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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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Inward Investment and the Construction of New Production Spaces: The Case of Telford

Inward Investment and the Construction of New Production Spaces: The Case of Telford

(p.97) CHAPTER 6 Inward Investment and the Construction of New Production Spaces: The Case of Telford
Assembling Work

Tony Elger (Contributor Webpage)

Chris Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the construction of new production spaces for foreign firms through the clustering of inward investment within one locality. It examines the roles of pre-existing institutional legacies, national and local state policies, individual enterprise strategies, and the responses of trade unions and workers in the construction and reconstruction of one such production space at Telford in the English Midlands, the town with the highest concentration of Japanese investment in Britain. Close and cooperative relationships between Japanese firms have helped to set ‘the rules of the game’ for many aspects of worker-management relations, including union avoidance, making the cluster and the locality key influences on internal factory regimes. This has reinforced an emphasis on lowly paid machining and assembly work, but managers have still faced important constraints and challenges on these greenfield sites. This is the setting for most of the case-study subsidiaries discussed in the book.

Keywords:   clustering, foreign firms, Greenfield, Japanese investment, Japanese firms, state policies, union avoidance

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