High Performance Working

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The current focus for organisations is to deliver their products or services as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to meet the demands of their customers. Organisations were traditionally characterised using the “Taylorist model”. Taylor (1911) used his theory that the work within organisations should be specialised and standardised. Meaning that one person would carry out one role.

“Taylor believed that in the same way there is a best machine for each job, so there is a best working method by which people should undertake their jobs” Mullins pg 43.

However, this method of organisational working wasn’t able to cope with quick changing demands placed on businesses by society, the economy and government for example. As such, new forms of work organisations began to be looked at. Researchers began looking at ways of working which had greater flexibility and social responsibility.

High Performance Working is often complex to define; the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has defined it as “achieving high levels of performance, profitability and customer satisfaction. This is done by enhancing the skills of the employees and engaging with them to increase their motivation.”

High Performance Work Organisations (HPWO) are described as being flatter, less hierarchical structure where people work in teams and with greater autonomy, based on higher levels of trust, communication, employee participation and learning. (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2001) They are the organisations which are implementing work policies which are innovative and often described as holistic, than Taylorist methods. There is often job rotation, self-responsibility, multi-tasking, greater involvement in decision making for all levels of employees. High Performance Work Practices (HPWP) are the ways in which work is organised, employees performance is rewarded and employee involved in decision making etc. A report completed for the...
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