A Critical Examination of the Effects of Enterprise-Level Quality Control Programs on Professional Work
Paul D. Nugent, Ph.D; Emilio Collar, Jr., Ph.D.

Over the last quarter century enterprise-level quality control programs such as Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), Six-Sigma, and Lean have been altering the structural landscape of professional bureaucracies. Prior to these programs, professionals in these organizations enjoyed a great deal of freedom and autonomy in defining their roles and in assessing the quality of their technical products and services. This paper is an ethnographic study of systems engineers in a defense contracting organization both prior to and after the introduction of an enterprise-level quality control process. This serves as the empirical basis from which to consider the effects that shifts in the bureaucratic structure due to these programs have on professional workers. The hero emerged as an ideal type of professional in this setting that helps to highlight some of the key facets of alienation and non-alienation that are sensitive to enterprise-level organizational change programs. From the analysis we see that these change programs do have alienating effects that are generalizable to other technical professionals in complex organizations.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rcbr.v6n1a2