It features at the end of an interesting article in The Economist, Digital Taylorism: A modern version of “scientific management” threatens to dehumanise the workplace
The article is stimulated by a recent controversial New York Times article that chronicled the way that Amazon.com treats their employees.
Just a few quotes to stimulate you to look at the Economist article
The reaction to the Times piece shows that digital Taylorism is just as unpopular as its stopwatch-based predecessor. Critics make some powerful points. “Gobbetising” knowledge jobs limits a worker’s ability to use his expertise creatively, they argue. Measuring everything robs jobs of their pleasure. Pushing people to their limits institutionalises “burn and churn”. Constant peer-reviews encourage back-stabbing. Indeed, some firms that graded their staff, including Microsoft, General Electric and Accenture, concluded that it is counter-productive, and dropped it.
Mr Pentland’s sociometric badges have produced some counter-intuitive results: for example, in a study of 80 employees in a Bank of America call centre, he found that the most successful teams were the ones that spent more time doing what their managers presumably didn’t want them to do: chatting with each other.I wonder how this relates to universities.
Is it fair to say that “good” universities are a long way from Amazon?
Or is metric madness coupled with managerialism taking over?