ERIC Number: ED345103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct-15
Reference Count: N/A
Tradition and Change: The Role of Workplace Education in the Transformation of the Workplace.
Stein, Sondra G.
The U.S. workplace needs to be transformed. Corporations should replace an approach to production and service that pits labor against management with an approach that unites management and labor in the pursuit of enhanced quality, enhanced responsiveness to the customer, and enhanced productivity. Human resource development is critical to this process of transformation. Companies that initiate basic skills programs are ripe for this change; they want to fix problems that hinder productivity. In the process, they can become high performance workplaces. A case study of United Electric Controls (UEC), a company that won the 1990 North American Shingo Prize for Quality in Manufacturing, shows that it started a basic skills program when its productivity and profitability began to slip in the 1980s. The basic skills program at UEC was not an end in itself, however, but part of a drive toward higher productivity through total employee involvement. The basic skills program resulted in higher worker self-esteem and more input from workers in finding and eliminating bottlenecks in the company's production processes. Eventually, basic skills classes were transformed into classes in which skills were taught and used to solve problems for the company. The focus was on continuous learning. (The paper contains a chart comparing traditional and high-performance work organizations.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Education Work Relationship, Educational Needs, Futures (of Society), Labor Force Development, Literacy Education, Organizational Change, Postsecondary Education, Productivity, Program Implementation, Skill Development, Workplace Literacy
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: United Electric Controls Corporation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Montreal, Quebec, October 15, 1991).