The second point which must be made is simply that of context. Taylor and Robichaud’s analysis, as far as can be adduced from its juxtaposition of the primary source, faithfully interprets the dynamic of the intrinsic discourse. However, what would be the consequence for their thesis if it were applied in a radically contrasting management context? Take for example, the Japanese practice of operations management via the ‘big room’ or Obeya, where ‘â¦many visual management tools are displayedâ€¦by the responsible representatives of the various functional specialitiesâ€¦These tools can be reviewed by any of the team members. Any deviation from schedule or performance targets is immediately visible in the obeya.’ (4). This is, admittedly, an extreme shift in context, but the importance of visual and lateral communication does, it may be argued, suggest the need for more investigation.
In conclusion, the appeal of Taylor and Robichaud’s model is that it seems to offer collateral for well established variants, such as the ‘Behavioural’ economic theory of the firm, in which the classical profit maximisation assumption is supplanted by a more holistic recognition of the innumerable intellectual ‘transactions’ which take place in a real company. As Curwen observes, ‘…a behavioural model needs to encompass a very wide range of variables which makes it difficult to test..’ adding that its principles ‘…have not as yet been adequately tested against reality, and the process of accumulating empirical evidence on the behaviour of firms will occupy researchers for many years to come.’ (5). In the final analysis, a useful overall assessment may still be found in Palmer and Hardy’s observation thatâ€¦ ‘â€¦the link between talk and action is not well understood. Consequently, we have only an unclear idea of how linguistic constructions relate to specific individuals in specific organizations, and so the practical lessons for managers are somewhat vague.’ (6)
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