Life on the Line in Contemporary Manufacturing: The Workplace Experience of Lean Production and the…

Paperback | March 16, 2000

byRick Delbridge

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Much is stated and written about the new world of work but how much do we know about the contemporary workplace? What influence have Japanese management techniques (Just-in-Time Production and Total Quality Management, for example) had on the way work is organized in `transplants', and morebroadly in other firms and sectors? Have the systems and mechanisms of control changed radically in recent years, or are they much the same as they have always been? Rick Delbridge sought an answer to these questions at first hand by working on the shopfloor in a Japanese consumer electronics transplant and a European automotive components supplier in order to witness and experience life on the line in contemporary manufacturing. His book is in a long tradition of ethnographic research in industrial sociology and management/labour studies. Not only does he offer rich empirical data on the lived reality of work and a management practice that may share little in common with that found in the textbooks; he also raises anumber of important issues about the best ways to understand the complex and changing nature of work. The book will be essential reading for those wishing to understand the reality of the contemporary workplace, the diffusion of Japanese management practices, and the various influences brought to bear on the organization of work.

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Much is stated and written about the new world of work but how much do we know about the contemporary workplace? What influence have Japanese management techniques (Just-in-Time Production and Total Quality Management, for example) had on the way work is organized in `transplants', and morebroadly in other firms and sectors? Have the s...

Rick Delbridge is Research Fellow at Cardiff Business School, University of Wales.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:March 16, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199240434

ISBN - 13:9780199240432

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Table of Contents

1. Contemporary Manufacturing and Workplace Relations2. Researching the Shop-Floor: The Cases of Valleyco and Nippon CTV3. The Process of Management Control at Nippon CTV4. The Process of Management Control at Valleyco5. What Do Workers Do? Patterns of Negotiated Order6. Why Do Workers Do What They Do? Evidence of High Commitment7. More than a Pair of Hands? Worker Involvement in what they Do and how they Do it8. The Role of Organized Labour9. Management and Labour on the `New' Shop-Floor10. A Reappraisal of Contemporary Manufacturing and the `Japanese' Model

Editorial Reviews

...a very detailed ethnographic account of the reality of contemporary mass production work. It provides a welcome antidote to the fallacious rhetoric of "empowerment" and "enrichment" which dominates too many management texts on this subject and I suspect it will be widely read by bothstudents and academics in industrial sociology. - Andy Danford. Work, Employment and Society.