Eaton Corporation is a diversified manufacturer with sales of $1.8 billion in 1976 and 18,000 employees in 65 plants in North America. Recently, it embarked on one of the most venturesome attempts to counter worker alienation in the U.S. The approach, referred to as the “new philosophy,” actually dates back to the late 1960s. Eaton was building a new plant in Kearney, NE, and the manager-to-be wanted to avoid the kind of deterioration in employee-management relations he had seen in his old plants.
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So he turned to Baton’s employee relations research and development manager, Donald N. Scobel, for help. Scobel suggested neither job enrich¬ment, job redesign nor participative decision making as possible solutions. Instead, he created something he re¬fers to as “an enriched environment.” Continue reading