Gilles Lipovetsky – The Taylorist model doesn’t fit anymore

This global phenomenon, it is the end of the mechanistic, Taylorist, Fordist model of work. This model of extreme bureaucratization of work implied the fact that thought was concentrated in a very small number of people, and crowd was excluded. So, this model is born as you know at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it developed particularly during the three post-war decades. The, conditions of competition made that this model is no more what we are waiting for. Because for a long time we had mass-produced goods, which were of the repetitive kind.

Nowadays, things are changing, we have much more personalized orders, diversified markets, small series, which also have to adapt to consumers who request more personalization, more diversification. So, in this context of a changing market, the mechanistic, Taylorist, technocratic model doesn’t fit any more because people need to be empowered. People must bring in by themselves this part of creativity which Taylorism in fact eliminated.

So I believe that the collaborative model is developing on this ground. It comes as an answer to bigger requests for innovation, for productivity, for performance, and people have understood that, for this, enterprise needed everyone’s talent, not only talent from the more conceptually armed, from engineers, from managers, and so on. A kind of decentralization, of off-centering, is needed in order to allow all stakeholders to bring their ideas. So I believe that the collaborative model lies within this ground. We still need to understand how it concretely comes true, and I think it is very different from one company to another. Maybe for some it is still some kind of gadget, for other ones it is a real commitment which deeply changes practices.

Interview conducted by Frédéric Gilbert.

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