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Förändring av deltagandet i produktionen: exempel från slutmonteringsfabriker i Volvo

Ahlstrand, Roland LU (2000) In Lund dissertations in sociology 31.
Abstract
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... (More)
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. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Prof. Forslin, Jan, Dep. of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
organization
alternative title
Changing Participation in Production. Exemplified by Final Assembly Plants in Volvo
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Sociology, power, Participation, qualification strategy, learning, production system, coalition, Sociologi
in
Lund dissertations in sociology
volume
31
pages
165 pages
publisher
Department of Sociology, Lund University
defense location
Carolinasalen, Lund
defense date
2000-05-05 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUSADG/SASO-00/1128/SE
ISSN
1102-4712
ISBN
91-7267-008-8
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
903352a7-7940-471f-a7e8-ac1eeafababe (old id 19679)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 10:54:30
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:54
@phdthesis{903352a7-7940-471f-a7e8-ac1eeafababe,
  abstract     = {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.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
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.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
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.},
  author       = {Ahlstrand, Roland},
  isbn         = {91-7267-008-8},
  issn         = {1102-4712},
  keyword      = {Sociology,power,Participation,qualification strategy,learning,production system,coalition,Sociologi},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {165},
  publisher    = {Department of Sociology, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund dissertations in sociology},
  title        = {Förändring av deltagandet i produktionen: exempel från slutmonteringsfabriker i Volvo},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2000},
}