WORKING SMARTER by Fortune--Eds. of


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A series of surprisingly banal, blathery 1981 Fortune articles on productivity, written by members of the staff. The brief introductory piece discusses the reasons for our recent poor performance (properly citing long-term, cyclical factors, as well as proximate causes); predicts an upturn (naturally); and calls for a ""national productivity program"" via adoption of the best prevailing practices. There then follow success stories highlighting such practices--from the use of Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology through application of the quality-of-worklife concept (several related pieces) to quality improvement. These, of course, are the going ideas; here they are presented in the form of testimonials or, more often, bubbly accolades. (Indicatively, Burger King's success in keeping its hamburgers hot is one of the more impressive achievements.) The material on work reform is among the weakest: a combination of stale and tentative--per ""Westinghouse's Cultural Revolution,"" or institution of some Theory Z reforms late in 1980. Concrete, adequately explained innovations are rare (Intel's administrative streamlining is an exception); evaluation is almost non-existent. The pieces altogether were not much to begin with--and they're hardly worth preserving.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Viking