Self Governing Workshops And Offices

From Alexander Patterns:


*... all kinds of work, office work and industrial work and agricultural work, are radically decentralized by Scattered Work, and IndustrialRibbons and groups in small communities - Work Community. This pattern helps to genrate these larger patterns by giving the fundamental nature of all work organizations, no matter what their type.

No one enjoys his work if he is a cog in the machine.

A man enjoys his work when he understands the whole and when he is responsible for the quality of the whole... (Engagement)

The evidence for this pattern is built upon a single, fundamental proposition: work is a form of living, with its own Intrinsic rewards; any way of organizing work which is at odds with this idea, which treats work instrumentally, as a means only to other ends, is inhuman.*

(Reference to E F Schumacher's "BuddhistEconomics" article of 1968. And Hunnius' Workers Control, 1973.)

*We believe that these small self-governing groups are not only the most efficient, but also the only possible source of job satisfaction. They provide the only style of work that is nourishing and intrinsically satisfying.


Encourage the formation of Self Governing (Self Organizing) workshops and offices of 5-20 workers. Make each group autonomous - with respect to organization, style, relation to other groups, hiring and firing, work schedule. Where the work is complicated and requires larger organizations, several of these Work Group-s can federate and cooperate to produce complex artifacts and services.

House the workgroup in a building of its own - OfficeConnections, Building Complex; if the workgroup is large enough, and if it serves the public, break it down into autonomous departments, easily identifiable, with no more than a dozen people each - Small Services Without Red Tape; in any case, divide all work into small Team Work, either directly within the cooperative workgroup or under the departments, with the people of each team in common space - Master And Apprentices and SmallWork Groups.*

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