Recent trends like 'lean production' and McDonaldization' indicate that Taylorism is a persistent, underlying principle of many organizations. Despite global competition and the need for speed, flexibility and quality, still the principle of Taylorism remains in the contemporary workplace. Moreover, information technology is often being used in ways that reinforce Taylorist patterns. For some this may be a fact of life. Hans D. Pruijt argues that this is not the case. There is a countermovement, particularly in North-West Europe where viable alternatives are being pursued. But, a systematic analysis of the resulting change of anti-Taylorist practice at shop-floor level has been lacking. Job Design and Technology fills this gap by analyzing 150 cases of anti-Taylorist initiatives in Scandinavia, the UK and the Netherlands. An example of anti-Taylorist principles working of anti-Taylorist principles working towards job enrichment can be seen in Germany; it also examines the role of state policy, research and consultancy in an experiment at Bosch where assembly workers learned testing skills.
This was not through training, but through the design of the labour process itself, by creating 'working structures with educational relevance'. This implied that rather than an assembly line, there would be teamwork. Workstations had variable task content to accommodate different stages of learning; tasks overlapped so that workers learned from each other; jobs were rotated to allow freedom to manoevre. This is one case study where anti-Taylorism works towards job enrichment. The analysis shows that it is possible, with monumental effort and ingenuity, to achieve real change in the workplace. The case histories show this. However a notable proportion of organizations, even those now known as successful innovators, later regressed to a more Tayloristic mannor of working. This book explores various explanations, seeks to draw out the practical lessons. It will also assist students new to the area with introductory material alongside the main text.