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Assembling WorkRemaking Factory Regimes in Japanese Multinationals in Britain$
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Tony Elger and Chris Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241514.001.0001

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Shop-floor Consent, Accommodation, and Dissent

Shop-floor Consent, Accommodation, and Dissent

(p.307) CHAPTER 11 Shop-floor Consent, Accommodation, and Dissent
Assembling Work

Tony Elger (Contributor Webpage)

Chris Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the evolving features of management-worker relations and employee working lives at two large, sectorally dominant Japanese manufacturing subsidiaries in Telford, and assesses whether these conform to new models of commitment, participation, and unitarism. It documents the persistence of instrumental bases of worker involvement, the mixture of consent, accommodation, and dissent which characterizes work relations, and the scope for individual and collective manifestations of conflict within a constrained industrial relations environment. The chapter rejects idealized accounts of a strategic shift in worker-manager relations, and seeks to document and explain similarities and differences in the contemporary patterns of acceptance and resistance, of survival tactics, and opposition in the two workplaces. Particular attention is given to informal understandings, effort bargains and expectations of promotion, and to labour turnover and absenteeism as expressions of dissatisfaction, which appear closely tied to these modern forms of work and employment.

Keywords:   conflict, effort bargains, informal understandings, labour turnover, management-worker relations, promotion, resistance, survival tactics, working lives

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