Printer Friendly

Innovating to Compete: Lessons for Diffusing and Managing Change in the Workplace.

Innovating to Compete: Lessons for Diffusing and Managing Change in the Workplace By Richard E. Walton. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, Inc., Publishers, 1987. 361 pp.

In recent years, the need for nations, industries, and firms to be "competitive" in an expanding global economy has captured the imagination of writers, politicians, business leaders, economists, and others who study or are

affected by domestic and international competition. For some, competitiveness means the ability to sell or produce effectively in world markets, as in the auto industry. For others, the term has become synonymous with the need to reduce Labor costs which often is manifested in worker give-backs or concessions. Some think of competitiveness in the context of product quality. All agree, however, that failure to be and remain competitive can lead to economic distress.

The author believes that one of the major needs for strong competitors is to be innovative, and toimplement change and innovation as effectively and as quickly a possible. His thesis, presented in a model, is that certain essential propositions, or components, strongly influence the development, diffusion, and mangagement of change The first component is a "guiding model," which is a expression of the vision brought to bear regarding innova

tion and change in general. For example, a model that does not take into account the interests and needs of all stakeholders that would be affected by the innovation or change will undoubtedly fail.

The second component, "economic necessity," and the third, "social context," are the forces that motivate interested parties to innovate and adapt to change. Without strong economic pressures, change comes slowly, if at all. Innovation and change also require a commonality of social values before effective innovation can be attempted. Stakeholders must believe that the social effects of innovation are worth the effort, and in their best interests. The fiftg is "competence," or the capacity to implement and manage the innovation process. Here, the notion is that the best innovations will fail to be implemented unless there is competent management of the process. These propositions or components constitute the framework for the author's model(s) but are not equal in all situations. They can or should be weighted to give more attention and analytical value to the ones that are most important in a given situation.

The author tested his model using the shipping industry which is and has been an important international industry dominated by several countries, including the United States. The eight countries analyzed in the study varied with respect to their capacity to innovate, depending upon the degree to which they felt economic pressure, the influences of social systems and values they had developed over time, and the institutional arrangements they had lived under, such as Labor unions, government agencies involved in shipping regulation, government financial support, shipboard staffing rules, and so forth.

Application of the model, no matter which components were used or which weights were applied, saw Norway, Holland, and Japan as High Innovators, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and West Germany as only Moderate Innovators and Denmark and the United States as Low Innovators. The United States was lowest of all, mainly because of weaknesses in certain key areas. One, "economic necessity" as a motivator, was very weak in the United States because of government subsidy of the industry and the move to extensive "Re-Flagging," or the use of foreign flagged vessels to ship products to and from the United States.

Institutionally, the U.S. maritime industry deals with several unions with considerable power. Work rules have kept work crews larger than for most countries, and there are requirements that only U.S. seamen may be hired for certain types of commercial shipping. The fact is that, except for social context, the United States is more influenced than all of the other countries by negative factors which work against innovation and change.

' While this analytical framework was tested retrospectively, the model(s) are certainly applicable to current or future considerations. If one were interested in determining the degree to which a firm, an industry, a plant, a country, or any other entity could be expected to innovate and implement changes that are required, this model would be most helpful.

Finally, while competence in managing the process is clearly essential to effective implementation of innovation and change, there is another competence that the author sees as essential. He calls it "metacompetence," or the ability to manage the context for innovative change. This capacity operates outside the "tactical" aspects of management; it is the "strategic" focus of being able to modify the basic components set forth in the model "to influence future activity." In other words, to see the need for and help shape policies and legislation, develop incentives,shape values and beliefs, and work towards establishing institutional changes to facilitate innovation and change.

This is an interesting and useful book. It provides an analytical framework that is usable, understandable, and makes good sense. It adds a significant dimension to the body of knowledge concerning readiness for innovation and change, and the essentials of effective implementation.

Publications received

Agriculture and natural resources

"Agricultural Reform: A Long Row to Hoe," The OECD Ob

server, June-July 1988, pp. 16-19.

"Conference on the Future of Prairie Agriculture," Au Courant,

Vol. 9, No. 1, 1988, pp. 2-7.

Economic and social statistics

Benninga, Simon and Eli Talmor, "The Interaction of Corporate

and Government Financing in General Equilibrium," The

Journal of Business, Apri1 1988,pp.233-58.

Bhote, Keki R., World Class Quality.- Design of Experiments

Made Easier, More Cost Effective Than spc. New York,

American Management Association, AMA Membership

Publication Division, 1988, 159 pp. $10; $7.50 to members.

Bliss, Christopher, "A Theory of Retail Pricing," The Journal of

Industrial Economics, June 1988, pp. 375 -91.

Chan, K. C., "On the Contrarian Investment Strategy," Journal

of Business, April 1988, pp. 147 - 63.

Deaton, Angus, "Quality, Quantity, and Spatial Variation of

Price," The American Economic Review, June 1988, pp.

418-30.

Gibbons, Robert S., Learning in Equilibrium Models of Arbitra

tion. Cambridge, MA, National Bureau of Economic

Research, Inc., 1988, 38 pp. (Working Paper Series, 2547.)

$2, paper.

Kiefer, Nicholas M., "Economic Duration Data and Hazard

Functions,"Journal of Economic Literature, June l988, pp.

646-79.

Lundberg, Shelly, "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A

Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Eco

nomics and Statistics, May 1988, pp. 224-35.

Martinez-Giralt, X. and D. J. Neven, "Can Price Competition

Dominate Market Segmentation?" The Journal of Indus

trial Economics, June 1988, pp. 431 -42.

Ruhm, Christopher J., "When 'Equal Opportunity' Is Not

Enough: Training Costs and Intergenerational Inequality,"

The Journal of Human Resources, Spring 1988, pp. 155 - 72.

Verbrugge, Lois M., "A Life-and-Death Paradox," American

Demographics, July 1988, pp. 34-37.

Economic growth and development

Drazen, Allan and Zvi Eckstein,"On the Organization of Rural

Markets and the Process of Economic Development," The

American Economic Review, June 1988, pp. 431 -43.

Faulhaber, Gerald and William J. Baumol, "Economists as In

novators: Practical Products of Theoretical Research,

Journal of Economic Literature, June 1988, pp. 577 -600.

"Investment, Growth and Jobs," The OECD Observer, June-July

1988, pp. 13-15.

"Papers and Proceedings of the One-Hundredth Annual Meet

ing of the American Economic Association, Chicago, IL,

Dec. 28 - 30, 1987," The American Economic Review, May

1988, entire issue.

Solow, Robert M., "Growth Theory and After," The American

Economic Review, June 1988, pp. 307-17.

Education

Kornbluh, Joyce L., A New Deal for Workers' Education: The

Workers' Service Program, 1933-1942. Champaign, Uni

versity of Illinois Press, 1987, 175 pp. $24.95.

National Education Association, Estimates of School Statistics,

1987-88 As Provided by the State Departments of Educa

tion. Washington, 1988, 44 pp. $12.95, paper. Available

from NEA Professional Library, P.O. Box 509, West Ha

ven, CT. 06516.

Industrial relations

Anderson, Arvid and Loren A. K"Interest Arbitration:

The Alternative to the Strike," Fordham Law Review, No

vember 1987, pp. 153 - 79.

British-North American Committee, New Departures in Indus

trial Relations.- Developments in the U.S, the UK. and

Canada, Washington, National Planning Association,

1988, 71 pp. (Occasional Paper, NPA 234.) $7, paper.

Coleman, Charles J., "Grievance Arbitration in the Public Sec

tor: Status, Issues, and Problems," Journal of Collective

Negotiations in the Public Sector, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1988, pp.

89-103.

Fulcher, James, "On the Explanation of Industrial Relations

Diversity: Labour Movements, Employers and the State in

Britain and Sweden," British Journal of Industrial Rela

tions, July 1988, pp. 246-74.

Hundley, Greg, "Education and Union Membership," British

Journal of Industrial Relations, July 1988, pp. 195 -201.

Hunter, Laurie, "Unemployment and Industrial Relations,"

British Journal of Industrial Relations, July 1988, pp.

202-28.

Mills, Miriam K., "Technology for Conflict Resolution: A Pre

liminary Pacing of the Terrain," Journal of Collective

Negotiations in the Public Sector, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1988, pp.

115-29.

Ormsby, Joseph G. and Susan Y. Ormsby, "The Effect of

Unionization on Faculty Job Satisfaction: A Longitudinal

Study," Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sec

tor, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1988, pp. 153-60.

Parker, Mike and Jane Slaughter, Choosing Sides: Unions and

the Team Concept. Boston, South End Press, 1988, 229 pp.

$16, paper. Available from Labor Notes, Detroit, mi.

Rubin, Beth A., "Inequality in the Working Class: The Unantic

ipated Consequences of Union Organization and Strikes,"

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, July 1988, pp.

553-66.

Silver, Edward and Joan Mcavoy, "The National Labor Rela

tions Act at the Crossroads," Fordham Law Review,

November 1987, pp. 181-208.

Tysse, G. John, The Immigration Reform and Control Act of

1986: A Handbook on Employer Sanctions and Nondiscrim

ination Requirements. 2d. ed. Washington, National

Foundation for the Study of Employment Policy, 1988, 287

pp. $25, paper.

U.S. Department of Labor, Labor-Management Cooperation at

Eastern Air Lines. Washington, U.S. Department of Labor,

Bureau of Labor-Management Relations and Cooperative

Programs, 1988, 89 pp., bibliography. (BLMR-Report, 118.)

International economics

Fujita, Natsuki and William E. James, "Exports and Technolog

ical Changes in the Adjustment Process of the Japanese

Economy in the 1970s," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics,

December 1987, pp. 107-22.

Gemmell, Norman, "Debt and the Developing Countries: A

Simple Model of Optimal Borrowing," The Journal of De

velopment Studies, January 1988, pp. 197-213.

Perkins, Dwight Heald, "Reforming China's Economic Sys

tem," Journal of Economic Literature, June 1988, pp.

601-45.

Stockman, Alan C. and Alejandro Hernandez D., "Exchange

Controls, Capital Controls, and International Financial

Markets," The American Economic Review, June 1988, pp.

362-74.

Labor and economic history

Blewett, Mary H., Men, Women, and Work- Class, Gender, and

Protest in the New England Shoe Industry, 1780-1910.

Champaign, University of Illinois Press, 1988, 444 pp.

$29.95.

Gordon, Andrew, The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan:

Heavy Industry, 1853-1955. Cambridge, MA, Harvard

University Press, 1988, 524 pp. (Harvard East Asian Mono

graphs, 117.) $25, cloth; $14, paper.

Kaufman, Stuart B., ed., The Samuel Gompers Papers.- Vol II

The Early Years of the American Federation of Labor,

1887-90. Champaign, University of Illinois Press, 1987,

495 pp. $39.95.

Labor force

Bednarzik, Robert W., "The 'Quality' of U.S. Jobs," The Service

Industries Journal April 1988, pp. 127 - 35.

Brockner, Joel and others, "Survivors' Reactions to Layoffs: We

Get by with a Little Help for Our Friends," Administrative

Science Quarterly, December 1987, pp. 526 -41.

Freeman, Richard B., Evaluating the European View that the

U.S. has No Unemployment Problem. Cambridge, MA, Na

tional Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., 1988, 12 pp.

(Working Paper Series, 2562.) $2, paper.

Great Britain, Department of Employment, "Labour Force Out

look to 1995," Employment Gazette, March 1988, pp.

117-29.

Jencks, Christopher, Lauri Perman, Lee Rainwater, "What Is a

Good Job? A New Measure of Labor-Market Success,"

American Journal of Sociology, May 1988, pp. 1322-57.

Metz, Manuel, A Methodological Approach to the Study of

Changes in Labor Force Patterns. Washington, Organiza

tion of American States, Inter-American Statistical Insti

tute, 1988, 157 pp. $11, paper.

Stipp, Horst H.,"What Is a Working Woman?" American De

mographics, June 1988, beginning on p. 24.

"The Great American Job Machine," The OECD Observer,

June-July 1988, pp. 9 -12.

Monetary and fiscal policy

Benninga, Simon and Eli Talmor, "The Interaction of Corporate

and Government Financing in General Equilibrium," Jour

nal of Business, April l988, pp. 233-58.

Foster, R. Scott, "Economic Development: A Regional Chal

lenge for the Heartland," Economic Review, Federal

Reserve Bank of Kansas City, May 1988, pp. 10-19.

Smith, Tim R., "Economic Development in the Nation's Heart

land: Issues and Strategies," Economic Review, Federal

Reserve Bank of Kansas City, May 1988, pp. 3 - 8.

Wages and compensation

"Earnings of Women and Minorities -Two Studies: Trends in

Earnings Differentials by Gender, 19 71 - 81," by Francine

D. Blau and Andrea H. Beller; "The Earnings of Women

and Ethnic Minorities, 1959-79," by Leonard A. Carlson

and Caroline Swartz, Industrial and Labor Relations Re

view, July 1988, pp. 513 -52.

Holzer, Harry J., Lawrence F. Katz, Alan B. Krueger, Job

Queues and Wages.- New Evidence on the Minimum Wage

and Inter-Industry Wage Structure. Cambridge, MA, Na

tional Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., 1988, 33 pp.

(Working Paper Series, 2561.) $2, paper.

Meyer, Bruce D., Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment

Spells. Cambridge, MA, National Bureau of Economic Re

search, Inc., 1988. (Working Paper Series, 2546.) $2, paper.

New York State Department of Labor, Annual Report of the

State Advisory Council on Employment and Unemployment

Insurance, 1987. Brooklyn, NY, New York State Depart

ment of Labor, State Advisory Council on Employment

and Unemployment Insurance, 1988, 75 pp.

Snipp, C. Matthew and Gary D. Sandefur, "Earnings of Ameri

can Indians and Alaskan Natives: The Effects of Residence

and Migration," Social Forces, June 19 8 8, pp. 994 - 1008.
COPYRIGHT 1988 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Burdetsky, Ben
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1988
Words:2265
Previous Article:Grocery accord reached in St. Louis.
Next Article:Damage control: yen appreciation and the Japanese labor market.
Topics:


Related Articles
Ticking Bombs: Defusing Violence in the Workplace.
Sweet smell of success.
Innovative workplaces and their workers. (Precis).
Gujarat genocide: a peace plan.
The world of work.
Amacom Books.
Everyday excellence; creating a better workplace through attitude, action, and appreciation.
The essential guide to workplace mediation and conflict resolution; rebuilding working relationships.
Age Discrimination: An Historical and Contemporary Analysis.
Federal government reorganization; a policy and management perspective.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters