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Assessing the institutionalisation of knowledge in an automotive factory at Fiat

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Assessing the institutionalisation of knowledge in an automotive factory at Fiat.Coordinated by Mr. Giuliano Maielli:

-Maielli, G. (2005). “Spot-Welding Technology and the Development of Robotics at Fiat, 1972-1987. A Case of Production Management Discontinuity?” Business History, Volume 47, N 1 January).

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Assessing the institutionalisation of knowledge in an automotive factory at Fiat

  1. 1. Sannie P. Ilenia V. Frederico N. Frederik V. Andrea V. Ana M.
  2. 2. • Explain path dependence through the two case studies of FIAT: – “Spot-Welding Technology and the Development of Robotics at Fiat, 1972-1987. A Case of Production Management Discontinuity?” – “The institutionalisation of Knowledge in an Automotive Factory: Templates, Inscriptions and the Problem of Durability”
  3. 3. Spot-Welding Technology and the Development of Robotics at Fiat, 1972-1987. A Case of Production Management Discontinuity?”
  4. 4. • About Fiat before the restructure endeavor – Stable organizational structure (1920 - 1966) – Dominated by production engineers – Complexity containment and cost reduction approach – Routines • The restructuring process – Fiat shift from inflexible to flexible production through use of robotics in the spot-welding shop – Robogate - the main evidence of the Fiat commitment to developing flexible mass production
  5. 5. • Main purpose of the research - to test the flexibility of Fiat’s production process (i.e. ‘the rate of capacity utilisation of the production lines’) • Results from the research: – Localised and path-dependent introduction of robotics – Limited flexibility of production lines – Same criteria for deployment of robotics as for the inflexible automated technology – Fiat did not maximize flexibility in spite of the massive implementation of robotics
  6. 6. Data used – unpublished data and documents from the Fiat Historical Archives – additional data Utilisation rate of production lines - crucial variable for comparison of inflexible and flexible technology Three features of flexibility is defined according to three features: – plant flexibility – product mix flexibility – process flexibility
  7. 7. EXPECTATIONS 4500 7000
  8. 8. Segmented finishing part Increase work-force
  9. 9. CAR PRODUCTION – FIAT PLANTS
  10. 10. AUTOMATED ROBOGATE AUTOMATED/ MANUAL ROBOTICS
  11. 11. Path Dependence at Fiat
  12. 12. Lanzara, G.F. and Patriotta, G., (2007) The Institutionalization of Knowledge in an Automotive Factory: Templates, Inscriptions, and the Problem of Durability. Journal of Organization Studies, 28(05), pp. 635-660 Different focus same organisation
  13. 13. BUILDING THE NEW PATH Institutionalization of knowledge: D/A template Organizational Structure Integrated Factory Model 4 Operating Units: Stamping, Body-welding, Painting and Assembly Elementary Technical Units (UTE) Management Structure UTE Team Leaders
  14. 14. INSCRIPTION / DELEGATION Signs Template Agency Workforce
  15. 15. A PROBLEM OF DURABILITY Path dependence: can organizational change last? Vulnerability, reproduction and durability of the cognitive and institutional order Consequences: strikes from 2004
  16. 16. CONCLUSION • The will and power of individual actors for path creation and path dependency • “Actors mobilize the past to generate new options” (Garud et al., 2010) • Routines and path dependence (Nelson and Winter, 1982) • Path dependence- also institutional
  17. 17. REFERENCES • Baumol, W. (2002). The Free-Market Innovation Machine: Analyzing the Growth Miracle of Capitalism. Princeton University Press, Chapters 1. • Garud, R, Kumaraswamy, A., Karnøe, P. (2010). “Path Dependence or Path Creation?” Journal of Management Studies, 47:4. pp 760-774. • Lanzara G., Patriotta, G. (2007). “The institutionalisation of Knowledge in an Automotive Factory: Templates, Inscriptions and the Problem of Durability”. Organisation Studies, Vol. 28, Issue 5 (May). • Maielli, G. (2005). “Spot-Welding Technology and the Development of Robotics at Fiat, 1972-1987. A Case of Production Management Discontinuity?” Business History, Volume 47, N 1 (January). • Nelson, R., and Winter, S. (1982) An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, MIT Press, Chapter 1 • Sydow, J., Schreyögg, G., Koch, J. (2009). “Organizational Path-Dependence: Opening the Black Box”. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 34, No 4, pp. 689-709.
  18. 18. QUESTIONS?

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