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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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Computer-Co and Electric-Co: The Pursuit of Design and Development Capabilities

Computer-Co and Electric-Co: The Pursuit of Design and Development Capabilities

Chapter:
(p.219) CHAPTER 9 Computer-Co and Electric-Co: The Pursuit of Design and Development Capabilities
Source:
Assembling Work
Author(s):

Tony Elger (Contributor Webpage)

Chris Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241514.003.0009

This chapter considers a firm exceptional among Japanese inward investors in its systematic commitment to local design and development capabilities. The Japanese parent company bought a local firm with innovative products and technical expertise, and sought to engineer new synergies between the distinctive professional competencies of Japanese and British technical staff. Local management were granted considerable operational autonomy to pursue this objective, but ultimately they failed because of intense international competition and a programme of parent company rationalization. This chapter develops a detailed analysis of the rescue, restructuring, and eventual closure of the subsidiary, tracing the selective appropriation and melding of national, corporate, and sector management approaches that were involved. On this basis, it explores the scope, vicissitudes, and limits of developing such local research, design, development, and production capabilities, illuminating the conditions under which inward investors may upgrade their research and development capabilities or concentrate their resources elsewhere.

Keywords:   company rationalization, international competition, operational autonomy, professional competencies, rescue, sector management approaches, technical expertise

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