In this book, the future of one of the world's most important industries is examined from the perspective of work structures and labour relations policies. The authors examine the restructuring of the world automobile industry in the 1980s, and draw data from an in-depth empirical study of three leading car companies in three different countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. They demonstrate that the different strategies employed by firms and trades unions in industrial relations, and different national characteristics, have had a major impact on the dismantling of Taylorism and Fordism and the introduction of new structures of work. This book is an important contribution to the study of change in mass production industries throughout the world. It will be of interest to students of industrial relations and industrial sociology, as well as specialists in government and business.
"There are extensive sections on levels of productivity, quality indices, and ratios of direct and indirect labour which speak to the goals and interests of management. It deserves the attention of those concerned with the future of work. It points to the need for studies which focus on workers' assessment of change." Labour "...offers both an important historical presentation of a crucial period of innovation in the 1980's and an informed analysis that links that earlier period to contemporary patterns of change...for those concerned with the complexity of real world processes of workplace innovation, their causes and consequences, this book merits a careful read." Lowell Turner, German Politics and Society