How can it be that Japanese "transplant" manufacturers are succeeding on U.S. soil, where American companies have failed? Beyond Mass Production provides the first inside look at the Japanese automobile, steel, and rubber companies that are transforming America's industrial heartland. It takes the reader inside the factories, unveiling the methods and techniques Japanese companies use to produce world-class products in America with American workers.
The key, the authors argue, lies in the whole new model of organizing work and production that first emerged in Japan and is now being transferred to the United States. This new system harnesses the intellectual capabilities of all workers, from the Research and Development laboratory to the factory floor, as a source of innovation and productivity improvement. It results in a powerful integration of intellectual and physical labor that will forever transform the way work is done.
Based upon more than five years of detailed research including field studies of dozens of factories, hundreds of personal interviews, and comprehensive surveys of industrial sectors, this book offers compelling evidence of the emergence and transfer of the new system in both the traditional and heavy industries and in the new industries of high-technology age.
Beyond Mass Production offers a powerful and realistic theory of the new face of capitalism as a synthesis of intellectual and physical labor - a melding of innovation and production. In doing so, the authors go far beyond the existing theories of "post-industrialism," "post-fordism," and "flexibility."
With a wealth of new data, maps, and straightforward examples of the kinds of changes taking place, this book provides an important new perspective for all those interested in Japanese business, industrial competitiveness, foreign direct investment, new work practices, industrial relations, and regional change.
"Perhaps the most comprehensive examination of how Japanese industrial practices are being transferred to other locations...Beyond Mass Production makes a valuable contribution to researchers, strategists, and policymakers by describing new forms of organization that are relevant in many national contexts and are providing a base from which to ask new questions concerning the evolution of new forms of organization and the adaptation of established
firms."--Academy of Management Review
"An exceedingly good book and a vital contribution to the debates over the changing face of industry and the global economomy in the late twentieth century....A complete and mature work that is full of new insights."--Economic Geography
"A book for managers, policy makers, strategists, anyone interested in the development of manufacturing and all those who resist change. Should be read from cover to cover and then passed on."--Manufacturing Engineer
"Kenney and Florida provide an inside look at the Japanese automobile, steel, and rubber companies that are operating in the US. Based on five years of research, the book takes us inside the plants and illustrates the methods the Japanese companies utilize to achieve world-class products with an American labor force....Recommended for operations management professionals, scholars and students, and others interested in the operation of Japanese-owned
manufacturing plants in the US."--Choice
"The subject matter should be of interest to every manufacturing engineer and the book is well researched."--Manufacturing Engineer
I. Origins and Development of the System
2: Beyond Fordism
3: High-Technology Capitalism in Japan
II. Transfer and Diffusion
4: Proving Ground: Japanese Automobile Assembly in the United States
5: Building a Just-in-Time Complex: Automotive Parts Suppliers
6: The "New Iron Age" Comes to America: Japanese Investment in Steel
7: Rounding Out the Industrial Infrastructure
8: Consumer and High-Technology Electronics
III. Further Evolution
9: Tensions and Contradictions of the Transplants
10: Conclusions and Implications
Appendix A: Overview of the Research