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Human Geography

Ann-Katrin Bäcklund

Universitetslektor

Human Geography

Just-in-Time : Hur industriella rationaliseringsstrategier formar arbetsdelning och kompetens

Författare

  • Ann-Katrin Bäcklund

Summary, in English

The emergence of new modes of production, referred to as flexible specialization, post-Fordism or neo-Fordism, has played an important and controversial role in the debate among economic geographers and industrial sociologists. In the discussion assumptions have been made about a process of up-skilling of the work force. In this study a random sample of 351 white- and blue-collar workers in eight enterprises, were interviewed about their work tasks, in order to examine the division of labour and competence. The aim of the study is to identify the existence and practical implementation of new strategies in industrial production and to contribute with empirical evidence to the question of whether a process of up-skilling and job enrichment is under development. The management strategies with the strongest prevalence in the enterprises were just-in-time production lay-outs, decentralization, customer-designed products and introduction of automation technologies.



The results indicate a development of job enlargement, often in combination with higher knowledge demands. The rate of job enlargement was greater for white-collar than for blue-collar workers, but the trend is the same for both groups. Most frequently integrated in the jobs were new communicative and administrative tasks. The job changes could be ascribes to a joint effect of organizational strategies and technology. Hence, the results confirm the fact that the division of labour is not solely determined by technological development. Technology has the potential to facilitate the control of work tasks in an organization, as well as the opposite. It is the strategies of production, with no-storage buffers, precise standards of quality and deliveries and market-adapted products, which make decentralized decisions, skill and involvement among employees valuable to the production process.

Avdelning/ar

  • Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Publiceringsår

1994

Språk

Svenska

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

Meddelande från Lunds universitets geografiska institutioner. Avhandlingar

Issue

118

Dokumenttyp

Doktorsavhandling

Förlag

Department of Social and Economic Geography, Lund University

Ämne

  • Human Geography

Nyckelord

  • Competence
  • post-fordism
  • just-in-time
  • division of labour
  • flexible production
  • skills

Status

Published

Handledare

  • Olof Wärneryd

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 0346-6787

Försvarsdatum

4 mars 1994

Försvarstid

10:15

Försvarsplats

Department of Social and Economic Geography

Opponent

  • Torsten Björkman (Professor)