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The persistence of autocratic management in small firms: TCS and organisational change

Jones, Oswald (2003) The persistence of autocratic management in small firms: TCS and organisational change. International journal of entrepreneurial behaviour and research, 9 (6). pp. 245-267. ISSN 1355-2554

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Abstract

TCS (previously the Teaching Company Scheme), claimed to be the UKs premier technology transfer mechanism, employs recent graduates to improve the competitiveness of primarily small and medium-sized enterprises. The data are drawn from the author's experience of acting as academic supervisor on a two-year TCS programme in PaperProds. Structuration theory acts as a “sensitising device” to the way in which the actions and discourses of owner-managers in small firms exercise power. The author demonstrates the way in which managerial concerns with the “bottom line” gradually subverts broader conceptions of company “competitiveness” which include improving the skills, knowledge and commitment of shopfloor employees. In this particular programme the TCS associate found that he constantly had to reconcile the managing director's view that workers were disposable factors of production with his own implicitly “humanist” perspective.

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