Changing minds : subjectivity, trust and change in British manufacturing
This thesis attempts to provide an explanation of how changes to subjectivity occur in TQM change programmes. Through an examination of the TQM and management of change literature, the thesis argues that existing analyses are limited in their presentation of changes to subjectivity by their dependence upon either neo-Marxist or postmodernist thought. Using three medium-sized, privately-owned manufacturing plants in the West Midlands the thesis uses grounded theory and phenomenological methodologies to construct a theory which explains how changes in subjectivity occur. The theory that is developed uses a combination of structuration theory and existentialist philosophy to understand how trust, distrust and angst mediate structural forces, organisational conditions and employee subjectivity. There could be several implications of this framework, but three are stressed. First, it is argued that habit, in the form of trust and distrust, allows a modelling of workers that is neither under- nor over-socialised. Second, it is argued that the traditional distinction made between attitudes and behaviours is unnecessary in a processual study. The distinction hampers our understanding of how change works in practice. This argument raises serious questions regarding the validity of notions such as 'acting out'. Thirdly, and consequently, the thesis argues that researchers' methodologies need to be much more sensitive to hard-to-measure intangibles than many are at present.