QWL (Quality of Work Life) Movement
Initially a loosely organized network of a few dozen academics in the early 1970s, the QWL Movement had grown by the 1980s into an international grouping of trade union officials, personnel managers, and social scientists generally. Its central thesis was that work-tasks should be redesigned to generate worker satisfaction and harmony in the workplace. The movement therefore drew on intellectual currents that favoured such things as industrial democracy, worker participation in job design, and autonomous workgroups which operated without regular supervision. Some commentators view the QWL phenomenon as merely an updated version of the human relations approach. Sceptics have also argued that it amounted to little more than (yet another) managerial ploy for demonstrating that management was progressive. See also Organizational Design Movement.