Competitive advantage on the shop floor

William Lazonick

William Lazonick explores how technological change has interacted with the organization of work, with major consequences for national competitiveness and industrial leadership. Looking at Britain, the United States, and Japan from the nineteenth century to the present, he explains changes in their status as industrial superpowers. Lazonick stresses the importance for industrial leadership of cooperative relations between employers and shop-floor workers. Such relations permit employers to use new technologies to their maximum potential, which in turn transforms the high fixed costs inherent in these technologies into low unit costs and large market shares. Cooperative relations can also lead employers to invest in the skills of workers themselves--skills that enable shop-floor workers to influence quality as well as quantity of production. To build cooperative shop-floor relations, successful employers have been willing to pay workers higher wages than they could have secured elsewhere in the economy. They have also been willing to offer workers long-term employment security. These policies, Lazonick argues, have not come at the expense of profits but rather have been a precondition for making profits. Focusing particularly on the role of labor-management relations in fostering "flexible mass production" in Japan since the 1950s, Lazonick criticizes those economists and politicians who, in the face of the Japanese challenge, would rely on free markets alone to restore the international competitiveness of industry in Britain and the United States.

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  • Introduction: Organization, Technology, and Value Creation PART I Theory and History in the Nineteenth Century Theory and History in Marxian Economics From Surplus-Value to Value Creation Minders, Piecers, and Self-Acting Mules More Than One Way to Spin a Mule Spinning and Weaving to Industrial Decline PART II Competitive Realities in the Twentieth Century The Persistence of Craft Control Managerial Capitalism and Economies of Speed Perspectives on the Twenties The Challenge of Flexible Mass Production Organization and Technology in Capitalist Development Appendix: The Basic Analytics of Shop-Floor Value Creation Notes Index

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書名 Competitive advantage on the shop floor
著作者等 Lazonick, William
出版元 Harvard University Press
刊行年月 1990
ページ数 vi, 419 p.
大きさ 25 cm
ISBN 0674154169
NCID BA11205428
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言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国