ERIC Number: ED212828
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Alternative Philosophies of Work: Implications for Vocational Educational Research and Development.
Wirth, Arthur G.
The traditional systems used to produce goods and services in this country are being challenged by evolving alternatives. The focus of these new alternatives is on the human element in the work force. Studies in adult work attitudes indicate that a more humanistic system is needed to promote productivity. Inherent in the human condition is the need for some degree of control over the activities in which one engages. To meet this need, the new system of sociotechnical management allows workers to share in the control of their work activities and, in part, the destiny of their employing organization. This system was introduced in the Volvo plant in Sweden, where 15-20-member crews replaced the traditonal assembly line which had become outmoded as workers became more and more educated. Another example of humanizing formerly bureaucratic and autocratic management systems is seen in the Norwegian Merchant Marine, where very highly educated crews are needed to control the sophisticated equipment used on oil tankers. In the Merchant Marine, officers' special privileges have been lessened and more participation in management is being accepted by the crew. In recent months, General Motors has committed billions of dollars to redesign plants and involve employees in quality circles in an effort to increase productivity and reduce shoddy work. It is hoped that the industry of the future will become both more productive and more human through sociotechnical methods. (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Automation, Education Work Relationship, Employee Attitudes, Employer Attitudes, Employment Problems, Human Factors Engineering, Human Resources, Job Development, Job Enrichment, Labor Conditions, Labor Demands, Labor Problems, Labor Utilization, Manufacturing, Manufacturing Industry, Operations Research, Organizational Development, Teamwork, Technological Advancement, Work Attitudes, Work Environment
National Center Publications, The Ohio State University, 1960 Kenny Rd., Columbus, OH 43210 (OC 78, $1.90).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. National Center for Research in Vocational Education.
Identifiers: Sociotechnical Management Theory
Note: Paper presented at National Center for Research in Vocational Education Seminar (Columbus, OH, 1981).