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Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC227H5
Professor
Christine Burton

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Weber, Bureaucracy and Capitalism -weber considered buearucracy to be organizational form best able to efficiently coordinate and integrate the multitude of specialized asks conducted in a big factory or office -predicted “capitalist production could not continue” -didn’t provide practical guide for mangers on how it should be organized -advantage of hierarchy with a debate of division on labor was that employees could gain the internal labor market -bureaucracies have serious flaws—very complex -working conditions are unsatisfying -however the notion that bureaucracies are efficient is thrown out, bc it assumes employees will submit to managerial authority -in Webers view, workers accept the legitimacy of the exsisting authority structure, abide by the rules and obey their bosses bc they believe the basis for such authority is impartial and fair -ppl in positions of power set organizational goals: these goals are “rational” from managements perspective, but necessarily from perspective of workers (pg.226) -what is rational for workers is personal interests, higher pay, safe work environment (pg.227) -these goals conflict with managers goalsleads to conflicts over distribution and use of decision-making power are normal -webers model neglects employee resistance to such authority -development of management ideology justifying superior rewards and the right to give orders is part of this process (227) Bureaucracy and Fordism -bureaucratic hierarchy was integrated with technology to create factories that formed the backbone of industrial capitalism (228) -Henry Ford introduced moving assembly line in 1914, helped launch era of mass-production manufacturing -Fordism is based on assembly-line mass production, combined technology with bureaucracy to shape 20 century work and economic growth -Robert Reich’s critique debates over the sprawling terrain of the emerging global economy which has shifted the locus of economic activity from goods production to services -key to prosperity used to be large volume production in giant factories by corporations that dominated world markets (227) -important question: whether alternatives to the Weberian model of bureaucracy have emerged? -3 examples: 1.decline of internal labor markets in the 1990s as large organizations downsized and relied on managerial careers suggests that fewer managers are likely to spend their entire career climbing the ladder of one organization than in the 1950s or 1960s 2. Customer service organizations cultivate employees’ use of emotions and informality 3. work has become deinstitutionalized, moving outside the structure of a single large organization (228) -western industrial capitalism was founded on what is now recognized as an outmoded model of organization and management -corporate scandals raise questions about how otherwise upstanding ppl in their communities rationalize fraudulent behavior and are social with the corporation to accept corrupt activities as normal Theoretical Perspectives on Organizations Structures, Systems, Strategies -contingency theory: proposes that organizational structures and processes are contingent upon the immediate problems posed by their environment -no best way to organize work -organic model: organizations as social systems adapting to internal and external changesgrounded on the sociological theory of structural functionalism -there is emphasis on goal attainment, functions, structural adaptations, and a value consensus among organizational members -organizational theory is evolving Changes and Innovation -strategic planning has more practical thrust, helping managers are able to influence as organizations performance and shape its future -strategy: plan for interacting with competitive environment to achieve organizational goals -organizations strategy provides a description of how it deals with internal and external change -focus of management literature is on how to measure the effectiveness of strategy (233) -especially critical in decentralized business organizations that operate in many locations around the world Understanding Organizational Change -observing the organizational turmoil became the norm in the 1980s -Bob Hinings and Royston Greenwoods argue that its essential to recognize and manage change -their research on local governments in Britain focuses on “strategic organizational design change” which is change that signals a fundamental shift in the orientation of the organization -introduce concept of design archetype to describe an organizations structure management system, and supporting beliefs and values -also suggest that organizations can be classified according to trackstracks captures the extent of change occurring, specifying whether an organization remains within one design archetype over time or moves between archetypes -Hinings and Greenwoods theory is intended to account for both successful and unsuccessful attempts at organizational change th -bc the late 20 century saw an increase in organizational decline, this process has become the subject of considerable research -root cause of decline is the failure of organizations “to anticipate, recognize, avoid, neutralize, or adapt to external or internal pressures that threaten the organizations long-term survival” (234) -whether it is avoiding decline or pursuing growth and innovation they have strong themes in contemporary organizational and management literature: 1) how change can be “managed” and 2) how the conditions under which change leads to innovation in products and services (234) -one research finding show that change is disruptive for organizationsmodels designed to adapt rapidly evolving in markets create employee turnover because of how they alter employment relationships (234) -this in turn can undermine future firm production (234) -to understand technological change, it’s useful to view it as a process of managerial decision making -this helps to demystify technology by showing how it, too reflects organizational and human constraints and choices -John Child identifies 4 goals that managers have when they introduce new technology: 1) reducing costs and boosting efficiency 2)increasing flexibility 3)improving quality 4)achieving greater control over operations -these goals overlap and are “evolving” and the end results may not be predictable -they depend on the type of technology, its application and the nature of the business (234) The Role of Managers -main issues concerning managers: how to obtain employee compliance and prevent opposition to authority? -workplace is microcosm of a larger society, and maintaining order and harmonious social relations among ppl who are not equals has always been a problem for those in power -employers do not have complete control over the amount of effort expanded by employees Management Ideology and Practice -cost accounting techniques for calculating how much each factor of production, including labor, contributes to profits was one way capitalists initially tackled the problems running increasingly large and complex enterprises -management ideologies are used to justify existing authority relations in organizations -Canadian managerial ideologies have undergone several shifts since 1990 -self-perception of managers moved away from that of autonomous achieving individuals to one of organizational team workers, while managers’ image of workers was transformed from recalcitrant to associates(237) -managerial revolution: growing power of managers and separation of corporate ownership from daily control functions (237) Managers as Decision Makers and Leaders - underlying sociological issue is how leadership practices are embedded in workplace relationships, group dynamics and the overall authority structure of an organization (238) -studies show corporate executives do affect their firm’s performance but that effect is overshadowed by other factors that differentiate firms (238) - an overriding management objective is to create motivated and cooperative employees (239) -objective is labeled employee engagement: having satisfied and committed employees who are willing to give an extra effort to serve customers or clients -various management theories have advocated different methods for achieving organizational goals Scientific Management -began as a set of production methods, tools and organizational systems designed to increase the efficiency of factory production -term was coined in 1911 -approach was popularized by an engineer named Frederick W. Taylorconsidered to be an efficiency expert - Taylor contributed to rise of 20 century industrial capitalism -Taylor said these steps help rationalize the labor process 1. shif the decision making responsibility for doing a job from workers to management 2. use scientific methods to determine the most efficient way of executing a job and redesign it accordingly 3. provide a detailed description of how to perform each step in a job 4. select the best worker to perform the job 5. train workers to execute the job efficiently 6. closely monitor workers performance -he believed his techniques benefited all parties involved -yet, overriding effect was to give management tighter control over workers’ activities by making all major work decisions -Taylorism degraded labor, minutely fragmenting tasks, reducing skill requirements and eliminating workers’ input about how their jobs should be done. (240) - worker laziness was the scourge of industry -he said workers consciously restricted production by keeping bosses ignorant of how fast a job could be done -his solution was to determine “scientifically” the best way of performing a job through time and motion studies of each step -as base rate pay was then tied to a production quota -if workers exceeded quota, they received pay bonus -lazy workers unable to achieve quota would be forced to quit bc their base rate fell below minimum level -preached that “fair day’s wage” and the productivity gains through more efficient work methods would bring about a new era of industrial cooperation and harmony -scientific management failed to provide a successful formula for labor management cooperation -various aspects were introduced into Canadian factories (341) -however further investigation shows Taylors original documentation were inaccurate (341) The Legacy of Scientific Management -speed of servicecomplying with motto requires highly standardized work procedures and strict management controls (ex. Burger king) -Taylorism is also alive in manufacturing* -Henry Fords moving assembly line used technology to develop the logic inherent in scientific management and bureaucracy -only by doubling wages was Ford able to induce worker to accept the new production methods -worker opposition to Fordism is never far from the surface -ex. GM plant opened in Ohio, the pace of the line coupled with more restrictive management, led to massive labor unrest and sabotage (243) -this iconic example of worker resistance faded into history however in the 1990s, management at the plant secured workers’ consent to reduce the workforce from 12,000 to 3,000 through outsourcing in the inserts of keeping the factory competitive.( 243) -elements of Fordism can be found in lean production: a Japanese inspired management system that has become widespread in global vehicle production and now is being adapted to other sectors such as healthcare (243) - major human costs often accompany increased efficiency, productivity and profits -other schools of management have tried to counteract the harshness that resulted from Taylorism and Fordism by developing more human working conditions (243) The Human Relations Movement -many jobs became routinized and monotonous, stripped of opportunities for workers to use their minds or develop their skills and abilities (243) -employee dissatisfaction, often in the form of high turnover and absenteeism rates or industrial unrest, threatened to undermine the machine-like efficiency of the new industrial system (243) -Taylor, Ford and others sought to redesign production systems so that control would be firmly in the hands of management (243) Toward Normative Control: Workers as Human Beings -gaining cooperation of workers within an increasingly bureaucratized, mechanized and regimented labor process remained difficult -some employers responded with programs broadly known as corporate welfare or industrial bettermentwhich emphasized the need to treat workers as human beings (244) -the goal was a loyal and productive workforce, the means were healthier work settings and improved job benefits -Taylor and others were quick to dismiss these schemes as a waste of money -when the human relations school of management began to systematically examine some of the same concerns in the 1930s, did the scientific management model face a serious challenge -control within organizations depends upon rank-and-file employees complying with management directives -compliance can be achieved in 3 ways: 1) coercive management techniques that rely on penalties and harsh discipline 2) utilitarian methods by which employees are motivated by economic self-interest 3) normative approaches that assume that workers equate their own interests with organizational goals, thus becoming motivated to work hard (244) -scientific management combined coercive and utilitarian methods which had mixed results -normative approach cultivates a community of interests throughout the organization -human relations replaced incentive wages and the stick of harsh discipline (245) The Hawthorne Studies -these studies were conducted at Havards School of Business 1927-1932 -Western Electric management was initially concerned with the effects of fatigue and monotony on production levels -concerns were with lighting levels, rest pauses and hours of work -in the relay assembly test room study, workers were placed in 2 separate rooms -recorded production while varying light intensity for one group and not the other -to their surprise, productivity in both groups increases. Regardless of light level -only when light intensity was reduced to that of bright moonlight did productivity decline -variations on this study came up with puzzling findings -possible explanations included that a fundamental change has occurred in the workplace -involving workers in the study had the unintended effect of raising their morale -they now felt management cared about them as ppl -productivity, concluded the researchers, increased as a result -this is the famous HAWTHORNE EFFECT: ppls awareness of being part of a study may itself confound the results -basic axiom of human relations management had been discovered: the human treatment of employees and creation of an esprit de corps improves their motivation to cooperate and be productive (245) Cooperation and Conflict in Human Relations Theory -emphasizes how workers attitudes values, emotions, psychological needs and interpersonal relationships shape their work behavior -this approach to management seeks the best match between the worker, given his/her personal background and psychological makeup and the job -human relation perspective rejects utilitarian assumption of the scientific management, assuming that people want to cooperate -Mayo says, the survival of society depended on cooperation, so he advocated a new industrial order run by administrative elite -the leadership of these elite would encourage the development of work environments that would bring out the cooperative instincts and productive potential of employees. (246) -human relations theory assumes that industrial harmony is healthy and that conflict is destructive which leaves no place for unions (246) The Informal Side of Organizations - By focusing only on the formal structure of organizations and the role of managers, we overlook vital features of life in work organizations. Less visible but equally important in the daily operations of an organization is its informal side, where employees reinterpre
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