Winst en wetenschap : communicatie en overleg in een machinebureaucratie

J.G. Withag

    Research output: Thesisexternal PhD, WU


    In this thesis we are discussing communication and participation in a medium-sized tobacco factory. During the period 1980-1989 the firm had to cope with changes on her markets. The strategic apex had two main goals: cost reduction and increase of operational flexibility. Related to the notions of contingency theory, the firm can be characterized as a mechanistic organization or a machine bureaucracy; an organizational design which is, from an economic point of view, wellsuited for mass production in a stable environment. It is, however, inflexible and has a low capability to change.

    The thesis focuses on the question how the organization can be improved so that it is more able to adapt to the apparently conflicting exigencies of mass production and operational flexibility. The key to a succesful change lies in a push back of the machine like character of the organization.

    We are discussing three projects regarding 1) the improvement of the internal communication, 2) the development of an organizational policy regarding absenteeism, and 3) the increase of autonomy in the operating core by the introduction of self managing teams.

    An improvement is perceived in the horizontal communication, but not in the vertical information. Effects are found in cost reduction, the increase of operational flexibility and the improvement of job satisfaction. Active participation of management, works council and specialists have shown to be useful in creating a new organizational reality.

    Original languageDutch
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Röling, N.G., Promotor
    • Nauta, R., Promotor, External person
    Award date24 Sep 1990
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789090036533
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


    • management
    • information systems
    • communication
    • information

    Cite this