Human resource professionals are often caught between organizational demands and employee concerns. To handle these competing pressures, they tend to develop elaborately structured and tightly controlled systems for managing people. Bailyn suggests a new approach: patterned chaos. As people and their needs differ, so should their work be organized in different ways. This article is based on a keynote address given to the Boston chapter of the Association of Part-time Professionals on 2 May 1992 in Needham, Massachusetts.
1. Joseph Ford, quoted in:
J. Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science (New York: Viking, 1987), p. 306.
2. This effect has been well documented by Juliet Schor in her book. See:
J. Schor, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure(New York: Basic Books, 1991).
3. L. Bailyn, “Toward the Perfect Workplace?” Communications of the ACM 32 (1989): 460–471.
4. A. Andrews, “Flexible Working Schedules in High-Commitment Organizations: A Challenge to the Emotional Norms?” (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Sloan School of Management, Working Paper No. 3329-91-BPS, August 1991).
5. D.C. Kinlaw, Coaching for Commitment: Managerial Strategies for Obtaining Superior Performance (San Diego, California: University Associates, 1989), p. 5.
6. J.L. Bradach, “The Organization and Management of Chains: Owning, Franchising, and the Plural Form” (Boston: Harvard Business School, Doctoral Diss., 1992).
7. A. Andrews and L. Bailyn, “Segmentation and Synergy: Two Models of Linking Work and Family,” in Work, Family, and Masculinities, ed. J.C. Hood (Newbury Park, California: Sage, forthcoming).