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Organizing for High Performance

Summary: Since 1987 Ed Lawler has conducted surveys of Fortune 1000 firms use of employee involvement and how the firms benefited from this involvement. Ned Hamson interviewed Lawler on the results of the latest survey and how they may be helpful in predicting future trends and changes in the economy. While the latest survey shows 66-75% of these firms are using some form of employee involvement, the trend is a leveling off in the adoption of many types of activities, such as quality circles. Self-managing work teams and surveys remain popular. Overall numbers of firms using Total Quality Management programs has dropped off, but those which are using TQM practices, generally global manufacturing firms subject to international standards, are increasing their use and scope. Lawler believes quality teams can be used as a periodic tool, as long as there is a knowledge management system to retain expertise. Increasingly, firms are using the Internet for training employees and providing information and knowledge. Firms adopting employee involvement strategies are seeing financial performance payoffs, but that is only one issue affecting adoption. As the economy becomes more focused on knowledge work, the issues of intellectual and human capital are becoming more important. Quality will continue to be an issue, but fewer companies will approach it in terms of formal programs.

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  • Topics: Change Management
  • Keywords: Knowledge management (KM),Quality system,Interviews,Empowerment,Employee involvement (EI),Educators,Cultural change,Business plans
  • Author: Lawler, Ed
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation