12.14 - LOT - Chapter 10 & 11.doc

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Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Willem Vanderburg

Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology 1. Explain the demand-control model including: the purpose of the model; how it organizes work into four categories; and the kinds of things the model predicts. • Health of human beings depends on the demands placed on them by their contexts and the resources available to meet those demands • This model divides jobs into 4 categories according to: o The demands made in the work setting o Control people have over resources to meet those demands • There are 5 independent variables by which work settings can be classified: o Decision latitude (skill discretion and decision authority) (Control: y-axis) o Psychological demand (Demand: x-axis) o Physical demand o Social support o Job insecurity • The purpose of the model is: o to determine how unhealthy work is o to help design a workplace that doesn’t constrain workers in the way they use their resources so they can build them up through learning and coping with demands in different ways • Four kinds of work: o Active (high demand, high control)  Medium levels of strain  Few constraints put on meeting challenges and demands  Ex. Surgeon; performs difficult operations, no two are the same  Ex. Engineer  Can accomplish tasks and return some kind of psychological equilibrium with satisfaction of having completed a difficult job and learned new things o Low Strain (low demand, high control) Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology  Few psychological demands and high control  Made healthier and happier at work  High control allows for optimal response to problems with minimum psychological strain  Ex. Natural scientists and senior professors o Passive (low demand, low control)  Average levels of strain  Ex. Night watchmen  No challenges and no opportunities to initiate anything or try better ways of doing things  People in such situations become withdrawn and daydream o High strain (high demand, low control)  Human behaviour is constrained to that no effective responds to increases in demand are possible  Ex. Assembly line in a restaurant at lunch time, sweat shop, waitress. • This model predicts: o the spillover effects from people’s work into their lives o That these four categories of work experiences have different effects on human health, non-work activities, and community participation o Passive  people lose previously acquired skills, motivation, and initiative  become withdrawn and have tendency to daydream o Active  Tend to engage in more leisure activities outside work o As people move into more active jobs, leisure-time activities tend to become more active, and social and political participation tends to increase Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology 2. Explain four preventatively oriented principles for the design of work. Illustrate each one with an example. • (1) Design complementary relationships between knowing and doing embedded in culture and experience and knowing and doing separated from cultures and experience o Strengths and limitations of both types must be recognized so that they can be made complementary • (2) Design complementary relationship between machines and people o Recognition that metaconsious knowledge associated with knowledge separated from experience and knowledge embedded in experience can be captured neither in expert systems nor in production or organizational techniques of any kind implies different relationships between human beings and machines, so that human beings can continue to develop their skills without obstructing or diminishing the contribution made by machines or computers. • • (3) Give people as much control over their work as possible o Will manage their own affairs, accept responsibility o Method control (greater contribution to health) vs. timing control o The limitations of the technical division of labour must be pushed back. The horizontal division of labour must be structured around machines extending and enhancing human skills. The vertical division of labour must be a spectrum that blends knowledge separated from experience with knowledge embedded in experience. o • (4) Make sure redesign is not piecemeal and is as complete as possible Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology o Engineering, management and regulation of work organizations must also be preventative wrt their interdependence on their contexts. Examples: o Semco o Diverse products o Inherited company o Got rid of dead end jobs (secretaries) o Taught all to read balance sheet, and given financial info. o All got to vote on major decisions o Supervisors rated by employers o Counsellors, partners, coordinators, associates o Controlled decisions with everything (money they made, ran their own jobs) o Hard times and good times shared o Vertical division of labour minimized o Example IBM o Skills required to make new printer o People sign up o Went in a room and designed printer at half cost and time o (no division of labour) o Volvo Uddevalla Plant o No assembly line  6 workshops o Teams moved around o Little repetition (every 80 min) o Could make custom cars o Morale went up 3. Explain whether the work redesign at Semco (as well as more limited experiments at other corporations) primarily transform the horizontal dimension or the vertical dimension Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology of the technical division of labour. Describe how it works and how it changes the control people have over their work. SEMCO • Few employees, many subcontractors • Diverse product line • Survived most extreme recession • The owner decided he wanted to be happy at work o Eliminated dead end jobs (secretary etc) o Employees were taught how to read cash flow and balance sheets and were provided with the financial information of the company o Each employee got a vote for big decisions o Supervisors were rated o Counselors (VP’s), partners, coordinators (supervisors), associates (regular employees) o 25% of employees set their own salaries, decided when to attend conferences to update technical skills o Everyone was self managed o Democratic profit arrangement (equally share $) o Vertical dimension was minimized o Employees were consulted about the final product ( have a lot of decision latitude) IBM • Informal collaborative design • Design in democratic way (printer) • Half the time and half the cost • Self managing work team, everyone learns skills, paid based on skills and not seniority 4. Explain whether the work redesign at the Volvo Uddevallla plant primarily transformed the horizontal dimension or the vertical dimension of the technical division of labour. Explain how it worked and how it transformed the control people had over their work. Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology • Work Demo Project – advancement, learning, rotation etc. • During the 60’s everyone was doing work so no one wanted to work on the assembly line b/c it sucks • b/c of progressive legislation, they could not bring in foreign workers so they had to find a better solution • the got rid of the assembly line • Uddevalla had 6 workshops • In 3 of the workshops o Vehicle moved once o Worked on different parts o Did not repeat anything for 100 minutes o Work teams move from car to car to work on the cars • This plant out performed the other old plants in Sweden but was not as good as those in Belgium • Volvo was the only one that could make custom cars • Morale increased • Reducing the horizontal division of labour through functional reintegration, accomplished by longer cycle time and increasing the worker’s range of task competence and responsibility, which overlapped in each work team 5. Use the demand-control model to explain the effect industrialization had on human work. o Industrialization  technical division of labour o Less control o In many cases high demand to keep up with the machines (sweat shops) o More LC HD o Explain implications 6. Explain what is meant by alienating work. o Hiring someone for a wage is more than simply buying some services from that person and is, in effect, taking possession Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology of something fundamental in that life, with profound ethical implications o Sociology of work recognizes the possibility of alienation, to be possessed by something or someone to the point that you can no longer be yourself o Ex) compelling someone to work long hours may not leave him or her any resources for having healthy relations with spouse, children, friends, and neighbours (can make them into someone they do not wish to be) 7. Using what you have learned in the course, explain whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: Giving people more control over their work is a prescription for undermining the authority of management and for bankrupting a corporation DISAGREE o More control  healthy work o Healthy work  better corporation o High demand, high control o Low demand, high control o People do not get worn out  they still contribute to society 8. Explain the reciprocal relations people have with their cities and how these relations can be alienating. • There is a reciprocal relationship between people and cities • As people change cities, cities also change people • This is due to the modern urban habitat that is the primary life milieu of humans today and humans have always been affected by their life milieu ( their cultural surroundings) Chapter 10 & 11 – Labyrinth of Technology • If cities exert a greater influence over people than people do over cities, then cities can be an alienating force. • How these relations can be alienating o 2 forces, 1 bring people together (close proximity), and 1 push apart o This separation impairs negative feedback loops in cities, causing alienation  People making decisions (planners, engineers, etc) are separated from the rest of the city’s population  Since their knowledge is based on knowing and doing separated from experience and culture, they do not know what the real world impact of their decisions will be  Results in most problems in cities being fix
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