Thursday, June 23, 2011

Economic Times; Extended lunch breaks can be a boon

In most companies, coffee-table conversations and long lunch breaks are considered a waste of productive employee time. But good leaders understand that if properly utilised and channelised, these so-called 'time-wasters' can actually be used to enhance organisational productivity.
The main objective of any organisation is to coordinate the actions of a group of individuals to attain a certain goal. This coordination does not happen automatically, but requires some effort since individuals do not collaborate on their own on goals that are outside their immediate purview. Initially, before the arrival of Classical Taylorism, this coordination was achieved through an abundant stock of social capital — a concept, typically used in economics that refers to connections within, and between, social networks. The core idea is that social networks inside organisations — be it a religious group or a cricket club — add a certain amount of value to organisations through the attributes they help build, like trust and goodwill between individuals. These values ensure coordination between individuals, though they may come from different backgrounds. Once management became a formal science, thinkers assumed that modern companies progressively would replace social capital-based, informal coordination mechanisms, with formal ones like management policies, hierarchies and bureaucratic rules. And as businesses started becoming more complex by the day, thinkers were quick to predict the death of social capital.............................

No comments: