Democracy at Work: The Report of the Norwegian Industrial by F. Emery, E. Thorsrud

By F. Emery, E. Thorsrud

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Extra resources for Democracy at Work: The Report of the Norwegian Industrial Democracy Program (International Series on the Quality of Working Life)

Sample text

3 0 neither 6 more wire breaks .. .. .. . .. 4 0 neither 8 more need of maintenance .. .. 2 neither 3 more contact with foreman ...... neither 1 less contact with other workers .. . .. . .. .. .. .. .. . 0 Group work means: 6 less contact with foreman Group work means: more contact with other workers .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9 .. .. .. .. . 7. Conclusions Although the experiment went through the formal motions for the agreed three months, it is clear that the reality was quite different.

The real learning was in managing themselves for up to 2t months at a stretch. There was very limited diffusion of the new ideas on work organization from the experimental site to the main company. No basic change was seen in management philosophy above plant level. However, when a new and larger plant was built to take over the production from the experimental one, the group system was introduced and is still practiced among the 400 workers without any supervisors. The trade union was significantly strengthened at the plant level, but the experiment was not actively supported by regional and national union leaders, and did not lead to policy changes on these levels.

The general recommendation - its rationale and the statement of conditions - were communicated at the management and union meetings of 11 June 1964. The 'statement of conditions• was as follows: The requirements for experimentally testing group methods of working in the Wire Drawing Department. 1. Size ofgroup. Not less than four and preferably more- with more machines than men. Otherwise it is difficult to see how they would make effective use of the time saved and it was considered that it would be difficult to break the old system of one man, one machine.

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