General Motors (GM)'s attempt to adapt the renowned Toyota production system for its own automotive manufacturing plants had historically produced disappointing results. Why was it not sufficiently successful? This book aims to shed insights into GM's failed attempt through the analysis of work organization reforms and labor-management relations on production-system efficiency.
The book examines collective bargaining agreements between automakers and the United Auto Workers union and the arbitration rulings in retrospect to illuminate the critical role continuous improvement activities initiated by production workers would play in enhancing performance management. It also looks at the impact of the meritocratic system in Japanese auto plants on performance success. As GM begins operations at its new electric vehicle assembly plant, Factory Zero, the book analyses the challenges of such production for both employment relations and workforce deployment.
The book will be a useful reference for those interested in a comparative study of management styles and a better understanding of Japanese manufacturing practices.
Kenichi Shinohara is Professor at the Division of Business Administration, Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan.