The greatest challenge for operations management in the 1990s is the management of the human resource. Advanced manufacturing technology dictates a style and approach to management unlike most firms′ previous experience. There is a requirement to move from a control to a commitment orientation in the work‐place. The authority and power structures of functional organisations are no longer suitable for advanced manufacturing technology and operations managers will have to manage people on a far more equal basis than hitherto. A primary manufacturing unit will employ fewer and fewer people directly, but the dependence of the organisation on each and every one of those employees will increase dramatically.
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