Cold comfort firm : Lean organisation and the empirical mirage of the comfort zone
journal contributionposted on 28.10.2014, 11:15 by Martin Corbett
This paper examines the provenance of the ‘comfort zone’ and argues that the claimed organisational and psychological benefits associated with moving outside this zone are illusory and unsupported by empirical evidence. Indeed, it will be suggested that such rhetoric, and the lean management practices it has informed, is based on a misreading of the theoretical models and findings from which it is derived. It is argued that this misreading reinforces a style of management based on the deliberate inducement of stress amongst employees in lean organisations. The paper concludes by considering if, how, and what employees might be able to recover from this double bind.