Presents a case study, based on semi‐structured interviews and shopfloor observations, of an optical fibre manufacturer in the North of England which has recently been taken over by a German company. The company was a traditional manufacturing organization, hierarchical and functional, characterized by tension between management, supervisors and workforce. Despite a healthy order book and low labour costs management perceived a threat from European competitors who provided faster delivery and higher quality. Management introduced teamworking and empowerment and achieved some success in solving the problems; in effect it changed from a modern to a postmodern organization. Although theory corresponds with practice to some extent, explores some areas in which theory and practice seem mismatched. Casts doubt on the transferability of this company’s expertise to its German parent.
Sykes, G., Simpson, M. and Shipley, E. (1997), "Training and empowerment improve performance: a case study", Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 90-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/09576069710165774Download as .RIS
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