Finding Time : How Corporations, Individuals, and Families Can Benefit from New Work Practices

Finding Time : How Corporations, Individuals, and Families Can Benefit from New Work Practices

by Leslie A. Perlow
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801484456

ISBN-13: 9780801484452

Pub. Date: 09/01/1997

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Why do Americans work so hard? Are the long hours spent at work really necessary to increase organizational productivity? Leslie A. Perlow documents the worklife of employees who assume that for their own success and the success of their organization they must put in extended hours on the job. Perlow doesn't buy it. She challenges the basic assumption that the more…  See more details below

Overview

Why do Americans work so hard? Are the long hours spent at work really necessary to increase organizational productivity? Leslie A. Perlow documents the worklife of employees who assume that for their own success and the success of their organization they must put in extended hours on the job. Perlow doesn't buy it. She challenges the basic assumption that the more employees work, the better the corporation will do.For nine months, Perlow studied the work practices of a product development team of software engineers at a Fortune 500 corporation. She reports her findings in detailed stories about individual employees and in more analytic chapters. Perlow first describes the individual heroics necessary to succeed in the existing work culture. She then explains how the system of rewards perpetuates crises and continuous interruptions,while discouraging cooperation. Finally, she shows how the resulting work practices damage both organizational productivity and the quality of individuals' lives outside of work. Perlow initiated a collaborative effort to restructure the way team members worked. Managers who were involved credit the project for the rare and important on-time launch of the product the engineers were developing. In the end, Finding Time shows that it is possible to create new work practices that enable individuals to have more personal and family time while also improving the corporation's productivity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801484452
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Series:
Collection on Technology and Work Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction: The Case against Long Work Hours1
Pt. ILife in the Fast Lane9
1Organizational Superstar: Max's Story15
2Ideal Female Employee: Laura's Story23
3Individual Heroics: Criteria for Success33
4Home Life: Tradeoffs between Work and Family45
Pt. IIHow Work Really Gets Done57
5Help and Helping: Matt's and Sarah's Stories61
6Constant Interruptions: Misuses of Time73
7Crisis Mentality: Rhythms of Work87
8Vicious Work Time Cycle: A Major Impediment to Corporate Productivity95
Pt. IIIThe Possibility of Change99
9Flexible Work Options Fall Short: Kate's Story103
10Potential for Collective Change: Quiet Time115
11New Work Practices: Benefits for Corporations, Individuals, and Families129
Afterword: Two Years Later137
Methodological Appendix: A Research Tale141
References149
Index153

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