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October 27, 2013

ROWE (cont.)

Continuing my last blog, I realise that transaction into ROWE not just requires revolutionary change of the internal organisation culture, but of the culture of the society the organisation lives in.

ROWE is valued very differently in different societies. This is decided by the elements and values within the society, including, for example, the education system, religion, economic and political reasons, and market structures etc. Out of all these aspects, I would assume that education is the most fundamental reason for any social structure and value. To introduce ROWE into the society and its companies and have it accepted by its people would possibly have to start first by introducing the philosophy behind ROWE into that society. This is a meaningful step for the development of the whole society for the following reasons:

1. -Thinking outside of the box: ROWE as its name suggests focuses on results only, and does not force any particular process of achieving that results to its people. Therefore, it provides great freedom for people to decide whichever routes they are intend to take, and to encourage them to brainstorm the most effective and efficient working way. This is not only important in organisations, but would be a general benefit if the society adopts this thinking logic.

2. -Encourages respects to individuals. Organisations that use ROWE are giving freedom and space to employees, they respect that each individual may have its own working patterns and habits, and any employees may have to deal with unexpected personal issues outside of work. The philosophy behind this is that every individual should be respected and understood, rather than used as robots. ROWE, to a certain degree, promotes human right development.

3. -ROWE is not only about completing missions. It is about creating values. Creation shows development. It is not only needed inside organisations, but also in the improvement of a society.

Start from education. Change how people think and believe about management. That is important, and that change will then be fundamental and would last and change the society structure and value.

October 22, 2013


In the seminar yesterday, we learnt about Result Only Work Environment (ROWE). One of the arguments was that ROWE might not be suitable to be used in just any organisation. For example, it may not work for large manufacturing firms. The adoption of ROWE is revolutionary. The process not only requires courage and willpower of an organisation, but also excellent leadership, and the wisdom and vision of the management team. To adopt ROWE and abandon the old classic system where your work is constantly being monitored and supervised, an organisation is asked to change its culture and management approach completely and re-education of its employees.

We have talked a lot about ROWE in class, but little discussion was laid on the transaction process from one management system to another. In my opinion, trying to change an organisation sometimes can be harder than building an organisation from scratch. This is probably because once human beings are used to their environments and surroundings, they are reluctant to jump out of their community and comfort zone, and this phenomenon, if I remember correctly, is explained through an economic term known as ‘stickiness’.

And is switching management systems actually a good idea? I think, or managers, who originally hold the power within the organisation, may not be happy if such power is taken away from them. This, as a result, may lead to negative emotion and working attitude flowing into the organisation, they feel de-motivated. Employees on the other hand, switching from a high-pressure working environment to a relatively relaxing one all in a sudden, will need time, maybe training too, to re-learn how to work in the new system efficiently. It means re-educating employees, re-building company culture which they were formerly used to. These means that the organisation finance will be under great pressure as these requires large spending over time/years. There are many other side effects that may come with the transaction.

I am actually interested in knowing if any organisation has gone through this transaction process successfully and how it handled the reform and the pressure comes with it. I shall do some research on this later when I have time.

July 2020

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