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All Teams are not Created Equal

All Teams are not Created Equal
How Employee Empowerment Really Works

March 1992 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Absenteeism, lack of commitment, lack of initiative, and use of drugs and alcohol leading to decreased productivity, poor quality of products and services, and compromised safety of workers and the public; these problems are serious and particularly dangerous to organizations operating in the unforgiving world of high technology, dangerous substances, and environmental risks. How can managers improve productivity and work performance against these odds? Lyman Ketchum, known worldwide for his innovative work design of the General Foods plant in Topeka, Kansas, and Eric Trist, founder member and later chairman of the renowned Tavistock Institute, bring their experience and insight to bear on this issue as they examine organizational change and ways that managers can improve productivity and work performance. The authors diagnose the current problems facing business, then go on to identify the aspects of "good work": team building, employee empowerment, open communications, and active innovation. Ketchum and Trist then propose their "center out" model for organizational change, and conclude with a wealth of case studies from their own experiences. A provocative look at how employee empowerment really works, All Teams Are Not Created Equal will be of great interest to managers and consultants, as well as to academics. "Reflects decades of hands-on concrete experience with every facet of systems change and work design. The value of working from 'the center out' cannot be overstressed. An antidote to quick fix programs." --Marvin Weisbord, Author, Productive Workplaces "This is a rich and rare book, as one would expect from Trist and Ketchum. Perhaps the subtitle might be 'The Complete Book of Organizations.' The authors declare their views about the nature of 'good' work. They then provide a view of organizations that makes our current dilemmas understandable in the context of history, and move us along in a way that gives access to actually designing workable work and work systems. The book blends the 'How to' with the critical (but in many books, either dominant or absent) underlying concepts. Leaders, managers, shop floor workers and others committed to their success will all benefit from this very practical look at modern work and organizations. For those committed to making their workplace more effective for both people and production, this book will 'source' their effort. All Teams Are Not Created Equal is a major contribution and is to be taken very seriously and USED, not merely read." --Layton S. Fisher, Consultant to Organizations, Alberta, Canada "All Teams Are Not Created Equal is a remarkable book written by two men who have helped to shape the new paradigm of work that will dominate management thinking in the twenty-first century. The new paradigm views employees as multifaceted problem-solvers rather than as performers of narrow tasks and encourages the design of organizations that foster this view. The book is an extraordinary collaboration between Trist who pioneered in articulating the new paradigm in the early 1950s and Ketchum who brought the paradigm to life in one of the earliest quality of working life experiments in North America. Innovations often take a long time to enter the mainstream of contemporary thought. The new paradigm of work is no exception. Yet, current economic and social conditions as well as accumulated research have accelerated the pace at which managers will recognize the fit between the new paradigm and the challenges they face. The wisdom of years of thoughtful practice is evident in every chapter of Ketchum and Trist's book. Every social scientist and practitioner who has ever tried to implement change in an organization will discover and appreciate that wisdom very quickly." --Gerald I. Susman, The Smeal College of Business Administration, The Pennsylvania State University "Through its authors, this book combines both outstanding scholarship and long-term practical experience in the complex area of organizational renewal of the firm. The book advocates the sociotechnical (re)designing of whole companies and is seemingly written from the point of view of a trainer/consultant. The result is not only highly concrete, but is also a remarkably complete execution of the subject matter. By successfully integrating both theory of content issues and aspects of implementation, the book is definitely very readable and useful as a guide by both managers and workers operating in an American context. For European readers, it especially delivers a perspective of contemporary American sociotechnical consultancy. A strong point of this book is the detailed attention paid to the actual transition process. A lot of attention is placed on the various aspects of the preparatory, start-up and post-start-up phases. . . . Due to its solidness, the overall opinion of this new book is definitely positive. Its subtitle: 'How employee empowerment really works' is both a good invitation and a striking summary statement to its note-worthy content." --Dr. Fans M. van Eijnatten, Eindhoven University of Technology
Understanding the Problem
Designing `Good' Work
The Beginnings  
Organizational Paradigm and Paradigm Shift
A Whole New Way of Thinking  
Senior Managers Appreciate
The Work of the Second Echelon
Moving the Change Effort to the Periphery
Planning for the New Plant
Designing the New Plant
Making the New Plant Into an Operating Reality
Readying the Launch Pad
Getting It Right at the Plant Center  
After the Assessment
Making the New Values Operational
New-Paradigm Training in a Paradigm Shift
Evaluation as Learning
A Look at the Future

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ISBN: 9780803946521