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    Assembling Work: Remaking Factory Regimes in Japanese Multinationals in Britain

    By: Chris Smith

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    Japanese manufacturing firms established in Britain have often been portrayed as carriers of Japanese corporate best practice for work and employment. In this book, the authors challenge these views through case study research, undertaken at several Japanese manufacturing plants in Britain during the 1990s. The authors argue that in actual fact production and employment regimes are adapted and 're-made' in a number of ways, responding to specific corporate and local contexts. In particular, they focus upon the ways in which Japanese and British managers have sought to construct distinctive work regimes in the light of their particular branch plant mandates and competencies, the evolving character of management-worker relations within factories and the varied product and labour market conditionsthey face. The book highlights the constraints as well as the opportunities facing managers of these greenfield workplaces, and the uncertainties that continued to characterize the development of management strategies. Ultimately the authors show how arguments about the role of overseas branch plants in the dissemination of management practices must take more careful account of the varied ways in which such factories are implicated in wider corporate strategies. The operations of international firms are embedded within intractable features of capitalist employment relations, especially as they are 're-made' in specific local and national settings. This book is an important intervention in contemporary debate about international firms and globalization, and will be of interest to teachers, researchers, and advanced students of this subject from disciplines including Business Studies, Organization Studies, Industrial Relations, Sociology, Political Economy, and Economic and Social Geography.

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