Free Essay

Office Space Management

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cathaila
Words 1436
Pages 6
Office Space: Report, Group 35
1.) With reference to specific examples from the film, critically reflect on how Office Space illustrates tensions in the wage and effort bargain between management and workers.
The purpose of this question is to illustrate tensions in the wage and effort bargain between management and workers, more specifically, the wage and effort bargain issues that arise in the film Office Space. Throughout this essay we will discuss the theory behind the wage effort bargain and assess how the balance of power between the workers and managers affects the performance in the work place. We will begin with looking at the history behind the wage and effort bargain. We will also look at how the motivation of employees is effected, outlined through the characters point of view in the film Office Space. The film follows the working lives of the employees in the Initech, and how they are unfulfilled in their jobs.

The wage and effort bargain is a situation which occurs in the workplace between workers and managers. In a capitalist economy the main objective for firms is to maximise their profits. In order to do this, these firms must produce goods and services in order to accumulate more money than they invested in their business, and continue the circuit of capital. However, this firm must employ labour in order to initiate production. Therefore, these two parties will meet in the labour market and agree to enter into an employment relationship, specified by an employment contract. However, it is common for this contract to be afflicted with tensions associated with the wage and effort bargain. The wage effort bargain was first used by Hilde Behrend in 1957 and it became an internationally used term in the 1961’s in “Efficiency and Effort” by W. Baldamus. The worker aims to increase the wage they receive, however the capitalist aims to cut costs and maximise profits. However, when using piece rates the worker will aim to restrict output, as if there is an increase in production employers tend to cut the wage per piece. This results in the workers increasing productivity for little or no increase in their wage.

This wage and effort bargain arises as workers want to achieve an increase in their standard of living through the maximisation of their wages. However, these wages represent a cost to the capitalist firm. Increasing labour wages will cause the firms cost to increase and cause their profits to be squeezed. Thus, what will be seen as a gain for workers in terms of higher wages will be seen as a loss for employers in terms of lower profits. This can be seen as de-motivating to the worker and could result in a decrease of productivity, as the employee is only prepared to produce the effort that they believe is worth the wage they receive. Therefore motivation is a very important part of the wage and effort bargain as one of the main motivates at work for deskilled workers is money. This aspect is examined in Office space as Peter says how he would do absolutely nothing if he had 1 million dollars. This shows that he does not want to put the effort in at work, and would rather do nothing, meaning that when he is in work, he will do as little as possible. Another example of a lack of motivation in Office Space is when Peter is trying to avoid Lumbergh so that he will not be asked to work weekends. This means that he is not willing to put in extra effort and would rather do the minimum amount of work that is required.

Capitalists need employees to carry out the labour and create the products to make profit, while the employees need to sell their commodity to live. The Capitalist and employee create a Contract of Employment, were the employee gives up their rights of control over their labour, meaning the Capitalist has the right to use the employees labour whatever way he wants. A fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage can be used to represent the wage effort bargain as the Capitalist and employee both have different ideas on the amount of effort that needs to be put in for the contracted wage level. This can cause a problem between management and the employee. Again, this is shown in Office Space when Peter is trying to avoid Lumbergh so that he does not have to work weekends. Lumbergh thinks that Peter must work the weekends, but Peter feels that he should not have to work on the weekends, and that is why he is avoiding Lumbergh.

If profits increase for the Capitalist, the employee will feel that they are entitled to some of the profit. This is known as profit sharing and could be a method, used by management to increase motivation within the business. In Office Space, the company Initech do not offer profit sharing. This is shown when Peter is being interviewed by the consultant, Bob. Peter talks about how he doesn’t see a dime if he works hard and ships a few extra units for Initech. This shows the lack of motivation, as he goes on to say how he doesn’t care, as he feels that he does not get any reward for the company doing well. The effort of working harder and shipping more units does not get him any more money, so he does not feel he needs to put in the extra effort. In Office Space, the consultants inform Lumbergh that Milton had in fact been sacked 5 years ago, but due to a glitch in the system, he was still getting paid. The consultants go on to tell Lumbergh that they have fixed the glitch and now Milton is still working but is not getting paid. This shows that the consultants feel that Milton has not produced the effort for his side of the Contract of Employment, and that he needs to work without getting paid.

In the production process the capitalist has two inputs: constant capital and variable capital. Constant capital cannot be used by the capitalist to create value, however variable capital can. Human labour can be used as variable capital, thus it can create profit for the firm. The capitalist has to extract the maximum value from the workers. For the capitalist to remain competitive or gain a competitive advantage, they must try and increase their variable capital output, labour in this case. Managers can do this by hiring more workers, or making existing workers work more hours. In Office Space, Lumbergh sacks some workers, and then makes Peter work weekends. The employer can relatively dispose of an individual worker and replace them, with little cost to the firm, unless the worker is in a highly skilled sector of work. The employer has much greater financial resources than the worker, and the employer also owns the means of production, they can control labour in the process of production. In Office Space, consultants are brought in to improve efficiency and remove workers who are costing the business money who aren’t really needed. In When Tom is being interviewed by the consultants, they are asking him what exactly it is that he does at the company. He tells them what he does, and they believe that there is no need for Tom in the business, as he effectively does nothing.

If the Capitalist introduces new technology into the business, it speeds up labour productivity. The employee then thinks that the introduction of the new technology changes the effort bargain originally agreed and wants a pay rise. The Capitalist may grant the increase in pay or ignore it, it is purely contingent on their goodwill. If ignored, the employee knows that there are other workers like him, so they may threaten to go on strike in order to get the Capitalist to listen to them.

In conclusion, Office Space shows us all the tensions affiliated with the wage and effort bargain between management and workers. Through looking at the tensions in the workplace, we can see that the motivation of workers can be easily affected if management do not offer a financial reward, e.g. piecework. Office Space was a perfect example of this, with Peter unfulfilling his job, as he was not motivated financially. We also learnt that management need to cut costs where ever possible, so make the workers who are not needed redundant, which is again shown in Office Space, when the consultants are brought in to determine what employees the business does not need.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Human Resource Analysis of the Office Space Movie

...Reframing at the Movies: Office Space The movie Office Space, examines and critiques various organizational practices in our society. It is a story about work life and the effects of bad management on the morale of the workers. It is set in a high-tech company and the central character is a technical professional in the organization who has no motivation or passion for his job. Pete works at Initech, a software company. His job consists of sitting in a cubicle crunching numbers all day long, which is enough to make anyone go crazy. Office Space depicts an oppressing, unsatisfactory view of the working world in an attempt to demonstrate unhealthy and ineffective practices that many businesses and organizations utilize. While many elements in Office Space are ridiculous and exaggerated, many ring true with experiences shared by anyone who has worked in a managed organization. By presenting the daily horrors that such organizations can create, the film serves as an ideal of what a successful organization ought to avoid. In the movie, power is extremely centralized at Initech with Bill Lumbergh at the top of the ladder. The employees work in tiny cubicles that block their view of the windows, thereby eliminating outside distractions. The copy machine never works, their supplies (i.e. the staplers) are constantly being replaced with lesser-quality brands, and poor Milton is repeatedly forced to move desks, eventually ending up in the basement alongside the cockroaches.......

Words: 2599 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Do Managers over Manage Workers?

...Do modern organisations over manage workers? Organisations manage their workers in various ways in order to gain maximum productivity. The way they achieve this is questionable, do they over manage their workers to get there? Research shows the classical theory of management started in the 20th century and is still present in the modern workplace. The main aspect carried on, retaining control over the worker such as micromanagement, where severe negative effects can be seen. Organisations are still demonstrating certain techniques that are not relevant in the modern workplace, resulting in an over managed worker. The classical theorists of the 20th Century’s approaches to management are still reflected in today’s organisations. The theory of bureaucracy, developed by Weber (1949), was one of the most influential Classical Theories that we still implement in modern organisations. A short video by Simonton (Problem in today’s Workplace- Do you have it too? 2012) states that the problem with today’s workplace is too many Managers are employing bureaucratic styles, causing workers to be disengaged from their job. Bureaucracy exhibits a very structured system with clearly defined hierarchy, the relationship between manager and worker remaining separate with the needs of the employee disregarded. Their inflexibility & controlling manor discourages workers to engage in human relations and the society of the workplace, resulting in demotivation and low performance. When......

Words: 1110 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

The Treadway Tire Company

...hour shifts - Re-institure the month long rotational training program for foremen - As they learn new task they gain higher pay so this month long training doesn't cost company too much - Start an internship program that brings in potential employees without having to pay them unless they are offered a full-time job -Assign area managers as formal mentors to expose foremen to the key processes in the plant as well as inform them on authority and Union issues -Then routinely assess job satisfaction and be ready to change plan when necessary Works Cited How to Keep Your Best Employees: Developing an Effective Retention Policy [and Executive Commentary] Terence R. Mitchell, Brooks C. Holtom, Thomas W. Lee and Ted Graske The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005) , Vol. 15, No. 4, Themes: Business Strategies and Employee Development (Nov., 2001), pp. 96-109 Boyer, Shawn. CEO with Len Lewis . July 2012. Jones, Brandon W. "Case Study Review – The Treadway Tire Company: Job Dissatisfaction and High Turnover at the Lima Tire PlantCase...

Words: 710 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Office Space

...Office Space The story of this movie takes place in a corporation office called Initech. The movie is about a man named Peter Gibbons, a man with a white-collar job as a programmer who is apathetic and frustrated with his daily life. In the first part of the film, it shows what he does in his office and how his superiors boss him around as he loathes them. Although he is not the only one mistreated by the management, everyone else in the office is. Peter’s girlfriend Anne convinced him to attend a hypnotherapy situation, in which the therapist helped Peter feel more relaxed about his life. The next day he did practically did not care about anything anymore, he did not go to work, he ignored the calls of his boss and girlfriend, disregards office protocol, etc. However, the consultants, the 2 people who are assigned to lay off employees due to problems in the workplace, were impressed with his insights about the office’s problems so he gets promoted while his friends get laid off. Later on, he and his friends plotted to steal from the Initech by transmitting a virus, getting a fraction of a penny everyday so that in the future they will get a substantial amount of money without any work. Unfortunately his friend made a mistake so they got over $300,000 instantly. Feeling guilt and remorse, Peter writes a confession and a check and submits it to his boss’ office and decided to get ready for jail. The following day, the employee who is fed up with the company set Initech on......

Words: 468 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Bad Bosses

...Video Case: Bad Bosses If you saw the movie Office Space, character Bill Lumberg may have reminded you of someone. While many of us have encountered an unreasonable boss like Lumberg, bad bosses are no laughing matter. Having a bad relationship with a boss is one of the major reasons people seek other jobs. Half of all workers say they can do their bosses job better. Unfortunately, says Brent Rasmussen of, leaving is usually the only way to get rid of a bad boss. Just what makes a boss bad? Generally speaking, they lack the people skills necessary to be effective leaders. Bad bosses have been characterized as greedy, condescending, even thieving, stealing good ideas and taking credit for them. Through finger pointing and yelling, bad bosses also create a stressful environment. In fact, studies have shown that stress levels and days lost to illness are lower in work places that are managed fairly. Justin Racz, in his book, 50 Bosses Worse than Yours, provides a profile of bad bosses, some based on his personal experience. The chair thrower, as the name implies, likes to through things. Racz’s advice: duck. The micromanager doesn’t give workers much breathing room, while the back stabber takes credit or places blame. The screamer is pretty much self-explanatory. Then there’s the boss who wants to be your buddy. A recent survey conducted by found that most workers (49%) have buddy bosses; 23% reported having bosses that are never......

Words: 445 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Project Management - Moving Office

...GMT 401 Project Management 10/13/2013 1 Sommaire Statement ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 3 The WBS : Work Breakdown .................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Shifting of the team : Schedule............................................................................................................................................................... 7 Diagramme de PERT ............................................................................................................................................................................. 8 Diagramme de GANT ............................................................................................................................................................................. 8 2 Statement Your organization counts 250 employees. Your main customer is Mondial Assistance : your are a call center in charge of answering calls from people in need of assistance, anywhere in the world. You call center is on 24/7 running schedule. You have 55 workstations, and your employees work in 3 shifts, so as to ensure the 24/7 coverage (from 7.00am to 3.00pm, from 3.00pm to 11.00pm and from 11.00pm to 7.00am ; during that late night shift, only......

Words: 1144 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Cubical Space

...Cubicles are make shift offices that are usually in a larger open area with only walls and no doors or some have sliding glass doors. There is really no privacy when it comes to cubicles and you need to be mindful of the noise because other employees can here you. Also, with cubicles there are some rules you should follow or be aware of to make sure your time working for the company doesn’t get you or anyone in trouble. Some rules in cubical etiquette: 1. Ensure confidentiality and privacy. I believe that this rule is important because you or your coworker might have some confidential items that he/she is working on that no one should see. Also while working in cubicles you should not leave any type of items on your computer visible because anyone can walk by and see what you are doing. 2. Noise levels Employees should keep in mind that there are no soundproof walls and everyone can hear what you are saying, so you must use your inside voice at all times. Also, it is very important not to take personal calls because people can hear and listen to your private calls. Another important fact is to make sure the volume on all electronics should be kept very low. 3. Scents It is very important to be careful what you eat at your desk because the scents and travel and not everyone is comfortable with smelling certain foods or some people could be allergic to certain food. Also, make sure you keep up with personal hygiene because you’re in a closed in tight space smells can......

Words: 442 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...Case Study #2 Like every company Initech has a matrix organization starting with the CEO, regional managers, and according to peter 8 managers. When the workers like Peter work their butts off they do not get any of reward for it but the company gets to sell more units. There is no motivation so he just doesn’t care about. Peter feels his only “motivation is not to be hassled” by the eight bosses when he makes a mistake. In another situation, Bill Lumbergh the manager did not tell his employee Milton Waddams that he got laid off five years ago but still got a paycheck. The consultants hired by the company, which no employee knew about, to layoff people just went and fixed the glitch in accounting that allowed him to get his paychecks. Based on these issues, the core issue in the communication that Lumbergh has with his employees. His inability to be clear with Waddams causes the company a five-year salary cost and fails to communicate with the employee, demonstration a lack of importance to their well being. Communication in organizations is the way information is passed on and understood between groups of people. Messages are formed, encoded and sent. Noise makes the message sent questionable it the receiver was actually listening. The lack of motivation affects how good the responses are between two or more people. Legitimate Power can be used for either good or bad, just like any other power. Legitimate power entitles the person to give others orders as the person......

Words: 832 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...August 08, 2014 Dear Ma’am/Sir: Good day! We the Junior Office Management Society (JOMS), is asking for your permission to let your students to attend the CBM Acquaintance Party entitled “DENIM GLAM” to be held on the 15th day of August 2014 (Friday) from 07:00 pm until 10:00 pm at the TCU Auditorium. This activity is for all students under the College of Business Management (CBM). We hope for your consideration and for your approval. Thank you and God Bless. Mr. Jerwin Llovit JOMS PRESIDENT Note by: Prof. Rodney F. Espenida JOMS ADVISER August 08, 2014 Dear Ma’am/Sir: Good day! We the Junior Office Management Society (JOMS), is asking for your permission to let your students to attend the CBM Acquaintance Party entitled “DENIM GLAM” to be held on the 15th day of August 2014 (Friday) from 07:00 pm until 10:00 pm at the TCU Auditorium. This activity is for all students under the College of Business Management (CBM). We hope for your consideration and for your approval. Thank you and God Bless. Mr. Jerwin Llovit JOMS PRESIDENT Note by: Prof. Rodney F. Espenida JOMS ADVISER August 08, 2014 Dear Ma’am/Sir: Good day! We the Junior Office Management Society (JOMS), is asking for your permission to let your students to attend the CBM Acquaintance Party entitled “DENIM GLAM” to be held on the 15th day of August 2014 (Friday) from 07:00 pm until 10:00 pm at the TCU......

Words: 288 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Use of Space Within an Office

...constant challenge of managing and allocating office workspace. companies face this challenge because they are ensure that employees space demands are meet using limited resources. In order to allocate workspace and support employees, Companies, designers, architects and workplace consultants must consider factors such as, space availability, energy costs, security issues, operation and maintenance expenses, emergency management planning, The new mobile workforce as well as alternative workplace arrangements. Methodology Workplace use trends have changed a lot since 1997. Public and private companies have been compelled to readjust their workspace usage. Workplaces are now influenced by an improving mobile workforce and increased use if wireless communication equipments. Smart phones, as well as wireless networking have revolutionized the workplace. This made many private and public companies to apply alternative work environments to minimize workspace expenses and optimize physical workspace. Alternative work environments include; desk sharing, telework and hoteling stations. These are the key trends in current office settings and provide companies flexibility and optimal workspace usage use of alternative work environments have increased quantitave benefits, such as, increased productivity and associate morale. Companies use different space use measurements, which can be a challenge when comparing workplace space use for many organizations. In......

Words: 1034 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Project Management

...Scenario: You are employed as an Office manager in London that provides services around the world in the area of management development. You were asked by the Managing Director to lead the relocation of your company to Banbury, Oxfordshire in order to reduce costs. Project Title: Relocation to Banbury- Oxfordshire. Project management is managing a work project by proper scheduling and planning. Project management wants harmonization from the top to the bottom and they are all oriented on what essentials to be fixed in the business. Business objectives that should be maintained during the relocation project • The target of business income, which is 10% growth annually. • Decreasing the material costs related with office space and increases the profitability. • Maintaining producing capacity of the business. • Improvement of the class of provision and the workplace to the consultants and clients • Updating the Information Technology systems and services for the business • Minimalizing of the human resource expenditures related with the transfer Projects that has been identified during relocations are, 1) Visit the new location and design the office spaces and interior. 2) Arrange the new place with necessary furniture and upholstery. 3) Verify and connect the electricity and air condition systems. 4) Prepare and arrange the restrooms and water connection. 5) Prepare and verify the Internet and telephone connections. 6) Plan a weekend to transport......

Words: 3723 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Operations Management

...SECTION A 1. INTRODUCTION (Policy:\Jan900-Guidelines for AO and Authorities, p1) Supply chain management is a set of approaches utilized to efficiently integrate suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, and stores, so that merchandise is produced and distributed at the right quantities, to the right locations, and at the right time, in order to minimize system wide costs while satisfying service level requirements. While the Constitution of South Africa states that procurement practices must be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective, the present position is far from the ideal, for example: • Procurement and provisioning procedures are rule driven, and value for money is almost always equated to the lowest price tendered – the emphasis is on monitoring inputs; • Procurement and provisioning activities are not linked to budgetary planning; • Asset management is limited to control of inventory, rather than on ensuring a satisfactory return to the community for the funds invested; • Bid documentation are not uniform, causing uncertainty to bidders and practitioners; • The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, No 5 of 2000 (PPPFA) and its associated Regulations are complex and difficult to implement correctly, and procurement practitioners are not adequately trained in their application; • The costs and outcomes of the PPPFA are not fully quantified, hence it is impossible to evaluate the merits of the system. (Government of the......

Words: 3732 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

Office of the Future

...other aspects of office of the future? Some of the benefits, features, and other aspects of a virtual office that I want to take a look at are: the definition of a virtual office, technology and it’s role, people’s view of the future office, Microsoft’s view, an effective workspace, the flexibility of a virtual office, and what you might find/see in your office of the future. “A virtual office is a combination of off-site live communication and address services that allow users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism.[1] Frequently the term is confused with “office business centers” or “executive suites” which demand a conventional lease whereas a true virtual office does not require that expense” ( Virtual office is the new office of the future. Although a virtual office has been around for a while, it has not been used by everyone because when the concept was adopted, there was not much technology developed yet to support it. Now, with the increasing amount of technology for home use, now companies can move more jobs to this form of an office. The most common careers using virtual office is customer service representative’s jobs. A plan is put into place when designing what an office should look like in the future. When a company designs a model for a project; there is also a model designed for future offices. Corporate America has designers to create an office. What I......

Words: 4873 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Evaluating the Redeployment of Underutilized Hotel Rooms as Executive Office Space

...An Analysis of the Utilization of Under-Utilized Hotel Rooms Inventory as Executive Serviced Office Space Jeffrey R. Victor, CHA, CHE, CHS, CMP Fairleigh Dickinson University Author Note Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to: Jeffrey R. Victor, CHA, CHE, CHS, CMP Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ 07940. Contact: Analysis of Repurposing Underutilized Hotel Rooms Inventory as Executive Office Space 1 Abstract When hotels are built, the number of rooms built into inventory becomes a static item. Due to the physical nature of construction, the number of rooms become an inflexible and perishable commodity. In looking at the growing nature of the Executive or Serviced Office industry and the similarities between their product and a hotel’s offerings, it has been theorized that there are revenue opportunities in deploying a serviced office product in pre-existing hotels. Through an analysis of industry trends, demand for offices, product needs and revenue opportunity, a financial model has been developed. After reading this paper, the reader will be able to understand what a serviced executive office is, the similarities between that product and a hotel product and understand how to analyze revenue to determine the financial impact of repurposing a number of rooms as executive offices. They will then be able to utilize the model contained herein to determine if repurposing rooms in such a manner...

Words: 8026 - Pages: 33

Premium Essay

Business Research

...Effects of Office Space Design on Customer Service RES/351 Prof. Sharifzadeh Introduction In almost all business to client industries, a customer’s experience and perception of their transactions is extremely vital to a business’s success and sustainability. If a single client reports to have dissatisfying experience, that may mean hundreds of customers behind them have had the same low quality of service and a company may be killing off its own client retention and allowing for competition to movie in on their potential recurring business. This is why many service based business break down objectives and challenges, define controls and variables to their business, then leading to precious research towards conclusive solutions for a thriving business. To demonstrate the factors towards a successful research and analysis to a customer service dilemma, we will be using a sample case where a company’s customer service scores are being challenged by their choice of office space design. With this type of case, factors such as a clear and defined research question must be developed, a research model should be put in place and effective sampling and data must be obtained, all guide a successful solution for a remedy to this customer service problem. The core of a business is said to be its clientele, therefore the following information is vital to a business for preservation of its revenues and rapport...

Words: 843 - Pages: 4