1st Edition

Webs of Resistence in a Newly Privatized Polish Firm Workers React to Organizational Transformation

By Jennifer Lynn Roney Copyright 2000
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    This study examines how the shared cultural values of employees in a Polish firm influence management attempts top transform organizational practices in a newly privatized factory. By introducing a foreign management approach, Total Quality Management (TQM), the management of this factory presents a potential conflict of values between the employees and the management philosophy. Tracing the historical and contemporary impact of traditional, political and religious influences in Poland and utilizing ethnographic techniques of observation, interviews, and secondary source data, the author identifies four patterns of shared mindsets. These mindsets, insecurity and instability, distrust, reluctance to assume responsibility and a struggle between individualism and collectivism generate resistance to the successful implementation of TQM in this factory. Organizational studies research has identified cultural differences in values but previous studies have not examined the congruence assessment that employees make when confronted with a management intervention, such as TQM. The author finds that an incongruence between societal values and the values the employees perceive are embedded in the TQM approach produced actual outcomes that are not consistent with TQM objectives of empowerment, teamwork, visionary leadership and continuous improvement of quality. Employees demonstrated a reduced sense of empowerment, team goals that are counterproductive to organizational goals, autocratic leadership and an increased focus but not sustainable effort toward improving quality. The book examines the reasons for these results through detailed description and extensive quotations from employees both inside the Polish firm and throughout Polish society.

    Exhibits; Preface; Chapter 1: Introduction; The Research Question; The Meaning of Culture in this Study; Webs of Resistance-Meaning Behind the Title of this Book; The Case; Research Approach and Assumption; Ethnographic Authority; The Organization of the Book; Chapter 2: Culture, TQM and Poland; Culture; Total Quality Management; Poland; Chapter 3: Concentric Circles of Polish Life; The Country; The Community; The Company; Chapter 4: Research Design and Methods; Research Design: Choosing Ethnography as Method; Data Collection Methods; Data Analysis; The Ethnographic Tale; Chapter 5: Social Organization; Spies with Television Sets; Influences on Social Organization; Cultural Values and Assumptions; Chapter 6: Patterns of Shared Mindsets; Insecurity and Instability; Trust; Distrust of Government; Distrust Within the Community; Distrust Within the Organization; Responsibility; Individualism and Collectivism; The Struggle between Opposing Cultural Tendencies; Summary-Patterns of Shared Mindsets; Chapter 7: Resistance to Change; The Quality Director and The Direction of Quality; Influences on The TQM Philosophy; TQM Values and Assumptions; TQM at the Lockem Factory; Summary Conflicting Values; Chapter 8: Conclusion; Contributions; Implication: Fatalism Interpretation? Reflections on the Process-Field Study Abroad; Endnotes; Appendices; A. Company Data; B. Research Protocol; C. The Researcher as Instrument; D. Information; Trust Question; F. Quality Wheel; References; Index


    Roney, Jennifer Lynn