Employers in capitalist societies also develop control over other aspects of labour organization, such as education and expectations, which aids in maintaining the balance of power in the employee-management relationship. In each economy, whether capitalist or of other organizational structure, the relationship between management and employees affects the manner in which surplus value, or the total profit, of an enterprise is distributed.
All corporations exhibit some form of profit, and the manner in which that profit is distributed or remains undistributed is characteristic of the economic organization. Marx stated that profit is not realized from any surplus product created, but it is instead realized from the surplus of work done by workers inside the workplace that is above and beyond the salary of those workers (Yates 2003, p.175). This means that, according to Marx, the human labour component is the only source of new economic value. The product that is created does not actually generate profit, but merely allows the surplus work that has already been provided to be converted into a useful monetary form. As such, in a capitalist society where wage-labour is the primary source of profit, if an employee were to produce an amount only equivalent to that employee’s wages, the employee would be considered unproductive, even though the work done by the employee was enough to sustain the employee (Marx 1865, Ch.4-1). In order for surplus value to be created, it is the role of the management to ensure that employees of a corporation produce more than their wages. If Marx’s theory is assumed to be correct, it is intuitive that the efficiency of management control and organization of labour directly relate to the production of surplus value in an economy.
A number of factors can complicate the production of surplus value, which is why an individual corporation’s management control