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Alcoa Aluminum's Workplace Structure

In 1996, Alcoa Aluminum began to experiment with radical changing of workplace dynamics. After having downsized, re-engineered, customer-focused, dissolved structure, reorganized work teams, and everything else then current management ôwisdomö suggested to make them more responsive, competitive, and nimble, they realized they were still not achieving the desired results. What they found instead was that they were running into walls because the emerging work styles which began to become apparent in the early to middle part of the decade of the 1990s, were no longer working in a corporate headquarters facility that had been designed to accommodate the old ôtop-downö hierarchical structure of corporate society in the United States. Hence, the ôoffice of the futureö began to formulate, although it is not attributed to Alcoa.

From Manhattan to Silicon Valley, businesses of all sizes began to embrace the new office designs of the 21rst century. Privacy began to be replaced by productivity, hierarchy with teamwork, and status with mobility (Hamilton, et al, 1996). Being able to work anywhere and anytime became the new paradigm. Theoretically, with this model, one could be productive working from the car, from home, the ôoffice,ö virtually any place where one would have access to a telephone line. In short, the new paradigm represents a massive disaggregation of work taking place inside as well as outside of the walls of the traditional office environment.

Thanks to tools such as voice mail, email, and the Internet, technologically efficient utilization of voice, fax, and the telephone has begun to make teamwork and mobility a reality. Corporations have begun to invest heavily into computer networks and technology to boost effectiveness and efficiency while reducing expenditures related to plant and facilitiesùthe hard assets now termed ôbrick and mortarö in the new economy. In many corporations, technology has beg...

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Alcoa Aluminum's Workplace Structure. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:53, September 20, 2020, from