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Title: Attitudinal and behavioural response to changing patterns of technological and organisational innovation
Author: Trotman, C.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis considers worker attitudes to technological and organisational change. The engineering firm where this study was located, was part of a multi-national company which produced component parts for the automobile industry. This case study traces the innovative developments, initiated by the senior management team, from a position of imminent closure to a time when radical organisational change was implemented in an attempt to save the plant. Moreover, worker attitudes and reactions to such initiatives are documented and assessed. It describes how senior management attempted to create a 'green field' climate of employment relations in an established plant where the workforce had a sense of the past. To counteract this earlier experience, management introduced a number of worker participation schemes alongside a flatter structure of authority. This thesis is specifically concerned to assess worker attitudes participatory schemes, by documenting employees' experience, understanding and perception of these innovatory initiatives. Extensive 'verbatim' evidence from all categories of employee is presented because such perceptions and beliefs are regarded as equally important in relation to actuality and fact. It is argued that, during times of radical, organisational and technological change, workers' perceptions and understandings of such change are crucial considerations if management is to secure its objectives. However, it shall be seen that management objectives and worker objectives are sometimes opposed. This thesis argues that employees' perceptions of management and the firm are rooted in their experiential history. Moreover, that this sense of a 'former history' influences their perceptions of managerially inspired change. More than this, it affects the quality of personal and group 'trust relationships' between the shop floor and management. The thesis concludes that management cannot be trusted, in relation to the dynamics and outcomes of organisation and technological innovation, not because they are inherently dishonest or unscrupulous, but because they do not possess the overall control over decision making that is required to honour previous commitments they made to the workforce.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available