Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within and shows that these are in many, differing, areas across management research from: retail finance; precarious jobs and decisions; methodological lessons from feminism; call centre experience and disability discrimination. These and all points east and west are covered and laid out in a simple, abstract style, including, where applicable, references, endnotes and bibliography in an easy‐to‐follow manner. Summarizes each paper and also gives conclusions where needed, in a comfortable modern format.
The “resource‐based view” (RBV) of firms considers that major operational and organisational advantages are created in the internal environment of a firm. The…
The “resource‐based view” (RBV) of firms considers that major operational and organisational advantages are created in the internal environment of a firm. The implementation of lean manufacturing represents the potential for strategic advantage over competitors, especially in craft‐based industries in developing regions of the world. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the adoption of lean manufacturing and market share and value creation of companies in the agricultural machinery and implements sector in Brazil.
The paper is based on data collected in a survey conducted across 37 firms in the agricultural machinery and implements industry in Brazil. The data were used within a model for assessing the degree of leanness to test three hypotheses using correlation, regression, analysis of variance and cluster statistical methods.
Brazilian firms and managers in this sector that have supported a transition towards the adoption (and adaptation) of lean manufacturing practices have shown a significant improvement in their business performance.
The paper presents an empirical study where lean manufacturing is investigated and tested from a “RBV” perspective. It demonstrates the application of an emergent model for measuring the degree of leanness and the extent of business improvement. The study and the model are applied to smaller, craft‐based industries and so is applicable in developing countries and regions, in comparison with most literature on lean production in advanced economies. It provides a useful perspective for firms to corroborate and understand the potential benefits that lean manufacturing can bring if adopted.
The 1980s was a decade of far reaching change in the relations between management and the workforce. Flexibility can no longer be considered a ‘flash in the pan’, while…
The 1980s was a decade of far reaching change in the relations between management and the workforce. Flexibility can no longer be considered a ‘flash in the pan’, while the ‘Japanisation’ of production is probably the most influential concept since Fordism. Combining these two elements has enabled employers to introduce whole packages for the organisation of work and production where quality of product and process are no longer considered optional, rather a pre‐requisite for firms competing on a global scale.
Pollert's latest contribution to the flexibility debate has been to denounce the concept as an appropriate framework for research and to state that it should be replaced…
Pollert's latest contribution to the flexibility debate has been to denounce the concept as an appropriate framework for research and to state that it should be replaced by one that takes into account the complexities and relations of the real world (Pollert 1991, p. 31). Similarly, Wood has argued that the problem with the flexibility debate is that the organisational model of the flexible firm has over‐emphasised management's pursuit of flexibility as though it were an end in itself. Flexibility should be seen as only one of management's aims and ought to remain attached to other goals and interests of management (Wood 1989).
Links the concept of market‐driven business strategies with thedesign of production systems. It draws upon the case of a firm which,during the last decade, changed its…
Links the concept of market‐driven business strategies with the design of production systems. It draws upon the case of a firm which, during the last decade, changed its strategy from being “technology led” to “market driven”. The research, based on interdisciplinary fieldwork involving long‐term participant observation, investigated the factors which contribute to the successful design and implementation of flexible production systems in electronics assembly. These investigations were conducted in collaboration with a major computer manufacturer, with other electronics firms being studied for comparison. The research identified a number of strategies and actions seen as crucial to the development of efficient flexible production systems, namely: effective integration of subsystems, development of appropriate controls and performance measures, compatibility between production system design and organization structure, and the development of a climate conducive to organizational change. Overall, the analysis suggests that in the electronics industry there exists an extremely high degree of environmental complexity and turbulence. This serves to shape the strategic, technical and social structures that are developed to match this complexity, examples of which are niche marketing, flexible manufacturing and employee harmonization.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the implementation of lean within two contrasting UK-based organizations; a food manufacturer and a healthcare organization. The…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the implementation of lean within two contrasting UK-based organizations; a food manufacturer and a healthcare organization. The different contexts provide insight to the strategic desire for efficiency gains and tactical issues and challenges of lean execution and implementation.
The research questions developed from the review of the literature were tested using evidence from field-based, action research within a food manufacturer and a National Health Service organization. The reported contrasting case studies contribute to the longer term debate on the adoption and adaptation of lean-based “best practice” within organizations.
There are three primary findings: first, that the adoption of lean provides a strategic benefit, as well as providing a basis for a strategy of operational change; second, that partial, as opposed to full, adoption of lean occurs due to external organizational constraints, such as demand patterns, supplier unreliability, little expertise in deploying change programmes, etc.; and third, that a company will balance the adoption of the lean ideology against the financial costs and operational risks incurred in full adoption.
The conclusions drawn add substantially to the ongoing commentaries on aspects of lean, and develop interesting questions for future research regards the developed “Cycles of Lean Implementation” concept.
The conclusion proposes that partial implementation of the lean philosophy does not necessarily represent a conscious organizational choice, or any lack of conviction, but is representative of external constraints on the organization. This complements previous commentaries on appropriate strategies and develops interesting questions for future research into operational efficiency.
This article focuses on the development and current situation of services for people with learning disabilities in England. Deinstitutionalisation started in the 1960s, when a series of scandals in hospitals were brought to public attention. In response, the 1971 government White Paper Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped was published, and the first community‐based services were introduced. Further policy papers attempted to modernise social services in the following period. The 2001 White paper Valuing People is the most recent policy framework specific to people with intellectual disabilities. It identifies rights, independence, choice and inclusion as the four leading principles for services and support, and will be of primary importance for future development. However, at present implementation is in the very early stages. Not least, the intense implementation of market mechanisms by the Thatcher Government in the 1980s and 1990s has led to a situation that is hard to grasp, the organisation of care and support varying from authority to authority.
New evidence from a British electronics plant on the experience ofa harmonisation programme is presented and questions the generallyaccepted favourable image of moves…
New evidence from a British electronics plant on the experience of a harmonisation programme is presented and questions the generally accepted favourable image of moves towards single status working. The presentation is novel in that instead of offering a traditional literature review followed by the empirical data, the article develops two forms of case description. The first case is a fictional “Composite” account derived from previously published materials in which we have assembled the key themes into a single narrative to convey an image of harmonisation as it is presented in the literature. This can then be compared with the more contradictory experience of harmonisation found during ethnographic research at the Collaborating Company, where management was more constrained and the process was not conflict free. The two cases can be read as a contrast between image and reality which then needs to be explained.
In 1979 the decision was taken to develop a Contract Responsibility System experiment as part of China's economic reform programme, and the system was eventually applied…
In 1979 the decision was taken to develop a Contract Responsibility System experiment as part of China's economic reform programme, and the system was eventually applied in 85% of China's iron and steel corporations. Before the CRS was introduced, these corporations were state‐owned and state managed; net incomes had to be handed over to the state, and funds for investment had to be examined, approved and distributed by the state. The task was one of reforming large state‐owned corporations through integrating government administration with enterprise management, and creating a sense of ‘enterprise’ on the part of workers in the process. As such the CRS operates at two main levels — enterprise level contracting with the state (the state contract system), and internal contracting within the Corporation's businesses (the internal contract system).