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Japanese Hrm

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Japanese HRM

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Japanese Hrm

  1. 1. JAPANESE HRM ON THE LINE AT SUBARU–ISUZU Laurie Graham Ithaca, Cornell Univ. Press, 1995
  2. 2. RESEARCH PROCESS <ul><li>A six month (July ’89 – Jan. ’90), covert, participant observation study in a non union Japanese automobile transplant – Subaru-Isuzu Automotive (SIA) in USA </li></ul><ul><li>Made her way through the arduous selection and trng. process </li></ul>
  3. 3. OBJECTIVE <ul><li>Go beyond company rhetoric </li></ul><ul><li>CONCLUSION </li></ul><ul><li>Taylorism plays a key role </li></ul><ul><li>Subtle Controls </li></ul><ul><li>Job Security: “…means gaining mkt. share and making profit” </li></ul>
  4. 4. WORKER SELECTION <ul><li>Intensive Screening Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Battery of tests and exercises </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information about SIA, work, ‘preferred worker’ and “best” compensation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress on team player </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difference in promise and reality </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. WORKER SELECTION (Contd.) <ul><li>Gatekeeper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep union supporters out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feel special </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beating the System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early socialisation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. TRAINING <ul><li>Elaborate 3 Week Orientation & Trng. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socialisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisation as well as group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Condescending: Parent-child </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy but Subtle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definite order in where people were placed </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. TRAINING (Contd.) <ul><li>Many Instructors were on Contract </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits to socialisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Model Japanese Worker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency and dedication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rhetoric and Reality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Associates” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Its Dick’s way or highway’ </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. WORK SETTING <ul><li>Flat Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Grueling Work </li></ul><ul><li>Continuously Speeding Assembly Line </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to keep going at all costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shop Floor Reality vs. Co. Philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People, Safety & Quality: Key </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone is an associate: distinguished regulars from contractors </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. WORK SETTING (Contd.) <ul><li>Injuries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25% suffer from wrist problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak-strong, right-wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No policy on sending to doctors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear about long-term effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fit people into jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sick days: two per year </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. BASES OF CONTROL <ul><li>From “despotic” to “hegemonic” factory regime (Burawoy, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Team Concept: compliance through </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer pressure-mutual support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct authority: team leader </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. BASES OF CONTROL (Contd.) <ul><li>Kaizen (continuous improvement) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access workers’ knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent ‘making out’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agenda set by mgmt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture of Cooperation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think like associates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing distance between worker and mgmt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>JIT Production (logic of super market) </li></ul>
  12. 12. BASES OF RESISTANCE <ul><li>“Work People to Death” </li></ul><ul><li>“I just wait for somebody to pull the red chord” </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal from participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Silence </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. BASES OF RESISTANCE (Contd.) <ul><li>Defiance and Resistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preventing mandatory shift rotation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working off the clock </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sabotage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stopping assembly line </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. POST FORDIST <ul><li>Multi Dimensional and Hegemonic </li></ul><ul><li>Rumour of Meeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Closed GM plant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Temp Besides </li></ul>

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