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Quality Management Requires Monitoring

August 07, 1994

I was a little amazed by Michael Schrage's techno-trash polemic ("Corporate '1984' May Intrude About 10 Years Late," July 28). Are we to believe that it is not OK for an employer to measure and attempt to improve upon the productivity of a data-entry operator? And just what is particularly sinister about monitoring the telephone effectiveness of customer service employees and thereby ensuring that customers are properly treated?

The spread of proactive quality management will depend largely on data collection and data analysis as learning tools. That is exactly the point behind the intense electronic scrutiny over military operations and the use of flight recorders on commercial aircraft. (It's tough to debrief dead pilots.) And what is wrong with collecting and retaining data about our work? Does Marc Rotenberg have a problem with being held accountable?

Rotenberg's "Three years out . . . " scenario is Chaplinesque. Imagine "management" poring over day-to-day e-mail traffic in search of politically incorrect morsels with which to persecute indiscreet knowledge workers. "Surveillance is creeping up the 'org' chart." How embarrassing.

DAVID LORENZANA, Pasadena

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