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Title: Worker consent to lean, flexible production in a depressed regional economy : a case study examination of two companies operating JIT.
Author: Stephenson, Carol.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3480 7783
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis examines how worker consent is achieved in two Japanese owned Multi National Companies (MNC) based in the North East of England: Nissan Motor Manufacturer UK and its part owned supplier company Ikeda Hoover Ltd. These companies have adopted lean, flexible work practices which proponents claim constitute a reversal of Taylorist work methods as workers are able to participate in the attainment of corporate goals. The adoption of such practices, it is claimed, will lead to a fundamental alteration in British industrial relations as worker hostility to management demands will be reduced as workers are able to 'make their own change'. This research illustrates that while Multi National companies select environments best suited to the attainment of worker consent, it cannot be assumed that the advantages they gain will be shared by component suppliers which seek to operate a Just in Time (JIT) production system through close proximity. Secondly, while large manufacturers operating JIT choose supplier companies which adopt practices similar to their own, it cannot be assumed that similarity can be maintained. This research illustrates that JIT increases pressure on suppliers and that affects work process, management style, industrial relations and worker consent within the supplier company. I will examine how through an examination of the subjective responses of workers to the political and economic environment, to employment security, to self identity, to the labour process and management style. an understanding of worker consent or resistance to self subordination can be established. Failure to discover the meanings workers attach to actions can lead to an overestimation of the genuine level of commitment to corporate goals and a failure to appreciate the heterogeneity of workers perspectives and responses and strategies. Worker consent is dependent on the legitimacy of claims that flexible, lean working practices can provide employment security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Work organisation; Just-in-time