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Reviews literature on industrial choice, ethnography and flexible specialization. Investigates flexible specialization in more depth, claiming that before ethnographic…
Reviews literature on industrial choice, ethnography and flexible specialization. Investigates flexible specialization in more depth, claiming that before ethnographic description can be achieved, abstract simplifications and the choices facing businesses in the local community have to be overcome. Proposes two models for economic recovery – flexible specialization and multinational Keynesianism – and discusses the boundaries that both models impose. Explores the public sphere and enterprise culture, particularly in the UK. Warns of the dangers of ethnographic studies of communities, specifically the imposition of meaning onto communal exchanges. Talks also of social solidarity. Observes that the identification of a communal language and a common work culture is tricky but that ethnography has a role to play in establishing the meaning of flexible specialization in small business communities.
This study is an empirical investigation into the effect of skill flexibility on work attitudes and performance and into managerial attitudes toward skill flexibility…
This study is an empirical investigation into the effect of skill flexibility on work attitudes and performance and into managerial attitudes toward skill flexibility. Secondary schools in Israel were used as a case in point, and skill flexibility of teachers was operationalized, distinguishing between role flexibility (the combination of teaching and other school roles) and functional flexibility (the combination of several teaching areas). It was found that both role and functional flexibility were associated with improved teachers’ work performance. Role flexibility was also linked to high organizational commitment and low powerlessness. The findings of the study are supported by interviews with principals, who were generally appreciative of skill‐flexible teachers, but raised practical difficulties related to organizational support of skill flexibility.
States that the rapid expansion of the information technology (IT) industry has brought about skill shortages in many advanced western economies. Examines human resource…
States that the rapid expansion of the information technology (IT) industry has brought about skill shortages in many advanced western economies. Examines human resource (HR) policies and organisational structures for developing and retaining IT staff through two case studies of organisations in the IT and telecommunications sector in Australia. Concludes that developing HR policies in order to recruit and retain staff, and linking these to appropriate organisational structure, is becoming of increased importance in order to encourage employees to remain with a company.
It has often been suggested that Britain’s favourable position of attracting over 30 per cent of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) has been dependent on the…
It has often been suggested that Britain’s favourable position of attracting over 30 per cent of Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) has been dependent on the flexibility of the labour market. However it is important to understand exactly what is meant by a flexible labour market. This article sets out to examine the full meaning of a flexible labour market drawing on the evidence of particular success in attracting FDI in the UK. It then considers the importance of the flexible labour market in relation to other possible factors influencing the decision whether to invest. Also advises of the benefit and costs for other countries wishing to formulate policies that attract greater amounts of FDI.
There have been a number of attempts to develop the Keynesianprescription of demand management to current neo‐liberal economicstrategies. The arguments presented by the…
There have been a number of attempts to develop the Keynesian prescription of demand management to current neo‐liberal economic strategies. The arguments presented by the “French” regulation school and the “American” flexible specialisation scenario are examined to determine whether they are sufficiently coherent and robust to represent a new political economy model to challenge neo‐liberalism. The two models are analysed separately: the main hypotheses and points are outlined and the validity of the main criticisms against each is examined. It is concluded that neither represents a fully fledged political economy model but that some of the ideas developed by either may influence policy on a pragmatic and ad hoc basis.
This paper develops the concept of “strategic value configuration logics”. It posits that there are four fundamental and enduring strategic value configuration logics that…
This paper develops the concept of “strategic value configuration logics”. It posits that there are four fundamental and enduring strategic value configuration logics that have pervaded industrial, service/information, knowledge and Web/network macroeconomic paradigms. The paper reviews prominent microeconomic paradigms associated with each macroeconomic paradigm, and links these via value drivers and value configuration logics prominent in each paradigm. Four strategic value configuration logics, value‐adding, ‐extracting, ‐capturing, and ‐creating are presented. Exemplary companies like Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Skandia Insurance, Morgan Stanley, and Dell computers, rather than offering revolutionary new business models, actually manage fundamental strategic value configuration logics extremely well.
Concerns the effects of world class manufacturing on the quality of working life of shop floor workers. Theoretically, it is grounded in the conflict between two opposing…
Concerns the effects of world class manufacturing on the quality of working life of shop floor workers. Theoretically, it is grounded in the conflict between two opposing paradigms – the flexible specialisation thesis and labour process theory. Methodologically, it is based on qualitative data gathered in 1996 during in‐depth interviews with employees of a West of Ireland factory established in the use of world class manufacturing methods (fieldwork for a Masters degree minor dissertation). The results of the research indicate that the majority of world class manufacturing methods increase the intensity of work, without yielding proportionate compensation for workers. Based on these findings, the interpretation of world class manufacturing supported by labour process theory was found to be far more accurate a rendering than that promoted by the flexible specialisation thesis.
Too often companies using a manufacturing strategy of mass production have been hard hit by competition from inexpensively produced imports. But many companies that do…
Too often companies using a manufacturing strategy of mass production have been hard hit by competition from inexpensively produced imports. But many companies that do remain competitive are developing a flexible specialization strategy. This strategy allows them to be more entrepreneurial in their manufacturing approach by both accommodating and creating rapid market changes.
Mass production structures have been criticised as being too rigid to respond to increased global competition and to increasingly sophisticated consumers demanding differentiated products. Additionally, the job designs associated with mass production have been criticised for: deskilling workers leading to high worker dissatisfaction; rendering workers unable to make decisions about how they perform their jobs; and for creating a workforce that is not able to respond to the requirements associated with the demands of new work practices. Thus calls for increased flexibility at the organisation level have been made by employer and employee groups. Flexibility promises to provide the competitive edge needed in an increasingly global market; and employees with increased participation, more interesting jobs, stable employment, and better wages and work conditions. However, there still appear to be many unresolved issues relating to the flexibility debate.
Traditional industry was initially built with kinship, cultural value, and unique characters representing a particular system of production. However, current industry…
Traditional industry was initially built with kinship, cultural value, and unique characters representing a particular system of production. However, current industry challenges pressurized traditional industry bond of primordial system with the need of adaptations to survive. Some traditional industry may resist the twenty-first-century challenges and pressures, but many of them are transforming their cultural and production characters to adapt modern business competitions. Indonesian traditional furniture industry Jepara has their familial system of productions which constitute “flexible specialization” where particular kinship and work contract created from a very specialized household small-scale furniture producer. However, this production system in fact struggles and is contrasted with the community needs to survive in the industry. The likely occurring progress of traditional industry are then remaining on the senior members of the industry to preserve knowledge which has empowered over many generations, while the younger generations consider transforming their ability for survivability and better financial rewards.
This chapter is the further elaboration of how Indonesian rural traditional furniture industry in Jepara presents its survivability and whether it is sustainable. This chapter exemplifies participants’ quotes and statements which create anxiety toward their future, cultural value, bond of industry kinship, and doubting their ability to withhold global and local pressures.