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Innovation is a key to corporate success, particularly in times of rapid technological change. This book sheds new light on the introduction of technology in the manufacturing sector. The author considers the use of innovative technology in both Britain and Japan by examining nine firms in each country. He focuses on computerized machine tools (CNC) and shows how the various firms have risen to the challenge of implementing the new technology. Particular emphasis is placed on the differing employment relations in the factories, the nature of operator training and workload distribution. Dr. Whittaker identifies fundamentally different approaches in the two countries that have implications for competitiveness as well as future innovation. The contrast is especially interesting since Japanese industrial relations are commonly distinguished by their cooperative nature while industrial relations in Britain have tended to be more confrontational. These conventional views are challenged with an original perspective on the labor process and new technology. The book will be of major interest to specialists in technical innovation and industrial relations. Managers eager to learn the practical lessons of a comparison between British and Japanese work habits will also gain much from reading this book.
Reviews & endorsements
"...Whittaker's work offers an excellent example of careful fieldwork, a high order of empirical and descriptive skill, a provocative model, and a challenging and useful conclusion." Journal of Japanese StudiesSee more reviews
"...a modest (in length and scope) but careful study of how employment relations in nine British and nine Japanese factories affect the adoption of an innovative process technology--computerized numerical control (CNC) machine tools....should be useful for anyone interested in Japanese and British industrial relations, craft versus more structured approaches to engineering and production management, and the introduction of new process technologies onto the shopfloor." Michael A. Cusumano, ASQ
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- Date Published: June 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521067263
- length: 224 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.34kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. British factories, Japanese factories and the new technology debate
2. The wider context
3. Employment relations (I)
4. Employment relations (II)
7. Division of labour
8. CNC and skills.
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