-term contracts the employer is obliged to offer the employee a permanent contract. A second common definition refers to an employee of a work agency temporarily deployed in the workplace of a customer of the agency. However there are other contractual forms under which workers may be employed casually, seasonally or for limited periods.

The use of temporary workers may aim at increasing numerical flexibility, at filling skills gaps or at reducing (official) staffing levels. Source: FORBA
Time bind
The term 'time bind' was coined by Arly Hochschild to refer to the phenomenon whereby the workplace become a surrogate home for many parents who flee the pressures of home for the relief of work.
Read more
Time shifting of active life
Numerous inquiries on participation in the labour market by age highlight labour market participation decreases in the younger age bands compared with an increase in more advanced age groups. Such phenomena can be explained by a series of factors.
Read more
Time-Space Compression
Time-space compression is a prerequisite for globalisation, that is: the increased mobility and internationalisation of capital.
Read more
Total quality management (TQM)
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a comprehensive and structured approach to organisational management that seeks to improve the quality of products and services through ongoing refinements in response to continuous feedback.
Read more
Transfer of Personnel
Transfers of personnel are becoming increasingly common in the context of outsourcing. They are said to take place when a group of employees is transferred from one employer to another whilst continuing to do the same work (although, over time, the organisation of this work may end up changing considerably).
Read more
Transition from school to work
This concept includes the core issue of youth labour market integration which must be analysed in relation to the context, including the institutional structure and macroeconomic conditions.
Read more
Transitional labour market
The concept of transitional labour markets (TLM) has been developed in an effort to come to grips with the new social risks emerging from the destabilisation of employment structures and personal biographies.
Read more
Transitional organisation
Sometimes known as a 'traditional organisation', the phrase 'Transitional organisation' has been coined to define a particular production paradigm. This category of work organisation contains both traditional forms of work organisations where the labour process and methods of work are mainly not codified (informal) or other forms of work organisations which have fluid and transitional characters.
(Source: Csaba Mako)
Transnational corporation
See Global corporation
Triple helix
The 'triple helix' concept stresses the fast growing importance of co-operation - especially in the innovation process - in university-industry-government relations.
Twenty-four hour society
See 24-hour society