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martes, 21 de agosto de 2012

The work automaton and the second principle of thermodynamics (9 min.)

The work automaton and the second principle of thermodynamics (9 min.)

© Juan B. Lorenzo de Membiela

The problem of Taylorism in the factories of mass production was their inability to avoid labor conflict and provide an ideology to management thinking. System of organization that presents similarities with bureaucracy, was built on the hierarchy, control, and supervision of the operator, in the division of tasks and piecework (Taylor, 1895 and 1911).

He emphasized the production degrading the person to a productive input without greater relevance. Work as end in itself: work and not despair, as Carlyle said.

The human relations school was established in the U.S. in the 1940s. The worker was not only an individual who sold his force in exchange for a wage. In addition he was a person who was identified with a working group and had emotional dependencies. It was managers commit to the objectives and create a culture of company (corporate culture) assumed by all its members.

In the United States in 1946 the ideas of the school of human relations was taken over by 60% of all companies and personnel departments were created in 90% of the companies of more than 5,000 workers. These were responsible for conducting interviews with staff, create discussion groups, promote group dynamics and participation in the improvement of the company, edit journals and company newsletters to promote corporate culture (Valdaliso and Lopez, 2007).

Generate reliability, support your managers at crucial moments, correct the imbalances caused by the intoxication of power. As Von Goethe in his "maxims and reflections" said: «There is no spectacle more sad than the sudden ambition of unconditional in this world is absolutely conditioned».

For American businessmen the ideas of this school it dulcificó work center, decreased the labor confliction and represented a brake from the defunct Soviet Communist ideas.

Its main broadcaster was the American Management Association. It was introduced into Europe through the Marshall Plan in the economic reconstruction after the second world war. With unequal implementation in countries with different ways of perceiving in attention to the particularities of the different Nations.

Even today, these two conceptions, opposite, remain in force, even have created hybrid models combining aspects of both. What's more, detect a revival of primitive taylorist ideas under the crisis, increasing working time regardless of the objectives or the quality of the services. It emphasizes more on absenteeism than on the results and this is not surprising because so much time invested in training directive just had demonstrable results in practice.

Extreme Taylorism today, still persists in the program offered by some 'humanist' management of the "total quality" (Hackman and Wageman, 1995).

But this paradigm today is two constraints:

(a) the increase of the amount of work does not cause an increase in competitiveness. Röpke, in his work "The social crisis of our time", reasoning that the coefficient of the best thermodynamic machine production does not exploit or 50% of the energy invested in it (Röpke, 2010: 237).

It is the expression of the second law of thermodynamics, the Kelvin-Planck statement: "it is impossible to build a machine which produces as the only effect the extraction of heat from a light bulb and the realization of an amount equivalent or equal work".

Applied to organizations means that a longer working time does not produce an increase in productivity (cf. Mayntz, 2002). It is not competitive, not good for the economy because the lack of leisure prevent consumption, and it hurts to trade and industry.

The sociology of the German labour in the 1980s has detected the exhaustion of the tayloristic labour rationalization. Its productive organization was questioned.

The Assembly lines manual being replaced by applying technology have been removed. Working groups with internal rotations for missions of short cycle were introduced, and implemented the material handling, quality control and ergonomics (Kurz, 1998).

Networking with other companies independent of the main Corporation supplies was strengthened. This was called "flexible mass production" (Otfried, 2000).

(b) several studies highlight the need for other forms of work more profitable. The Adviser of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Spain, Mr. Daniel James, in the interview conducted in July 27, 2012, opted to seek different forms of work (...).

Grassi and Di Cintio in his study: "uncertainty, flexible labour relations and spending in I + D", in 2012, come to the conclusion that the uncertainty in the markets is offset by a labour flexibility. Flexibility as a synonym for the rupture of the nineteenth-century paradigm of the day sealed and unbreakable.

Not only talk about telework (see the Conference given in 2010 by Anna Forment at Pompeu Fabra University "telework: labour flexibility in response to the crisis"), also of the mode and way in which dispenses. It continues to ignore technology when it can be found efficient responses to demands of savings. I would rather say that people only come to it when you are interested in and now I do not understand the why not interested in.

I know only that what has been done with the intoxication of power is untenable. But also what is not done with the sobriety of the power is untenable.