Company 1: Control is one of Ron Eden’s favorite words. “This is a controlled environment,” he says of the blank
brick building that houses his company. Inside, long lines of women sit at Spartan desks, slitting envelopes, sorting contents, and filling out “control cards” that record how many letters they have opened and how long it has taken them. Workers here, in “the cage,” must process three envelopes a minute. Nearby, other women tap keyboards, keeping pace with a quota that demands 8,500 strokes an hour. The room is silent. Talking is forbidden. The windows are covered. Coffee mugs, religious pictures, and other adornments are barred from workers’ desks. In his office upstairs, CEO, Mr. Eden sits before a TV monitor that flashes images from eight cameras posted throughout the plant. “There’s a little bit of Sneaky Pete to it,” he says, using a remote control to zoom in on a document atop a worker’s desk. “I can basically read that and figure out how someone’s day is going.” This day, like most others, is going smoothly, and Mr. Eden’s business has boomed as a result. “We maintain a lot of control,” he says. “Order and control are everything in this business.” Tight observation also helps monitor productivity and weed out workers who don’t keep up. “There are multiple uses,” Mr. Eden says of surveillance. His desk is covered with computer printouts recording the precise toll of keystrokes tapped by each data-entry worker. He also keeps a day-to-day tally of errors. The work floor itself resembles an enormous classroom in the throes of exam period. Desks point toward the front, where a manager keeps watch from a raised platform that workers call “the pedestal” or “the birdhouse.” Other supervisors are positioned toward the back of the room. “If you want to watch someone,” Mr. Eden explains, “it’s easier from behind because they don’t know you’re watching.” There is also a black globe hanging from the ceiling, in which cameras are positioned.
Company 2: This company, SAS, is known for pampering its employees. They enjoy perks such as massages, an on-site 66,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center, a free on-site health clinic, family nights, free seminars on adoption, divorce, and schools, and consultants to help with long-term elder care issues. There are three subsidized cafeterias; you can even get takeout to bring home for dinner. Employees also enjoy subsidized day-care centers, a children’s summer camp, and much, much more. If employees get bored with their jobs, they do not have to leave; they can look around for a lateral transfer. The workweek is officially 35 hours, and most employees are home in time for dinner. The vice president of human resources stated, “What we don’t do is treat our employees like they’re all, you know, criminals.” Jim Goodnight, CEO, justifies these perks by saying, “My chief assets drive out the gate every day. My job is to make sure they come back.” Three hundred employees have been with the company for more than 25 years. The average turnover in 2009 in the software industry as a whole was 22 percent. It is 2 percent here. Mr. Goodnight looks for constancy, continuity, and commitment. He seems to be achieving his goals.
4.Both Eden’s company and SAS have cultures that reflect their environments. ________ theory explains this by saying that effective organizations have cultures that are correctly aligned with their external environments.
- Scientific management
- Management science
When the environment is stable, authority is centralized, and tasks and roles are able to be clearly defined and specified, a(n) ________ culture is most appropriate.
Which of the following would be most likely to happen if SAS tried exerting stricter behavioral controls over its workers with management and rules more like those in Eden’s company?
- SAS would find it easier to globalize.
- SAS would see performance improve.
- There would be no performance change at SAS.
- SAS would attract more creative and innovative workers.
- SAS would see performance decline.
Eden’s company is based on ________ ideas, whereas SAS is based on ________ beliefs.