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This programme looks at various methods of organising the shop floor 'socio-technical system' and how operatives within the system respond to various organisational changes. These organisational ch...anges include the possibility of giving some degree of autonomy to the 'shop floor' by increasing the control that workers have over shop floor activities. Ray Loveridge and Dr. Elliott discuss the extent of these organisational changes and their implications.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: T241, Systems behaviour
Item code: T241; 06
First transmission date: 08-04-1973
Published: 1973
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:25
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Producer: Roger R Jones
Contributors: Dave Elliott; Ray Loveridge
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Shop floor; Systems management; Trade unions
Footage description: Elliott introduces the programme which will examine the shop floor as a subsystem of the socio-technical system. The organisation of factory operatives is examined. Shots of a female factory worker doing highly repetitive electrical switch assembly work. Union shop stewards express their views on how operatives cope with monotonous, repetitive jobs. Still on a shot of women operatives working assembly line. One of them provides the commentary which tells what the work was like before changes were made to reduce monotony. Shots of women operatives on assembly line.The work has been changed from short cycle repetitive to the assembly of complete heaters. Commentary by Elliott explains the method of work now used and gives the advantages for workers of this job enlargement. An operative gives her opinion of this new system (Shots of assembly of this line). Elliott next introduces a factory system where job enlargement has been carried considerably further and status barriers between workers and management reduced. A manager explains this system. Workers explain their attitudes to this system. Manager continues his explanation. Elliott introduces the final example of job enlargement for factory operatives, this time from Norway. A Norwegian management theorist explains the rationale behind the greater broadening of workers jobs. He uses an animated diagram as an aid. Shots of shop floor of a Norwegian factory in which the workers have control over their working conditions as long as they meet management production quotas. There are no foremen or supervisors. Elected contact personnel provide liaison between workers and management. Shot of a meeting between management and contact personnel to discuss production problems. The managing director of the company explains his workers reaction to the system when it was introduced. Further shots of a meeting between management and contact personnel to discuss problems. Shots of the shop floor. Commentary by Elliott takes up the possibilities of conflict between workers and how this might be resolved. He discusses the role of the contact man in this. A Norwegian union shop steward gives his opinion of the system. (Voice dubbed in English). The firm's managing director explains why his firm is in favour of such a high degree of job enlargement for its workers. Shop steward continues to give his opinion of the system. He favours ever wider spread. (Voice dubbed in English). Elliott and. Ray Loveridge discuss the effect of greater job enlargement on the shop floor. They discuss the amount of real autonomy which the worker has, even in such an open system as the Norwegian. They examine the motives of employers when introducing such systems and also worker reaction.
Master spool number: 6HT/70674
Production number: 00525_5011
Videofinder number: 1966
Available to public: no