Is performance personal or in the system?

Pyke, Will
December 2008
Management Services;Winter2008, Vol. 52 Issue 4, p40
Academic Journal
Traditional front-line management practice reinforces a view of organisational performance as attributable to the performance of individuals within it. Deming argued consistently against this view and was recognised by the emperor of Japan for the successful application of his ideas by Japanese industry. This paper traces the antecedents of the current individualist view of performance in the Taylorist division of work and the monitoring and enforcing role given to managers. Shewhart's work on variation is applied to contact centre performance measures in order to answer Deming's call for managers to know whether performance is in the system or in the behaviour of individuals. The work of first-level managers is redefined and the implications for measures and the contact centre leadership is highlighted. Results that are possible by applying a systems view are then demonstrated.


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