ERIC Number: ED255722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Socio-Technical Systems Analysis and Manufacturing Technology: Addressing "Big Brother" and Computers in Blue-Collar Work.
Taylor, James C.
For more than 80 years, jobs in the United States have been designed by people for others. For most of these years, the experts in job design have placed the production technology above the job holder in importance. Since the 1950s, many jobs have been redesigned around new, computer-based technology. Often, the net effect has been to make those jobs more tedious or virtually to eliminate them. The socio-technical system (STS) approach to work design has evolved as a theory of understanding the complex interaction between technology and human organization, and as a method to improve technical effectiveness and quality of working life. It has done this by addressing both of these factors simultaneously as a means of pursuing organizational purpose and values. The management theory that results has been addressed to larger, more complex human systems. The work that results from the STS design methodology differs from the jobs of the past by creating roles as integral organs of a living system, not as parts of a well-engineered machine. Such a system has been in effect for more than five years at the Zilog, Inc., semiconductor plant. It has resulted in highly reduced turnover, increased production, and a high degree of worker satisfaction with the quality of working life. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Quality of Working Life; Sociotechnical System Approach; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, August 24-28, 1984).