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Assembling WorkRemaking Factory Regimes in Japanese Multinationals in Britain$
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Tony Elger and Chris Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241514.001.0001

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A Framework for Analysing Work Organization and Employment Relations in the International Company

A Framework for Analysing Work Organization and Employment Relations in the International Company

Chapter:
(p.57) CHAPTER 4 A Framework for Analysing Work Organization and Employment Relations in the International Company
Source:
Assembling Work
Author(s):

Tony Elger (Contributor Webpage)

Chris Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241514.003.0004

This chapter develops a theoretical framework for analysing the character of transfer and innovation in the international company. This draws on labour process theory and institutionalist approaches to develop an analysis of system, society, and dominance effects as competing pressures on, and sources of diversity among, overseas manufacturing subsidiaries. The operations of these factories are influenced by such contextual features as corporate structures, sector dynamics, the local setting, and wider national institutions and traditions, but these features are themselves mediated and manipulated in power struggles between collective and individual agents at workplace level. Thus, changes in work and employment relations cannot be read off from existing organizational templates or external constraints, but involve tensions and contention between different groupings within management and between managers and workers. The implications of these arguments are drawn out by considering rival interpretations of the operations of overseas subsidiaries, as transplants, hybrids, or branch plants.

Keywords:   branch plants, hybrids, institutionalist approaches, labour process theory, power struggles, transplants

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