The contemporary flexible, high-performance organization model is a primary alternative to the classical bureaucratic model, popularly known as Taylorism. Several historical trends have contributed to the development of the high-performance model.

Beginning in the 1930s, increased attention was focused on the human impact of work, especially in assembly-line type settings. The Hawthorne studies, and especially their popular interpretation by Elton Mayo, a vigorous crusader against the boredom of factory jobs, made the case for the importance of considering the human element in the workplace. The focus of industrial and organizational psychology was broadened from industrial efficiency and productivity to include human relations and employee satisfaction as key variables. Through the 1960s and 1970s there was a major push for job enrichment. Somewhat earlier, researchers at the ...

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