E13: Banana Time, by Donald Roy (Part 1)


A full house of management theory, Banana Time: Job Satisfaction and Informal Interactions, is a classic ethnographic text set against the backdrop of a Tayloristic organization. The author, Donald Roy, provides an account of what it was like to work there for two months all the while dealing with extreme monotony, fatigue and multiculturalism.

While this work is not particularly 'heavy' in terms of theory and postulations, Roy alludes to, directly or indirectly (usually the latter) to such themes as Scientific Managementesprit de corpsHawthorne Studiesmotivation and self-actualization, time and motion studies, humour, play, and lived experience of time. Needless to say, this is an amazing text well-worth reading and re-reading.

In Part 1 we focus primarily on the issues of scientific management, group dynamics, employee motivation and the role of games.