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The ‘Lean Production’ Model, New Technology and HRM: A Case Study of Automotive Presswork

Mike Rawlinson (Cardiff Business School)
Pete Wells (Cardiff Business School)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Article publication date: 1 May 1992



The lean production model does not say much about the shop‐floor implications for working practices and labour management relations — the assumption is that workers would prefer to be under a lean regime — or indeed how firms might begin to introduce new working practices (Womak et al 1990). On the other hand, many related studies have been critical of the model, noting for example work intensification, greater management control, and questioning the notion of multi‐skilling (Rehder 1989, 1990, Dankbaar 1988, Pollert 1988) and its applicability (Wood 1991). Using four European case studies in automotive presswork, this paper examines the introduction of new working practices on the shop‐floor, and the links between those practices and the introductions of new presswork technologies. Finally, we draw conclusions from the case studies with respect to our understanding of skill and the relationship between organisational and technological changes on the shop‐floor.


Rawlinson, M. and Wells, P. (1992), "The ‘Lean Production’ Model, New Technology and HRM: A Case Study of Automotive Presswork", Management Research News, Vol. 15 No. 5/6, pp. 54-55.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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