Abstract

The concept of ‘skill’ is one of the most contested in the lexicon of industrial sociology, and in labour process theory (LPT). This paper suggests that a way beyond a current impasse in LPT theorizing about skill is to seek an appropriate degree of granularity in the observation and analysis of work, and of the human capabilities necessary to perform it.  Sociological traditions that emphasise the ‘fine grain’ of work, seeing the latter as a process, are central, as are ‘non-individualist’ theories of work and learning. This paper is primarily conceptual, but will also describe developments in skill recognition technology that build on the developments outlined here.