Management and Resistance in the Convict Work Gangs 1788-1830

William Robbins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    The present paper examines the evolution of the management of the labour process within the male convict gang system. The organisation of convicts into discrete and enduring collective work units was a vital and productive part of the colonial economy and of the convict labour process generally. In providing a detailed account of the history of management's adoption of labour process structures and strategies the present paper shows that some of these were determined by changing management objectives while others were the result of covert and/or overt convict resistance. The paper offers evidence of the interaction between the management and the convict, and argues that the origins of Australian industrial relations are to be found amongst our convict workers rather than with the arrival of free labour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)360-377
    Number of pages18
    JournalThe Journal of Industrial Relations
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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