TABLE of  CONTENTS

This is an integrated source of support material for the series of
Video Documentaries within The Modern Times Workplace
DVD Collection ............................          

      The information also supports continuous improvement of the
      various elements of High Performance/High Integrity Workplaces,
                                              featured in our
STS DesignWorkshops.

      To access the information, click on the relevant Chapter below.

Chapter One: A Learning Organization

Sustainable advantage is now an old business model. All advantage is temporary. Workplaces that truly excel are "open" to learning about the context of their work, and discover how to tap people's commitment and capacity to learn, improve and innovate. A Learning Organization is one that is designed with multiple support systems, encouraging a 'community' of continuous learning about best practice, performance, and the 'causal texture' of the organization's environment.

Chapter Two: Responsible Self-Management

The fundamental principle is that each level in the workplace hierarchy…has authority and clear accountability for its own set of tasks…within designated and mutually negotiated boundaries and objectives. Most importantly, the traditional role of 'management' shifts its primary attention from internal control and coordination…to managing across internal and external boundaries of the organization.

Chapter Three: Whole Systems Teamwork

Timeless principles of a shared 'whole' task, interdependence, shared leadership, and comprehensive design of roles and support systems to encourage collaborative behaviours are reviewed for application in new forms of virtual, multi-disciplinary, and trans-organizational teamwork.

Chapter Four: Engineering for Commitment

Conventional manufacturing plant or information technology design focuses on optimizing the technical system. What usually follows is the 'fitting' of people and their work procedures to the technical system. However, new technology possesses an often unrecognized flexibility that can, within limits, be designed quite differently to meet the needs of social systems. This disaffirms the notion of 'technological imperative' and embraces the principle of "technological choice".

Chapter Five: Participative Work Design

The application of work design can be summarized by three guiding principles:

i) any part of the organization should be designed as a whole 'open' system within the context of its task environment;

ii) high performance requires multi-dimensional development of 'whole' systems;


iii) those persons affected by the design must be able to influence it.  With (re)design of any aspect of the work system, it is people who make it work.

Chapter Six: High Integrity Labour Relations (BEYOND COLLISION)

Constant change and innovation challenges the integrity and pro-activity of employee-employer relations. High performance workplaces are by no means conflict-free, but they have the values and competencies to move well 'beyond the collisions' that bedevil so many other organizations.

Chapter Seven: Transforming Labour Relations

A "bad" relationship is no more a recipe for successful change in labour-management relations than is bankruptcy the route to business success. For solid breakthroughs to occur, key conditions for success need to apply. Then, there are various processes that can be used to re-build the relationship. What these processes share are common principles by which the parties make the relationship change into a change in their daily way of working.