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Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency Essay (Article Review)

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2022

The article written by Tina Trujillo (“The Modern Cult of Efficiency: Intermediary Organizations and the New Scientific Management”) is a case study that involves one educational intermediary organization. The author thoroughly analyzes the historical and contemporary trends in the field to locate the organization within the context and to explain the driving forces of its reforms. The article relies on policy studies to assess the agency within the framework of managerialism. Another perspective that is taken into account is educational: Education reforms and markets are evaluated to understand how the policies of the organization fit the trends.

The major purpose of the author was to find out how and why the organization addressed educational tensions and responded to the policy environment, implementing monitoring systems of managerial data as the key mechanism of its reforms. Other aspects of concern included: 1) how the organization framed leadership in the provided discourse; 2) why it decided to rely on business logic, language, and roles; 3) how this policy created its competitive edge in the educational field; 4) and what the leaders did to keep the industry niche. Therefore, the article states two key research questions. Question 1: What characteristics did the reforms implemented by the intermediary have? Question 2: Why did the leaders of the organization opt for these reforms?

The author claims that the behaviors of the intermediary under the analysis are similar to those demonstrated by the efficiency experts during the times of the industrial revolution. As a result, it was found out that the organization took data for knowledge and therefore committed some serious errors of judgment. Its policy relied not on the bulk of evidence about limitations of managerial reforms but rather on ungrounded beliefs in technocratic management.

The case shows how the intermediary dealt with competitive pressures of the industry to improve the quality of education it provided (especially to minority representatives and other needy groups of students). The researcher identified that the organization applied data analysis in the form of graphical displays (rubrics, checklists, etc.) and narrowed its conceptualization to managerial aspects and terms. The intermediary implemented not only business leadership models but also business logic, language, and role distribution.

Consequently, the focus of education was reductive. All activities were split into a set of discrete, easily measurable tasks, which is deprived of a larger context, making the process of school management linear and oversimplified. Since the school opted for standardized tests and the standard content of the curriculum, not only children but also teachers and leaders were deprived of their opportunities as the structure of their interaction was strictly predetermined and prescribed by the standards.

The study therefore allows experts from the field to reconsider how knowledge and judgment are different from data collection, which is far from being enough. The major mistake committed by the intermediary was to rely too heavily on various forms of assessment, the accuracy and precision of which cannot be taken for granted.

To generalize the findings, it can be said that the cult of efficiency dominating businesses of today does not always bring about positive changes for the structure of the organization. Some organizations tend to follow the trend blindly, without analyzing whether a new model will benefit its goals. As a result, they forget the major mission that they serve, which in this particular case was to give children the best educational opportunities.

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IvyPanda. (2022, June 6). Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency. https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-the-modern-cult-of-efficiency-by-trujillo/

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IvyPanda. (2022, June 6). Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-the-modern-cult-of-efficiency-by-trujillo/

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"Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency." IvyPanda, 6 June 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-the-modern-cult-of-efficiency-by-trujillo/.

1. IvyPanda. "Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-the-modern-cult-of-efficiency-by-trujillo/.


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IvyPanda. "Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-the-modern-cult-of-efficiency-by-trujillo/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/review-of-the-modern-cult-of-efficiency-by-trujillo/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Tina Trujillo: The Modern Cult of Efficiency'. 6 June.

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