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The New Ruthless EconomyWork and Power in the Digital Age$
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Simon Head

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179835

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179835.001.0001

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The Past Alive: Automobiles

The Past Alive: Automobiles

Chapter:
(p.38) 3 The Past Alive: Automobiles
Source:
The New Ruthless Economy
Author(s):

Simon Head

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179835.003.0003

This chapter examines the role of the Japanese automobile industry on the relationship between technology and work in factories and offices in the U.S. It explains that many concepts used to define the role of employees in the new economy like multiskilling, flexible specialization, worker empowerment and worker autonomy had their origins in the methods of Japanese automobile companies. These companies did not abandon the mass production model, but instead strengthened and renewed it.

Keywords:   automobile industry, Japan, technology, work, U.S., worker empowerment, flexible specialization, worker autonomy, mass production

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