Business: The Workers Know Best

Boosting productivity and morale with IMP Sand VIPS

Like the jowls of an aging Hollywood star, U.S. productivity is sagging, and the blame has been placed on everything from Government regulation to declines in business investment. But experts increasingly believe a primary reason is that remote corporate bureaucracies have isolated workers from all decision making, turning many of them into uncaring automatons.

To change that, more and more U.S. companies are returning the responsibility for solving factory floor problems to the factory floor itself. On the premise that the workers often know best, the firms are forming "quality circles." These are groups of...

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