Förändring av deltagandet i produktionen : Exempel från slutmonteringsfabriker i Volvo
Sammanfattning: This dissertation focuses on the changes in the organization of the production process that occurred at Volvo Cars and Volvo Trucks in the early 1990s. The changes were directed at the established division of labor – both vertical and horizontal – between different groups of employees: managers, foremen, white and blue-collar workers. The questions posed are primarily concerned with the changes for production workers and foremen. The interpretive framework is developed in this dissertation through a constant dialogue between, on the one hand, established theories, and on the other, analyses of the empirical material: interviews with executives, managers, white and blue collar workers, and local trade union representatives, as well as company documents, and notes from participant observation. This work results in a sociology of organizations approach and changes in the organization of production is understood based on the interaction of the company with various environments, and with reference to the interaction between actors within the two companies. The explanation of what occurred is largely based on the appraisal that actors have access to power resources that they are able to activate when they find it appropriate. In the studies presented here, this comes to expression in management having an exclusive right to initiate various changes based on its knowledge of markets, competitors, and other actors. At the same time, actors can strengthen their resources by joining forces with others. This is precisely what happened when the management of Volvo formed a coalition with trade union organizations, developing together processes of training and change to broaden and deepen the employees, primarily the assembly workers and foremen participation. The changes can be understood against the background of not just Volvo, but the entire industry, attempting to come to terms with the well-known production and personnel problems arising from the Taylorist system of production. But this is far from an exhaustive explanation. The changes are also impacted by the companies’ need to increase their competitiveness and an increased challenge from Japanese companies. Efficiency in terms of quality, delivery times, and the balance sheet was believed to be able to be improved by increased use of Japanese organizational principles and coupling the market with organization in a novel way. Furthermore, there has been an interest on part of trade unions to form a coalition with management as they, like management, want to introduce decentralized wage systems and see opportunities to have their demands met for increased skills training and more rich and diversified jobs for their members.
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