بوروکراسی در مقابل کارایی بالا: سازماندهی مجدد کار در 1990s
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22209||2008||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 37, Issue 5, October 2008, Pages 1825–1845
During the time of increased work reorganization, I investigate the components of bureaucratic and high performance work systems and the sources of variation in an organization's adoption of bureaucratic and high performance practices. Findings from the 1996 National Organizations Survey suggest that the degree of workplace formalization, level of hierarchy, and number of departmentalization strongly indicate bureaucratic organizations, but the alleged high performance indicators of teamwork, skill enhancement, job autonomy, and innovative pay structures do not cohere to identify high performance work systems. Instead, teamwork and skill enhancement cluster to indicate one type of high performance work system, whereas job autonomy and performance-based pay constellate to identify another type. Multivariate analyses reveal that institutional mimetic isomorphism is the major factor that compels organizations to implement a certain work system. Organizations mimic their peers in their strategic adoption of different work systems. In addition, foreign market competition increases organizational adoption of teamwork and training programs to enhance skills.
Across continents corporate reconstruction has been at the top of employers’ agendas. Many business firms have accomplished unprecedented success through structural reorganization. For example, Wal-Mart has moved from the humble beginnings of a local five and dime to become a global powerhouse holding a lion's share of the retail market in only a short couple of decades. Chief factors that produce such a success are the adoption of many high performance practices including teamwork, decentralization of decision making, and lean process to maintain low overheads (Obloj et al., 1995: 171). Other successful cases in work reorganization involve implementation of various forms of teamwork, such as cross-functional teams in IBM and Honda City, and problem-solving teams in American hospital systems (Obloj et al., 1995: 77). However, despite decades-long studies on work structure transformation, researchers lack consensus on what constitutes transformed organizations, which are often labeled as high performance work systems (Osterman, 1994, Kalleberg and Moody, 1996, Cappelli and Neumark, 2001, Lawler et al., 1995, Godard and Delaney, 2000, Huselid, 1995 and Cappelli et al., 1997: Chpt. 3; Appelbaum and Batt, 1994 and Doeringer, 1991: Chpt. 9). A study on American workplace human resource practices with the 1991 National Organizations Survey measured high performance work systems with four indicators: decentralization, job training, performance-based compensation, and firm internal labor market (Kalleberg and Moody, 1996); another study used two waves of surveys of American manufacturing establishments to measure high performance work systems with five categories: self-directed work teams, job rotation, quality control, total quality management, and statistic process control (Osterman, 1994 and Osterman, 2000). The issue is complicated by subjectivity. Recently, a review of the new paradigm of human resource management practices identified several shortcomings in even identifying such systems: one of the most important is that high performance work systems are measured based on researchers’ judgment or preference (Godard and Delaney, 2000). Although scholars discuss the issue that high performance work systems accomplish labor control and coordination in contrast to the methods in bureaucratic work systems (Cappelli et al., 1997: Chpt. 3), few researchers empirically investigate the changing workplace structures in relation to the traditional bureaucratic work systems. Studies suggest that high performance work systems contradict bureaucratic work management in human resources practices. Bureaucratic organizations adopt rigid work structures and task assignments to establish an assembly line model and facilitate mass production (Scott, 1998 and Appelbaum and Batt, 1994: Chpt. 1). But the new economy of high performance work systems is characterized by product customerization and constant innovation (Knoke, 2001 and Appelbaum and Batt, 1994: Chpt. 8), which provides fertile ground for production with flattened hierarchy, democratic work structures, and equal participation in the decision-making from all levels of workers (Osterman, 1994, Kalleberg and Moody, 1996 and Lawler et al., 1995). However, in academia, the two work systems are not treated as in distinction from each other. For example, in recent empirical research on work systems, a set of essential indicators for bureaucratic work systems, such as personnel selection, performance evaluation, job design, grievance procedures, and promotion criteria (Marsden et al., 1996), are also used to measure high performance work systems (Huselid, 1995). Despite the empirical evidence that bureaucratic and high performance practices may be simultaneously present in one work organization (Yang, 2003), a clarification to demarcate the difference between bureaucracy and high performance work systems and to define the respective components is crucial to advance a scholarly understanding in this vein of work (Godard and Delaney, 2000). The topic of work restructuring is highly significant for some theoretical reasons – from the perspective of economics, organizations undertaking structural transformation are investing in an important asset – their organizational capital (Tomer, 1987 and Tomer, 2001) to develop a more cooperative system of labor relations that elicits high worker effort and thus higher x-efficiency (internal efficiency) ( Altman, 1996). This study investigates the defining characteristics of bureaucratic and high performance work systems and the factors that drive organizations to adopt these two distinctive work structures. Thus, it should enhance our understanding of the components of this important organizational capital and the antecedent factors leading to organizational investment in such capital. To this end, this study uses the exploratory factor analyses and multivariate regression to address the two issues with a national representative sample of U.S. work establishments: (1) the relationship between bureaucratic and high performance work systems and their respective components; (2) the explanatory factors for the levels of bureaucratization and high performance practices adopted in American work organizations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Using the 1996 National Organizations Survey of diverse work establishments in U.S., this study made considerable contributions to the literature of workplace reorganization. Although theoretical discussions on workplace transformation from bureaucracy to high performance systems are abundant, empirical investigation on their respective components and correlation is scarce. One striking finding is that organizations are adopting three distinctive types of work structures in their workforce control and coordination, with weak correlations between the three structures. This study produces evidence to echo those studies on bureaucracy that the essential components to define the bureaucracy are formal rules and regulations, departmentalization, and vertical hierarchical ladders. This study yields novel finding that organizations are implementing two types of high performance work systems. Relating to the previous discussion on work restructure and high performance work systems, this study suggests that despite the wide adoption of high performance practices, there is no such workplace formation called “high performance work system” that can be collectively quantified with all of its alleged components. Instead, workplace transformation takes place in segments as employers adopt a part of a set of high performance practices that serve as alternatives to bureaucratic controls. Organizations waging structural transformation to install high performance practices are investing in their organizational capital (Tomer, 1999). Such fragmentized adoption of high performance practices may reflect balance assessment of risk factors in investment and return. On the cost side, a comprehensive adoption of high performance practices often requires exorbitant investment, which may deter organizations from fully implementing the structural transformation. On the return side, structural transformation may take long time to produce hard-to-measure results. In addition to such economic calculi, there are some idiosyncratic, institutional factors that handicap the structural transformation in American work settings. Top managers in American companies work to satisfy the demands of portfolio investors who are less likely to endorse a fundamental work reorganization. Operating in the U.S. economic context where little guidance is given regarding a systematic implementation of work reorganizations (Appelbaum and Batt, 1994: 151), top managers also face tremendous uncertainties and receive little incentive to change existing programs. Finally, decades of economic success, which relies on mass production and bureaucratic controls, produce structural inertia for many American companies to stay with bureaucratic management. For example, a rigidly-defined managerial prerogative stipulates that power, authority, and decision-making is uncharted territory for managers who are not at ease with power delegation to low rank workers. Future studies can improve our understanding of those detailed processes by comparing American companies to their international counterparts. For example, a comparative study could investigate the structural stimulants and impediments for workplace transformation in different nations and assess the extent those contextual characteristics that are conducive to work restructuring can transcend national borders. This study demonstrates that organizations tend to model themselves on their peers in implementing different work structures. Such structural isomorphism through mimetic behaviors is likely to precipitate in an uncertain environment, which is filled with ambiguous goals, equivocal causes, unclear solution, and ambivalent measures to the outcomes. Uncertainties lie in the heart of the strategic choice of adopting different work systems, which requires that the management to be aware of the programs entailed in a given work system, the correct ways to implement these programs, and the measures of their effectiveness and efficiency. These information are not readily available and are often too formidable and prohibitive to obtain; let along that in various occasions they do not even exist, as organizations experimenting new work programs have not completed their trial-and-error. In addition, as previously noted, the lack of systematic instructions regarding implementation of innovative work systems adds an idiosyncratic component to the uncertainties confronting American organizations. Strategic management receives too little instructions or incentives to construct a work system on their own or to wage fundamental changes to their extant programs. Thus, a simple solution to this overwhelming problem is to mimic others, especially those operating in the same industry. Although imitation does not guarantee an ultimately successful implementation of a system, it often comes with at least three apparent benefits. First, imitation is cost-efficient. Following what and how others do in implementing certain work systems saves tremendous resources in searching for and learning of those systems. Second, by conforming to the mode in the work structural arrangement within the same industry, organizations also facilitate their transactions and reduce anxieties in their dealings with their peers. Third, imitation also carries a great deal of ceremonial significance. By adopting those common practices within the same industry, organizations enhance their legitimacy (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983: 151) and demonstrate they are improving work conditions as much as are their peers. I acknowledge that the issues being tackled in this study are complex ones. First, with a cross-sectional data, I cannot conclusively establish the casual links between various variables under scrutiny. Second, systematic variations in adopting different high performance practices may occur in organizations across different sectors, which may reflect organizational responses to their distinctive environments. A recent study (Kalleberg et al., 2006) shows that compared with for-profit firms, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies are more likely to have programs that encourage participations in decision making but less likely to use performance incentives and multiskilling practices. Third, some interaction process may take place between variables in their joint impact on the organization structural changes. Several topics lie ahead meriting systematic inquiry. Managerial orientation is crucial to undertaking innovative work practices (Appelbaum and Batt, 1994: 151), and so future studies might focus on how managerial orientation interacts with a company's size, performance pressure, and market competition to its work organization. For example, risk-taking managers under tremendous performance pressure and market competition may set aside sufficient resources to support innovative work reforms in hope of obtaining long-run benefits, whereas a risk-aversion management under the same level of pressure and competition may cut the budget on work restructuring due to its high cost and less predictable outcomes. Fourth, more research is needed to shed light on how an international environment affects work structural innovation. For example, an international comparative study suggests that American labor law rigidly defines management prerogatives to include various decision-making powers, which hinders the transition to high performance work systems, as opposed to German, Swedish, and Japanese employers, who are legally required to share business information and involve employees in strategic decision-making (Appelbaum and Batt, 1994). Complementing to this research that primarily focuses on the mimicry institutional pressure, future studies should inquire how other types of institutional influence, such as pertinent legal regulations, can affect organization work structure choices. Another cautious note worth-pointing is the temporal limit of this study as it relies on a 10-year old dataset to show organizational structuration and the driven factors behind different work arrangements. Issues being investigated here are highly dynamic and can be changing drastically between 1990s and early 21st century. The task to re-investigate this important topic becomes critical as a similar 2002 National Organizations Survey (NOS) becomes available during the development of this thesis. Despite the differences between the 1996 NOS and the 2002 NOS in sampling design and sample size (Smith et al., 2002), they ask similar questions on workplace structural arrangement, thus providing excellent opportunity for future study to re-examine the findings derived from this study. For example, important topics meriting further studies are whether high performance practices are deployed in a more systematical manner involving fundamental changes in training, decision-making, reward system, and job allocation, and whether market competition comes around to become a much potent factor in waging structural transformation for modern organizations in an increasingly globalized economy.