Work Without Managers

Work Without Managers

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Fisher Jr., James R. The Delta Group, 1991
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IN THIS SUMMARY

In Work Without Managers, Fisher attempts to awaken professional/technical workers to the power and influence they possess to enact change. He also addresses the managers who want to know what their professional employees are thinking and feeling about work, management, the organization, and themselves. It is his contention that although the experts insist we are in the midst of organizational revolution, workers still remain outside the equation. Management is still insensitive to its employees and supports company politics at the expense of productivity. Secrecy is the measure of communication and the principal product is paperwork. Internal focus is maintained at the expense of potential market, individual initiative is never supported, and although innovation is overtly praised, a covert hostility remains. The changes in American society and in the individual have been subtle, yet massive. The established culture (the common good) has failed to support this new society, while denial and persistence in applying traditional approaches have led to a serious cultural breakdown. An educated, mobile employee has replaced the average worker of the past who was tied to the job by lack of skill, ignorance, and fear. These new employees are more motivated by challenge than they are by external manipulation, thus, they are miserable failures when it comes to conventional management practices. Control (power and influence) has shifted to them and although they don’t know it, they sense it. The author’s refutes conventional wisdom in that he promotes a personal view from "the trenches by a practicing social scientist ...who has attempted to cut through the special interests that hold most of us in economic, social, and psychological bondages." The author’s intent is to stimulate discussion and debate. Indeed, Fisher has more than accomplished his goal-Work Without Managers, promises to foster a controversy that will be instrumental in affecting a fundamental change in the American workplace.