Beyond Taylorism: Computerization and the New Industrial Relations

Overview

This book examines two major contemporary changes in corporate reorganization strategies: the impact of computerization on skills and the organization of production; and the role of quality circles in the reorganization of bureaucratic decision-making. It is concerned with labour processes which experience deskilling, reskilling and shifts in the lines of demarcation between occupations. Based on a case study of workers in a US defence plant, the author conducted in-depth interviews with machinists, process ...
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Overview

This book examines two major contemporary changes in corporate reorganization strategies: the impact of computerization on skills and the organization of production; and the role of quality circles in the reorganization of bureaucratic decision-making. It is concerned with labour processes which experience deskilling, reskilling and shifts in the lines of demarcation between occupations. Based on a case study of workers in a US defence plant, the author conducted in-depth interviews with machinists, process engineers, drafters and design drafters - occupations which represent related phases in design and production work. The findings indicate that the impact of computerized automation is complex, contradictory and multi-dimensional. Workers' experiences in quality circles are examined as part of the labour relations within the firm and changes in the structure of managerial decision-making. Quality circles, rather than transforming labour relations toward democratic participation, are managerial strategies to create a decentralized structure to facilitate workers' cooperation with management's goals for efficiency and productivity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312075798
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Pages: 288

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 Introduction 1
2 Site Description and Methodology 18
Pt. I Automation and the Labour Process
3 Review of the Literature 27
4 Automation on the Shopfloor: Machinists 35
5 Merger of Job Classifications 66
6 Process Engineers 81
7 Automation and the Design Process: Drafters 104
8 Design Drafters 127
Pt. II The 'New Industrial Relations'
9 Historical Overview and Review of the Literature 149
10 Quality Circles 158
11 Conclusions 200
App. 1: Interview Schedule 212
App. 2: Quality Circle Chart 215
Notes 217
Bibliography 228
Index 233
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