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The aim of this paper is to provide a framework for adopting and installing a working arrangement. In line with the current emphasis on customers, the paper argues that employees, trade unions and managers should be viewed as customers to a work system given that their support and commitment will determine the success of the work system. To achieve this objective the concept of auditing “novel” work systems is introduced. Auditing will enable organizations to assess the potential of the work system before it is installed.
For me, the human side of work is the most important aspect in any consideration of jobs and organizations. Hospital organizations, for example, are made up of people…
For me, the human side of work is the most important aspect in any consideration of jobs and organizations. Hospital organizations, for example, are made up of people, their jobs are, of course, done by people, and the results of that work are for people — whether they be direct recipients such as patients, or customers; or whether they be the indirect recipients such as the community, or the employees themselves. The dilemma is highlighted by asking, why do we so often separate the effects of work on the humans involved in its production, from the effects on humans as recipients of its end result? I will posit that if work is consciously designed as a meaningful activity for the people involved in its production, then chances are good that its product will also better suit its human users. That is, there is a systemic relationship between the quality of working life and the quality of the product of that work. In so saying however we must likewise acknowledge the importance of the technical requirements of the work — for having meaning to the people involved is not enough. Work that is meaningfully arranged, both for the humans involved in its execution and for its technical requirements, typically results in a higher quality product and, not infrequently, in greater productivity as well. In our experience results are frequently accompanied by lowered absenteeism and turnover and greater feelings of satisfaction with the work activity. Work system design, or socio‐technical system design, is a powerful approach to this human side of work — work that is meaningful in both that human sense, as well as the technical sense.
Illustrates how the implementation of a major information technology (IT) system within the Norwegian Army affected the way the employees perceived their flexibility and…
Illustrates how the implementation of a major information technology (IT) system within the Norwegian Army affected the way the employees perceived their flexibility and personal involvement in their work. By employing Taylor’s initial works, this paper illustrates how the introduction of this IT system was perceived by some of the employees. Shows how, instead of increasing employees’ work engagement, the IT system had the opposite effect. Demonstrates that the new IT system contributed to a deskilling of the employees, to a more task‐oriented approach to their work, and to increased employees’ interdependence. Instead of increasing employees’ personal flexibility and involvement in their jobs, the research shows how the new IT system in fact contributed to a reduction in the freedom to choose when and how quickly to do their jobs.
Decision-making in human resources management is done at both the micro and macro level of organizations. Unfortunately, the decisions at each level are often executed…
Decision-making in human resources management is done at both the micro and macro level of organizations. Unfortunately, the decisions at each level are often executed without consideration of the other, and current theory reflects this issue. In response to a call for integration of micro- and macro-level processes by Huselid and Becker (2011), we review the extant literature on strategic human resources and high-performance work systems to provide recommendations for both research and practice. We aimed to contribute to the literature by proposing the incorporation of the situation awareness literature into the high-performance work systems framework to encourage the alignment of human resources efforts. In addition, we provide practical recommendations for integrating situation awareness and strategic decision-making. We discuss a process for the employment of situation awareness in organizations that might not only streamline human resources management but also result in more effective decisions. Additional considerations include implications for teams, boundary conditions (e.g., individual differences), and measurement.
What makes employees feel well within an organization? The aim of the present chapter is to start from a paradigm that emphasizes human relationality, affectivity, and…
What makes employees feel well within an organization? The aim of the present chapter is to start from a paradigm that emphasizes human relationality, affectivity, and intersubjective systems, and accordingly focuses on how well-being is emerging from contextual interrelations between employees. Applying this perspective to a qualitative study of nurses in a nursing home, I came to see the work community as a well-being-generating system in which the well-being of individual members is constructed together as an ongoing social accomplishment. In addition, I identified four systemic processes within the work community that greatly influence the well-being-generating capacity of the system.
We argue that in order to address the contemporary challenges that organizations and societies are facing, the field of organization development (OD) requires frameworks…
We argue that in order to address the contemporary challenges that organizations and societies are facing, the field of organization development (OD) requires frameworks and skills to focus on the eco-system as the level of analysis. In a world that has become economically, socially, and technologically highly connected, approaches that foster the optimization of specific actors in the eco-system, such as individual corporations, result in sub-optimization of the sustainability of the natural and social system because there is insufficient offset to the ego-centric purposes of the focal organization. We discuss the need for OD to broaden focus to deal with technological advances that enable new ways of organizing at the eco-system level, and to deal with the challenges to sustainable development. Case examples from healthcare and the agri-foods industry illustrate the kinds of development approaches that are required for the development of healthy eco-systems. We do not suggest fundamental changes in the identity of the field of organizational development. In fact, we demonstrate the need to dig deeply into the open systems and socio-technical roots of the field, and to translate the traditional values and approaches of OD to continue to be relevant in today’s dynamic interdependent world.
High-involvement work processes (HIWPs) are associated with high levels of employee influence over the work process, such as high levels of control over how to handle…
High-involvement work processes (HIWPs) are associated with high levels of employee influence over the work process, such as high levels of control over how to handle individual job tasks or a high level of involvement at team or workplace level in designing work procedures. When implementations of HIWPs are accompanied by companion investments in human capital – for example, in better information and training, higher pay and stronger employee voice – it is appropriate to talk not only of HIWPs but of “high-involvement work systems” (HIWSs). This chapter reviews the theory and practice of HIWPs and HIWSs. Across a range of academic perspectives and societies, it has regularly been argued that steps to enhance employee involvement in decision-making create better opportunities to perform, better utilization of skill and human potential, and better employee motivation, leading, in turn, to various improvements in organizational and employee outcomes.
However, there are also costs to increased employee involvement and the authors review the important economic and sociopolitical contingencies that help to explain the incidence or distribution of HIWPs and HIWSs. The authors also review the research on the outcomes of higher employee involvement for firms and workers, discuss the quality of the research methods used, and consider the tensions with which the model is associated. This chapter concludes with an outline of the research agenda, envisaging an ongoing role for both quantitative and qualitative studies. Without ignoring the difficulties involved, the authors argue, from the societal perspective, that the high-involvement pathway should be considered one of the most important vectors available to improve the quality of work and employee well-being.
This paper focuses on the internal system of the organization as a determinant of the optimization of the input/output ratio. Describes the two subsystems of which the…
This paper focuses on the internal system of the organization as a determinant of the optimization of the input/output ratio. Describes the two subsystems of which the internal system consists. Addresses the question of the extent to which, each one of those, impacts on the output synergetically and not modularly and stresses the necessity for holistic interventions to the system. Identifies three distinct work systems depicting different combinations of the technical and social subsystem on an intra and inter‐organizational level. Introduces the basic guidelines for building a diagnostic model for the internal system of the organization and concludes by discussing the applicability of the proposed model and suggesting areas for further research.
IN A RECENT issue of New Scientist a letter was from a graduate (or should it be graduette, for she was a girl) who said she was writing on behalf of many unemployed graduates; and she posed a ‘Catch 22’ query. What she wanted to know how anyone could obtain the experience needed to gain a job if no one will give such a person a job to get the experience?
The difficulties in designing and implementing successful technologicalsystems which support business objectives, good work practices and highquality outcomes are well…
The difficulties in designing and implementing successful technological systems which support business objectives, good work practices and high quality outcomes are well known. Discusses the “modernisation” of the Australian Taxation Office – an ambitious ten‐year programme of organizational and tech‐nological change – which has its origins in the need for re‐equipment and the recognition that the new systems must support the way in which the Taxation Office would work in the future. Review of the programme mid‐term shows considerable success, but also areas where it has been difficult to achieve some of the aims. In spite of the participatory framework, participants tend to feel that technology has driven the process, rather than business or workplace requirements. In particular, some initiatives have impacted negatively on workers, and it has been difficult to integrate the implementation of new systems with the design of better work practices. Recognition of these problems has encouraged the development of new approaches to work and systems design, and considerable further organizational and structural change.