Presentation on theme: "Week 2 : Back to the Past – The Factory and Human Organization Political Economy of Modern Work Organization (Marx) Organizations as Institutions Managerial."— Presentation transcript:
Week 2 : Back to the Past – The Factory and Human Organization Political Economy of Modern Work Organization (Marx) Organizations as Institutions Managerial Theory Scientific Management, Human Relations Cooperation and Leadership Take-Away
Political Economy of Modern Work Organizations Subordination of Labour – Formal and Real Formal – loss of ownership of means of production Real – impression of managerial strategies to control and extract work (`surplus value) from labour Why is `subordination’ necessary within capitalist enterprise? What is the difference between `formal’ and `real’ subordination? What relevance do concepts of inequality and insecurity have for analysing dynamics of subordination?
Organizations as Institutions ` the human resource required by the factory system could not simply be purchased, collected and controlled like other factors of production. Humans develop traditions, identities, bonds of solidarity, and routines that cannot easily be abandoned and replaced’ Political struggle Managerial strategies of control Corporate welfare/paternalism; sub-contracting; `science’ (see slide 3) Forms of resistance and accommodation What is the continuing relevance of these observations?
Principles of Scientific Management (Taylor) Science, not rule-of-thumb Harmony, not discord Cooperation, not individualism Maximum output, in place of restricted output Piece-rate payment The development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity Relationship between power and knowledge? To what values and virtues does it appeal?
Criticisms of Scientific Management (Hoxie) Reduces worker to semiautomatic attachment to machine Undemocratic – requires workers to depend upon employers’ conception of fairness; no involvement in hiring, setting task, determining wage rate, determining general conditions of employment To what extent are these criticisms relevant to contemporary work organizations? `McDonaldization’ Issue of managerial prerogative
Human Relations Theory Output determined by informal standards established by work group Group standards reflect impact of wider set of norms involving customs, sentiments, duties, routines, rituals Where there is conflict between standards of management and standards of workgroup, latter is likely to hold greater sway How have managers and consultants addressed this `finding’? What relevance do the concepts of identity and power have for making sense of HR?
Chester Barnard’s Thinking Conflicts of interest and precariousness of cooperation amongst organizational participants Most effective social control achieved by instilling common moral purpose Instrumental incentives supplement/replace/subvert moral commitment ` Human experience [within modern, capitalist work organizations] works against a purely moral attachment to the organization. Barnard was aware of this fact and this created the necessity for the additional methods of motivation oriented towards individual desires, self-interest, and socialization through persuasion’ To what extent are managerial efforts to overcome alienation productive of greater alienation?
Leadership Leadership : `most studies and reviews of the literature conclude that organizational-level effects of leadership are small, weak, nonexistent or contradictory’. So, why does it continue to receive so much attention? Romance of Leadership? `…the development of a romanticised conception of leadership causes participants more readily to imbue the symbolic gestures of leaders with meaning and significance. Accordingly, the psychological readiness to comprehend things in terms of leadership, whatever dysfunctions it represents, may play an important role in determining the ultimate effectiveness of symbolism as a political tool, benefiting most those who are adept at its manipulation’ How plausible do you find this argument? Are management theories (e.g. Scientific Management and Human Relations) examples of such `symbolic gestures’?
Week 2 Conclusion / `Take-away’ `People’ and `Organizations’ have been conceived in diverse ways– with intended and unanticipated effects upon work experience and performance Repeated efforts have been made to address and mitigate the effects of employee resistance to `new’ forms of work organization. Involve combinations/alternations of overtly coercive and more `concertive’ forms of control Thinking in the sphere of management and organization is coloured by ideology and wishful thinking (e.g. notions of leadership) Concepts of power, inequality, identity and insecurity have relevance for analysing the formation and dynamics of organization
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