Saturday, 31 March 2012

On Engineering Organisations and Teams

Via Brian Barry's Why Social Justice Matters:

"Any dictatorship takes a psychological toll on its subjects. If you are treated as an untrustworthy person — a potential slacker, drug addict, or thief — you may begin to feel less trustworthy yourself. If you are constantly reminded of your lowly position in the social hierarchy, whether by individual managers or be a plethora of impersonal rules, you being to accept that unfortunate status." - Barbara Ehrenreich (2001) Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By in America

"The re-engineering of corporations may sound progressive, especially to shareholders, but the apparent price workers pay is an undercurrent of anxiety and diminished loyalty and commitment, their morale eroded by a chaotic and dysfunctional work environment in which individuals are discounted or devalued altogether... A recent study showed that workers who kept their jobs during a major downsizing were twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease, perhaps triggered by work stress" - Cited in Stefan Fern, Let's Give Change a Rest, Guardian 21 May 2004.
If the latter is true, then providing suitable fit-for-purpose working environments that treats people as autonomous agents worthy of respect may be just as effective as some health programmes and interventions.

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