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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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Management and Labour on the ‘New’ Shop-Floor

Management and Labour on the ‘New’ Shop-Floor

(p.178) 9 Management and Labour on the ‘New’ Shop-Floor
Life on the Line in Contemporary Manufacturing

Rick Delbridge

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the use of an ethnographic research method that explores how management seeks to implement JIT, TQM, and team working, to understand the role of labour in shaping these management initiatives, and the impact of these for both management and labour in practice. The particular strength of this form of research is in providing detailed accounts of the social relations on the shop-floor in contemporary manufacturing. The findings of this research study provide support for the arguments that JIT and TQM may facilitate more efficient and effective production for management. Both Nippon CTV and Valleyco have various HR practices and work organization features which are different in form and structure from past practice, but with regard to content and process, this research underscores the significance of continuity in workplace relations, the nature of capitalism, and the role of labour. It is content and process that remain the primary concerns in the understanding and interpretation of contemporary manufacturing.

Keywords:   management, total quality management, team working, labour, contemporary manufacturing, Nippon CTV, Valleyco

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