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High Performance Work Strategies: empowerment or repression for the working class?.

High Performance Work Strategies: empowerment or repression  for the working class?.

POM 10

James H. Browne, Colorado State University, Pueblo

 

 

 ABSTRACT

 

A brief overview of work organization from pre-industrial times to today is presented.  The importance of lean production and just-in-time inventory (JIT) as high performance work organization techniques in manufacturing assembly operations is highlighted as important business strategies for firms competing in the global auto industry. 

Lean production and JIT strategies, when properly implemented, positively impact the need for manufacturing flexibility and customer demands for high quality and short delivery time.  However, there is growing concern that these strategies are having an unintended and negative impact on worker well being. 

Recent empirical work on the lean production and JIT in auto assembly plants is presented in light of its impact on workers.  In addition, an assessment is made as to whether these strategies empower or repress members of today's working class.

 

 
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