Work, to make it really smart you need more autonomy and less control

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But things get a little more nuanced, however, if it is assumed that human nature is a little more complex and that the reasons that push and motivate the workers to act, have to do with deeper issues. The data are clear. We saw last week that the main elements that determine workers’ well-being are non-monetary and have to do with autonomy, competence and relationship (Bryce, A., 2018. Finding meaning through work: eudaimonic well-being and job type in the US and UK, University of Sheffield. SERPS 2018004).

If autonomy increases the quality of work
Other surveys have highlighted how, in a sample of eleven thousand workers from OECD countries, the perception of the quality of one’s work, together with job security and the intrinsic interest of the job, depends significantly on the possibility of working independently (Clark, A., 2005. Your Money or Your Life: Changing Job Quality in OECD Countries. British Journal of Industrial Relations 43, pp. 377-400.

Yet, as the debate of recent days seems to show, as Daniel Pink reminds us: «although some companies have oiled the gears a little, and many more have only pretended to do so, their management principles have not changed much over the course of a century. The fundamental ethics remain control “(” Drive “, 2010, p. 74).

Control is the main tool of contemporary management, whether you want to admit it or not. Because the main purpose of most economic organizations is not to create shared value through the coordinated and cooperative action of different subjects, but rather “to induce workers to act in the interest of their employers”.

To facilitate this process, continues Canice Prendergast, a leading economist at the University of Chicago business school, economic theory “has studied a multitude of mechanisms. [che] they include piecework, options, discretionary bonuses, profit sharing, efficiency wages, deferred compensation, and many more “(Prendergast C., 1999.” The Provision of Incentives in Firms “, Journal of Economic Literature 37 (1), pp. 7-63).

The (ineffective) model of control
Heterodirect, controlled and driven to do something that otherwise – this is the underlying belief – we would not be willing to do or do well. This is the predominant image of workers, both in the context of much economic research, and, above all, in many of those business schools that form the levers of the management of the future.



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