Title page for ETD etd-534692039701091


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Grenville, N. Delia
Author's Email Address degrenvi@vt.edu
URN etd-534692039701091
Title A Sociotechnical Approach to Evaluating the Effects of Managerial Time Allotment on Department Performance.
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kurstedt, Harold A. Jr.
Van Aken, Eileen M.
Kleiner, Brian M. Committee Chair
Keywords
  • organizational performance
  • sociotechnical systems
  • macroergonomics
  • joint optimization
Date of Defense 1997-03-10
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Current organizational design changes such as restructuring,

production advancements, and information technology

improvements have caused many organizations to move to

flatter management structures. Changes in the organizational

structure along with the demand for improved performance

have broadened the scope of responsibilities for first-level

managers in manufacturing organizations. First-level

managers are required to balance their time to meet greater

demands. The sociotechnical systems principle of joint

optimization states that organizations function optimally when

design changes are made to meet the needs of both the

social and technical subsystems in the context of the

organization's environment. This study uses time allotment at

the supervisory level to operationalize the sociotechnical

systems principle of joint optimization. Ninety-one first-level

managers from both the production and distribution areas of

thirteen North American facilities participated in this study.

Four survey instruments were used to measure the following

dimensions: joint optimization, department performance, time

allotment to the social and technical subsystems, and

organizational values of appropriate time use. Five time

allotment constructs emerged from the data collected on

time use in the social and technical subsystems. These were

time spent on Participation and Information Sharing,

Customer Needs and Strategic Planning, Skill Development

and Compensation, Quality, and Department Operational

Needs. The results indicated time allotment constructs along

with the organization's values on appropriate time use can

be used to predict both joint optimization and performance

at the department level. The results also indicated a strong

relationship (r = .607, p < .05) between level of joint

optimization and department performance.

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