I find myself bemused and a bit disappointed by your cover story on the so-called workstyle approach to management. The article lacks research in its claims regarding what is new about workstyle, and it lacks analysis in its discussion of what is old about it.

One need not plumb far into the theoretical underpinnings of workstyle to find very familiar theories from the decades-old human-relations school of management. This is certainly not news. What is news about the workstyle examples you cite is that managers are finally finding diverse and creative ways to implement these well-worn ideas. Managers will be able to develop their own brand of so-called workstyle management only if they have underlying theoretical models as a guide. Otherwise, specific techniques will be applied faddishly, like Band-Aids in inappropriate places.

Published on: Mar 1, 1986