CRITICAL QUESTIONS RAISED THROUGH THE PLAY
Though BUNK hasn’t been written specifically for an audience of managers and organisations, a wide range of relevant themes can be found within it.
The play is a comedy about life and work and a range of organisational issues and questions can be explored using the play and an accompanying workshop as a stimulus.
Taken as a whole the play raises some significant overall questions. Scene by scene a range of specific issues and organisational questions can be explored. Though set in a factory, the themes and questions are applicable to other organisations in both the private and the public sector, particularly as the mass production model still largely influences organisations today of all sizes and in all sectors.
· How can an organisation tap into the inherent creativity of its employees?
· How can the social benefits of art be united with the scientific benefits of technology and engineering to create truly useful and beneficial products and services for society ?
· How can art and creativity stimulate innovation at work?
· What is the best way to control work, to manage people, and to bring about innovation and change in an organisation?
· What do we do with our time at work? How can we ensure that time huge amount of time we sped in our lives at work, is time well spent?
Art and Innovation Audit
Tick up to three of the following questions which you feel your organisation most needs to answer, and which have defied past attempts to answer using rational methods.
How often do senior managers visit production lines, shop floors or departments?
How close is management to the workforce?
How do employees view senior management? Positively or negatively?
What price do we pay for years of repetitive work or years of doing the same job?
What is the relationship between our work and our family life?
What effect does routine work have on our minds?
How do people cope with the routine of repetitive work?
What is the role of regular rituals and games of work?
How do hygiene factors such as food and drink, breaktimes and conversation impact on work?
What are the positive and negative aspects of working in the same place for many years even a lifetime?
What is the difference between art and science in industry?
How can we tap into the resources in people which are far more than the work that they do?
How does creative art manifest in design and engineering? How can engineers and designers make use of the artistic elements of their work?
What effect does “standardisation” of products and processes have on the quality of peoples working lives?
What is the role of time in an organisation? How does it relate to efficiency and effectiveness?
Why are people afraid of industrial engineering?
Should we secretly or overtly watch and measure workers and employees? What are the consequences of doing so or not doing so?
What is the role of trade union in today’s organisation?
Should individuality be seen as a crime in organisations? Should all behaviour be measurable and predictable?
How comprehensive is our definition of productivity?
Is it possible to capture the beauty of a cathedral in the design of a factory? How can factory building design impact on health and wellbeing at work?
To what extent should co-workers become friends and how should this manifest during working hours?
Should factories have windows? Should workers and managers be encouraged to be more aware of their surroundings? How should the external surroundings of a factory or organisation be designed?
People have a love of nature, of its beauty and innocence? How can this be reflected in organisations and the way they are designed and managed?
What is the role of good and evil in business and work. Who defines it? Who controls it? Who judges it? Are organisations good or evil? What is good or evil behaviour? What happens if you are a good person working in an evil organisation, or vice versa?
How do people behave if they know they are being watched or monitored?
What is the best way to design a working environment?
What is the role of colour at work?
How should an organisation contribute to meeting a nation’s needs ?
What behaviours in a organisation are manipulative and how does this impact, positively or negatively?
How do organisation’s learn ?
How can experimentation be used to make improvements?
Is there a relationship between art and effectiveness at work ? What happens if we allow people to be more artistic or creative in their jobs ?
Can we buy off cynics in organisations with bribes ? What other strategies of persuasion are there?
What role is there for older people in an organisation, or for people who have served the organisation for many years and are awaiting retirement but still wish to work productively?
How does the mechanistic approach help or hinder an organisation in meeting its goals?
Can we replace a human being with a machine? What are the implications of this?
Should people live forever?
What is the definition of healthy or unhealthy?
are people no more than machines ?
How do we “fix” things which have gone wrong?
How can tedious, repetitive work be “lightened” or made more challenging, interesting?
How is news and information shared in an organisation?
How can we learn from people’s experience and the stories they have to tell?
How do managers communicate to workers? How do they avoid inducing fear or uncertainty?
Why do people come to work? What motivates them?
How can people be the same at work as they are at home instead of having to “play a role”?
Why is work tedious or soul-destroying? How can it be made interesting and enriching?
What are the positive aspects of repetitive work?
What is the relationship between people’s motivation and the design of their physical working environment?
How much and what types of freedom should people be allowed at work and what impact does this have?
How can an organisation learn from its own experiences and those of others?
What is crazy behaviour in an organisation? How can an individual who believes their organisation is doing something crazy communicate this?
How can people become more engaged or absorbed in there work?
How does unrest manifest and how can it be handled?
How can risk averse organisations become more ready to experiment and take risks?
Does there have to be a mismatch between managers, owners and workers needs and goals?
What is the common ground between people at all levels of an organisation?
How do people work under pressure?
How can we tap into people’s long experience?
How do senior managers stimulate and lead innovation?
How to people recognise and learn from their mistakes?
What is the relationship between informal and formal relations at work?
How does status affect people in their work?
How can people’s natural playfulness be allowed to occur at work? Is there a conflict with productivity?
What is the “art of living”?
How can people express their natural beliefs and values at work?
How are rules imposed at work?
What are the consequences of formally preventing people from expressing their “playfulness”, their freedom of thought and feeling, or their creativity?
How can artists be useful in scientific work?
How can we leave the past behind and get on with the business of the future?