Nearly every country that produces cars views the automobile
industry as strategically important because of its direct economic
significance and because it serves as a bell-weather for innovation
in employment conditions. In this book, industrial relations
experts from eleven countries consider the state of the industry
worldwide. They are particularly interested in assessing whether
the loudly heralded model of lean production initiated by Toyota
has become pervasive.
The contributors focus on employment practices: the way work is
organized, how workers and managers interact, the way worker
representatives respond to lean production strategies, and the
nature of the adaptation and innovation process itself. Global
competition and changing technological possibilities are pressuring
other industries to transform their employment practices and the
auto industry may be an important harbinger of what is to come.
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