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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The past three decades have witnessed major changes to organizations and the work that is performed by their members, brought about in the main by technological changes and global competition. Terms such as lean production, manufacturing business process re-engineering, outsourcing, team-based working, kaizen, just-in-time production, empowerment, call centers, contingent workers, virtual teams, tele-work, and the learning organization are just some of the words that have entered the lingua franca of management, denoting ways in which organizations have attempted to respond to such changes. This article outlines a systems framework for describing the ways in which work activities are structured and coordinated by organizations in response to technological, economic, and social imperatives. In doing so, it is particularly mindful of the impact that evolving work configurations have upon an organization, its members, and the broader environment within which that organization operates.

Keywords: work organization, technological changes, global competition, work activities, work configuration, organizational operation

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