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Life on the Line in Contemporary ManufacturingThe Workplace Experience of Lean Production and the `Japanese' Model$
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Rick Delbridge

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198292333

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198292333.001.0001

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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: 27 September 2021

Researching the Shop-Floor: The Cases of Valleyco and Nippon CTV

Researching the Shop-Floor: The Cases of Valleyco and Nippon CTV

(p.13) 2 Researching the Shop-Floor: The Cases of Valleyco and Nippon CTV
Life on the Line in Contemporary Manufacturing

Rick Delbridge

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the two case plants — Valleyco and Nippon CTV. The chapter briefly reflects on the choice of research method and the experience of ‘doing ethnography’. Valleyco, the European-owned automotive components supplier, has many traits of ‘traditional’ manufacturing management but was seeking to introduce cellular manufacturing, TQM, JIT inventory control, and team working during the time of the study. Nippon CTV, the Japanese transplant, makes colour televisions. This plant has many of the characteristics of lean production, HRM, and ‘new’ industrial relations and has been cited as an example of ‘world class manufacturing’. The chapter outlines the processes present in each organization, and draws certain distinctions between the ‘directed chaos’ of Valleyco and the ‘bounded JIT’ of Nippon CTV.

Keywords:   Valleyco, Nippon CTV, ethnography, traditional manufacturing management, total quality management, JIT inventory control, team working, lean production, human resource management

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