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Production, Safety and Teamwork in a Deep-Level Mining Workplace
Perspectives from the Rock-Face
In almost any industry, the day-to-day lived experiences of workers directly shape production processes. Those experiences are of fundamental importance to a range of managerial concerns including organisational behaviour and human resource management, organisational safety and risk management, production systems, work relations and change management. Yet they are too often overlooked by the executives and managers who design management strategies.
In this book, Sizwe Phakathi addresses such issues head-on, providing insights into the underlying social, human, managerial and organisational processes that shape workers' orientations towards reorganisation of work, production, safety, teamwork and work relations. Through an in-depth study of a deep-level mining workplace, Phakathi brings to the fore the realities of how work processes shape the actions of frontline teams, production supervisors and managers. He points out how these realities trigger the informal work practice of making a plan, which is an indispensable organisational tactic for production, safety, teamwork and work relations in the mining workplace. In the process, he highlights frontline miners' perspectives of managing, balancing and coping with the competing demands of physically challenging work, production, safety and team dynamics while at the rock-face.
This book will help practitioners, policy-makers and researchers to understand the factors influencing work processes, production, safety, teamwork and work relations - not only in a mining workplace but more generally as well. The insights it provides into the importance of day-to-day lived working experiences will help them to improve organisational, employee and team performance.
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Through data gained from a six-month ethnography, this book explores the reasons and conditions for frontline mining teams and supervisors to resist or facilitate managerially designed workplace change initiatives in the day-to-day running of the production process in a mining company in South Africa. It looks at miners' statements, interpretations, and experiences of managerially defined workplace change initiatives to show that they are critical, rather than passive, recipients and shapers of organizational change practices and use the informal practice of "making a plan" to offset production bottlenecks, and that standardized procedures and regulations are not always appropriate. It describes informal working practices in various organizations to outline the organizational, managerial, and social processes that create informal organizational practices and strategies at the point of production; the triggers for employees to make a plan; the outcomes of the production bonus scheme the mine instituted to increase productivity and its impact on the informal organizational practice to make a plan; the impact of generational differences on team performance; the relationship between teamwork training in self-directed work and its implementation; the effects of the mismanagement of production on frontline mining teams and supervisors; and the miners' occupational culture at the level of supervisor-worker relations, in terms of the skill of making a plan.--Annotation (c)2018 "(protoview.com) "