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Country Competitiveness : Technology and the Organizing of Work - Bruce Kogut

Country Competitiveness

Technology and the Organizing of Work

Hardcover

Published: 1st February 1993
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With the expansion of global competition through international trade agreements and heightened rivalry between firms in the domestic market, it is easy to understand why a firm would seek to compete by lowering the wages paid to labor. Yet, this strategy is troubled not only by the efforts of other firms pursuing cheaper labor costs, but also by the failure to adopt better ways of organizing work. New products are copied within a short time after introduction. What is difficult to imitate is the organizing of work--as applied to the factory floor, to the corporation, and to relations among firms and other institutions. This book explores detailed case studies of individual firms, country comparisons, and historical patterns of diffusion. The authors emphasize that the speed by which a firm adopts and integrates new technologies and ways of organizing must be understood in the context of the strength of the regional and national network of firms and institutions. The chapters in the book are written by world-renowned scholars--including Giovanni Dosi, Horst Kern, Michael Schumann, and Eleanor D. Westner--and represent major schools of thought from Germany, France, the U.S., Japan, and the United Kingdom. The studies are international in nature and include in-depth analyses of software systems, automobile manufacturing (e.g. the Toyota Production System), and the machine tool industry.

This is an excellent collection of essays and a compilation which for the most part works extremely well ... useful and stimulating book ... this collection provides a combination of an excellent synthesis, new perspectives, and new empirical material on the development of work organisation. It is to be recommended to scholars and could be usefully recommended for readings on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. * Business History * `One of the major interests of this work is to concentrate on the analysis of the relationship between technological and organizational innovation, not so much to study the competitiveness of firms as that of nations.' Analyses de la SEDEIS `The book makes a valuable contribution to the debate about shifting competitive advantage between nations ... Most of the papers have the great merit of being based on detailed research at company level in Europe, the US and Japan.' Financial Times

Contributors
Introductionp. 3
Organizing of Work and Technology: Comparisons of Country Patterns
Large Firms, Small Firms, and the Governance of Flexible Specialization: The Case of Baden Wurttemberg and Socialized Riskp. 15
Country Patterns in RandD Organization: The United States and Japanp. 36
Work Organization in Japan and the United Statesp. 54
The Societal Effect in the Strategies of French and West German Machine-Tool Manufacturersp. 75
New Technologies and New Patterns of Organizing
Rationalization and Work in German Industryp. 99
National and Company Differences in Organizing Production Work in the Car Industryp. 106
New Technology and the Organization of Work: British and Japanese Factoriesp. 124
The Shaping of Software Systems in Manufacturing: The Implementation of Network Technologies in British Industriesp. 140
A French-style Sociotechnical Learning Process: The Robotization of Automobile Body Shopsp. 156
Diffusion of New Ways of Organizing
The Diffusion of American Organizing Principles to Europep. 179
The Governance of Japanese and U.S. Manufacturing Affiliates in the U.K.: Some Country-specific Differencesp. 203
Supplying the Toyota Production System: Intercorporate Organizational Evolution and Supplier Subsystemsp. 225
Concluding Notes
National Specificities and the Context of Change: The Coevolution of Organization and Technologyp. 249
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195072778
ISBN-10: 0195072774
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 1st February 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.3  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.63