ERIC Number: ED378422
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
High Performance Work Organizations. Myths and Realities.
Organizations are being urged to become "high performance work organizations" (HPWOs) and vocational teachers have begun considering how best to prepare workers for them. Little consensus exists as to what HPWOs are. Several common characteristics of HPWOs have been identified, and two distinct models of HPWOs are emerging in the United States. The lean production model relies on centralized coordination, top-down total quality management, and reengineering. The team production model calls for empowered workers making decisions and producing innovations. Estimates of the number of HPWOs vary widely from one study to the next. Perhaps one-fourth to one-third of U.S. firms have made some type of high performance changes. Another point of controversy is whether HPWOs are effective. Different studies have demonstrated different effects of HPWO practices on productivity, pay, and workers themselves. A few statements can safely be made about HPWOs, however. A growing minority of firms appears to be following the HPWO path. No one best way of becoming an HPWO is emerging, however, because not all high performance techniques apply to all types of work. Despite the various controversies surrounding HPWOs, the consensus is that workers should be prepared for them. (Contains 14 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.