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The British Motor Industry, 1945-1994A Case Study in Industrial Decline$
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Timothy Whisler

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 March 2021

British Production Methods: The Evolution of Flexibility and the Failure of Fordism

British Production Methods: The Evolution of Flexibility and the Failure of Fordism

Chapter:
(p.181) 6 British Production Methods: The Evolution of Flexibility and the Failure of Fordism
Source:
The British Motor Industry, 1945-1994
Author(s):

Timothy R. Whisler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290742.003.0007

This chapter describes the relationship between the British production system and Fordism (or ‘Fordist’ production). Between 1945 and 1970, British-owned firms incrementally developed an indigenous production system that differed broadly from the stereotypical Fordist model. The established British system, originating in the inter-war years, appeared to be suited to the needs of a reconversion of materials, tooling shortages, and uncertain market prospects. After the war, managers adopted selected Fordist concepts to try to reduce costs and increase output in inefficient areas. The execution of Fordism was frustrated by a failure to alter management, engineering, and labour institutions radically to support strategic change. Neither middle management nor labour felt incentives to modify behaviour and attitudes. Traditional practices that were still being executed, resulted in old problems surfacing in the new system. Costs, however, were even higher.

Keywords:   Fordism, Fordist, Fordist model, reconversion, costs, market prospects

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