February 24, 2013

NOW ASK YOURSELF A SIMPLE QUESTION...:

The workers are revolting (Ade McCormack, 2/22/13, Financial Times)

Over 12,000 years ago, humans existed as hunter-gatherers. Mastery in this field was paramount to survival. These hunter gatherers were highly mobile (lunch literally had to be pursued) and highly social. Poor collaboration resulted in escaped prey or repeated mistake making in terms of eating poisonous berries. You might say that productivity was measured in meals eaten. You literally ate what you killed.

Circa 12,000 years ago, both hunter and prey gathered around the oases and this gave rise to the agricultural revolution. Mobility was still required as livestock and crops did not occupy the same 'office block' as the workers; though more recently industrial agriculture has endeavoured to eliminate the mobility requirement. Sociability remained high and productivity could be measured by livestock sold or bales of corn harvested.

In the eighteenth century the ability to harness steam gave rise to the industrial revolution. Mobility was no longer a requirement. Workers simply needed to turn up to a building defined by the property portfolio manager. Sociability was discouraged because now workers were being paid for their time rather than their productivity. This model encouraged the workers to do as little as possible to get the best return on their time. In response to this management science was created. Collaboration was constrained to the channels defined by the 'corporate' organogram.

Up until very recently this was the default model. However, as if by force of nature, technologies have emerged to enable mobility and being social.


...having mastered productivity will people seek to use their time for increased sociability or more labor? 



Posted by at February 24, 2013 9:27 AM
  
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