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  • Writer's pictureNoni Harrison

Efficient vs. Effective

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Although schools and teachers are at the mercy of the bell, so still working to the stopwatch, we are in the customer service industry whereby we work closely with people each day and must navigate different personalities and needs to produce relevant outcomes. Taylor’s stopwatch system (Harrington, 1999) is not the most relevant way of assessing output in schools, as the requirements are ever-shifting and new and innovative ways of responding to change are needed. This requires flexible thinking, the input of various stakeholders and the consideration of the needs of others. We’re able to employ systems or outsource processing to more efficiently complete stopwatch tasks, so employees can better use their time and apply their skills in more valuable ways. Although, efficiency is a must in our line of work, we also need to value the skills and time of others in order to produce results and respond to demands in effective ways. We are not simply reproducing the same item as in the case of Henry Ford. We are having to adapt our services to meet the needs of our clientele. In juxtaposition to Taylor, Follett posits that employees should have a voice and should share responsibility (Harrington, 1999). The consideration and inclusion of all staff in decision-making is desirable, as is a positive culture that embraces employees as individuals not machines. Command, control and compartmentalisation were organisational approaches of the 19th and 20th centuries; whereas, 21st century organisational and managerial practices are built on networks, flexible hierarchies, and intellectual capital (Cascio, 2003). As Colvin (2000) highlights, we are now mostly “knowledge workers rather than physical labourers” (para. 8); therefore, employees’ knowledge and dedication to their work should be valued to produce high quality work. Without a sense of value, ultimately efficiency will drop too.


Cascio, W. F. (2003). Changes in work, workers and organizations. In W. C. Borman, D. R. Ilgen & R. J. Klimoski  (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 401-422). Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the info era. Fortune, 141(5), F6-F9. Retrieved from

Harrington, A. (1999). The big ideas. Fortune, 140(10), 152-154. Retrieved from

#organisation #Efficient #effective #Taylor #Follett #Colvin #Fortune #leadership

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