Causes of Alienation

Causes of Alienation at WorkplaceAlienation originated from the work of Karl Marx on the effects on people of the capitalist labour process. Alienation refers to a condition in which an individual becomes isolated and cut off from the product of his work. He has abandoned his desire for self-expression and control over his own fate at the job.

Causes of Alienation at Workplace

Following are the main causes of alienation:

In numerous companies, employees are not allocated work in line with their potentials and competences. It results in a condition where the individual has no interest in his work.

If the rewards and earnings which an employee gets don’t fulfill his material needs, the employee will undoubtedly become frustrated from his work, specially when distribution of benefits and salary are based on discrimination.

If the organization is plagued with a widespread bureaucracy, it generates a condition when board of directors would maintain a distance among themselves as well as other workers. It hurts employees’ feeling and results in development of two opposite poles in organization.

If the management gets deluxe rooms, precious automobiles, huge salaries, etc. and other employees don’t have any access to these types of benefits, they become pessimistic about management.  They will think that the results of their work is plundered by the top management.

Managing individuals by dominating behaviour makes workers to consider their work place as a jail.

Long working hours make staff members tired and discourage them from their job.

Absence of employees’ participation in process of decision making by superiors particularly when a decision is related to them.

Organizations which don’t offer a proper space to workers to “make wrong and learn from their mistakes” usually have workers who lose their ability of taking risk, innovation and realizing their potentials.

The absence of proper selection of supervisors may create a circumstance where such supervisors cause workers to have no feeling of motivation.

When companies hide their employees’ capabilities in a fashion that all their notable works would be mentioned in name of “manager”, these workers would be annoyed and may not do innovations and significant works.

When businesses don’t care about suggestions offered by employees for purpose of strengthening organizational activities, it’s going to refrain employees from providing suggestions and they will be frustrated from having a role in organization’s improvement.

When workers don’t have any share in organization’s benefits and successes, they become ignorant about organization’s profits and losses.

When employees do their scheduled work and have no clear perception about objectives and plans of the organization, they would be disinterested in the organization’s future.

The presence of regular tension and pressure in work place would deteriorate their power and morale.

The lack of job security and frequent threatening by top officials, occurrence of quitting job most of the time, will make organizational environment to be an unhealthy place and would cut back employees’ efficiencies and hope towards their job potential.

Limiting workers in performing monotonous and tiresome activities and repeating them regularly, makes them to have a feeling of dullness and prevents them from having a dynamic tendency.

When top management officials don’t complete their commitments towards workers, it produces a situation where they feel they have been deceived and as a result would lose their commitment towards the company.

In this article, we have tried to provide the main causes of alienation at workplace. If something important is missing then please post your views in the comments.


  1. How does an employee regain hee sense of agency after being in this sort of “pink collar” job?

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