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Reading Summary - Bosses Are Reining in Staff Because They Can and Skills for Global Business.docx

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Geography 3422A/B
Milford Green

Bosses Are Reining in Staff Because They Can and Skills for Global Business 3/24/2013 12:59:00 PM Bosses Are Reining in Staff Because They Can  Marissa Mayer, Yahoo‟s new chief executive, has caused consternation by insisting employees who work from home must in future come to the office o Her critics have pointed out that home workers are as productive, if not more so, as those in cubicles o Ms. Mayer is mostly doing this as a way to reform Yahoo‟s notoriously dysfunctional and disorganized culture o She is also doing it because she can  The lesson to draw from Ms. Mayer‟s whip-cracking, in Silicon Valley, of all places, is that this is an age of harder work o Yahoo is among the old Valley companies shedding layers of employees so it can regain its edge o The US and Europe still suffer from high unemployment long after the 2008 financial crisis  That has undermined employees‟ bargaining power, enabling managers to impose greater demands on their shrinking workforces  Managers also have more technology than in the past to measure what each employee contributes o Silicon Valley is at the benign end of the scale – it is devising software to measure others rather than being measured itself o Valley companies were pioneers of team-working and employee autonomy compared with tough methods elsewhere  Engineers at start-ups, and at the most successful of the big companies such as Google and Apple, have plenty of autonomy, and are paid and rewarded highly, they also work very hard o These companies use an extreme version of the motivational technique called Theory Y by the management theorist Douglas McGregor in 1960  Has worked well in the past few decades, but a combination of new technology and a shift in the balance of managerial power is bringing back Taylorism  Technology is enabling the kind of surveillance of which Taylor could only have dreamt o Theory X – the opposite approach assumes that workers need
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