Alternatives to Lean Production: Work Organization in the Swedish Auto Industry
Christian Berggren asks whether the mass production of manufactured goods can be adjusted to meet human needs and fit human capacities. In the heyday of classical "Fordism, " workers were subjected to intense time pressure to perform highly repetitive, physically demanding work, and Berggren challenges the contention that the character of the work is substantially improved by "Toyotism." The Swedish auto industry has developed a distinctly different production design and work organization, exploring alternatives to the assembly line and to the traditional shop-floor hierarchy. The Swedish model of teamwork increased independent decision making and elicited strong union commitment. But how successful has this model been? Berggren provides a detailed evaluation of the reorganization of work within the Swedish auto industry during the period from 1970 to 1990. His book offers significant insights for anyone interested in industrial democracy, work reorganization, and international competition.
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The Evolution and Transplantation of Toyotism
SmallScale Car Makers
The Labor Market and Trade Unions
Organizational and Technical Design of Swedish Automotive Assembly
Competitive Craft Work in Two Bus Plants
Volvo Kalmar and Volvo
Methodological Problems in Comparing Working Conditions
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areas assembly line assembly plants assembly workers auto industry automation autonomy blue-collar workers Boras buffers buses central chassis assembly complete concept contrast cycle demands division employees example factory final assembly firms flexibility flow Fordist foreman Ghent Gothenburg group organization important improvements increased industrial engineers industrial sociology innovation integrated intensity Japan Kalmar Katrineholm labor market lean production line assembly long-cycle manufacturing materials handling monotonous Nissan NUMMI operations organizational pace percent performance personnel turnover physical strains planning position possible pressure problems production design production system questions responsibility result Saab Scania significant skill social standard stations strategy structure studies suppliers Sweden Swedish auto tasks teamwork technical Torslanda Toyota trade union traditional transplants Trollhattan Uddevalla union influence United variation vehicles Volvo Buses Volvo Cars Volvo Trucks wage system workplace