Widget effect

It’s a common management problem in service performance evaluation. Joanne notes on educator who is saying good-bye to the school assembly line due to feeling like “Lucy Ricardo working on the candy assembly line, but without the benefit of eating all that chocolate.”

The widget effect is the result of seeing people doing service activities as things that can be tweaked and twiddled for optimum efficiency. This is the attempt to move the time-efficiency studies developed for assembly lines in the early 20th century to activities that are not by nature assembly lines. That is part of the idea that when you have a hammer, everything is a nail. In this case, you have a measurement paradigm and everything must be made to fit it. The result is often not pretty.

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