The Evolution and Future of High Performance Management Systems

The Evolution and Future of High Performance Management Systems

The Evolution and Future of High Performance Management Systems

The Evolution and Future of High Performance Management Systems

Synopsis

Despite the challenges of organized labor and the human relations movement, scientific management has dominated the configuration of twentieth-century high performance systems. As the twenty-first century nears, an expanding fund of social science knowledge related to worker behavior and renewed evolution of high performance systems under intense, global competition offer new directions and opportunities for their reinvention. An historical review of scientific management is drawn, the halting and often abortive course of human relations research is traced, and the forces that are likely to shape tomorrow's high performance systems are evaluated in this book.

Excerpt

The competitive edge of modern-day business emerges from creation or discovery of a high performance management system. A system that increases efficiency, decreases cost or enhances quality confers immediate competitive advantage on its creator and sets a standard for the rest of the industry to follow. But once disseminated across the field of competition, it becomes the standard. Now a new, yet more innovative, high performance system must be discovered that once more creates competitive advantage for its inventors.

The history of industry since the mid-nineteenth century is traced through the discovery and implementation of successively more sophisticated high performance systems. It begins with centralization of productive capacity in the modern factory system. Prior to the invention of factories, each community was a system of independent craftspeople and farmers who enjoyed an idyllic communal existence formed around specialization of craft. The factory system was the product of engineering temper and skill in a globally competitive world. The first high performance factory systems were organized around the disciplines of industrial engineering to exploit intercontinental commerce. Frederick Winslow Taylor created the high performance factory system that has been dubbed "scientific management."

Henry Ford used scientific management as the foundation of his engineered, moving assembly line and created the next phase in high-performance management systems--a phase that has dominated most of the twentieth century. It became the target of assaults by another arm of . . .

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