Insight into alienation
According to Marchington et al. (2016), alienation is when the individuals are marginalized from the mainstream society. This alienation generates the feeling of depression, adversely affecting the workplace performance. If an employee encounters alienation, they experience incapability in terms of performing the allocated duties and responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner (Klikauer 2013).
Hegel’s theory of alienation
The theme of alienation first appeared in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807). Hegel’s links modern life with alienation, which signifies materialistic world. As a matter of specification, in this postmodern society, people strive to overcome the existentialist struggles and end up finding the fragile existence in which they are just mere actors. Here, alienation is the (futile) self discovery of the human in terms of fulfilling the basic needs. Within this, the labours can be placed. This is in terms of the exploitation of their capability by the selfish managers. In return, they get a fractured and worthless existence (Klikauer 2013).
Marx’s theory of alienation
The society is a mixture of people from different class and culture. This is the main reason for generation of conflicts within them. These conflicts raise the feeling of seclusion and marginalization, as they lack the ability to contradict the beliefs of the others. Marx has adopted this seclusion for proposing the theory of alienation. Specifically, Marx proposes that alienation from the self relates to the mechanism of the social class. Delving deep into the aspect, “alienation from the self”, distorts the existence of the individuals, which raises doubts over their classification into groups (Wilkinson, Redman and Dundon 2016). In terms of business, Marx correlates alienation with the capitalist mode of production. In this, the workers experience incapability towards determining the outcome of their actions. This incapability adversely affects their thought process, which stalls the productivity.
Erich Fromm’s theory on alienation
Fromm proposes that the alienation affects the psyche of the individuals. The source of this alienation is the interactions, which the individuals conduct with the people belonging to the other people in the social hierarchy. His thoughts align with the usual characteristics of the humans in terms of preferring the comfort zone for ensuring their security (Bratton and Gold 2017). This affirms the fact that humans with similar characteristics can be grouped into similar groups and classes. In terms of workplace, the workers seek help from the senior and the experienced employees. This contradicts the feeling of alienation and adds value to teamwork. However, during conflicts, the influential and the powerful people overpower the weak employees. This generates the feeling of alienation, seclusion, ultimately landing in a meaningless existence (Vance and Paik 2014).
Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2017. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave.
Klikauer, Thomas (2013). Marx and alienation - essays on Hegelian themes [Book Review], Labour & Industry, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2013: 182-186
Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A., Donnelly, R. and Kynighou, A., 2016. Human resource management at work. Kogan Page Publishers.
Vance, C.M. and Paik, Y., 2014. Managing a global workforce: challenges and opportunities in international human resource management. Routledge.
Wilkinson, A., Redman, T. and Dundon, T., 2016. Contemporary human resource management: text and cases. Pearson Higher Ed.