To what extent does published research on quality of work life reflect a managerialist ideology in both its' latent and manifest content?
Industrial Psychology (IP) has a major impact on millions of workers and thousands of organisations and is given increasing reign in deciding and influencing human affairs within the organisation, thereby playing an important role in society. The field of IP however has been used to uphold the status quo, showing a preference for management over workers. There is also a lack of self-reflexivity, and a failure to address ideology and power relations and the methodological assumptions underlying research and practice. This research project aims to address these problems through the analysis of research articles on a contemporary topic, namely, quality of work life. The aim is to find out whether published research on quality of work life reflects a managerialist ideology in both its’ latent and manifest content. A review of previous research and a theoretical and conceptual background is presented. Critical discourse analysis was used to analyse research articles. It was found that research articles draw on an HRM discourse and uphold power relations and dominant ideologies. There exists within published research and in all likelihood, social practice, the dominance of a managerial perspective and the presence of a managerial ideology. Critical perspectives tend to be marginalised. It is necessary that the critical perspective be brought more into the mainstream, and for industrial/organisational psychologists to challenge the status quo. Points for discussion and recommendations are presented.