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Globalization Employment Relations in the Auto Assembly Industry

Edited by Roger Blanpain†, Russell D. Lansbury, Jim Kitay, Nick Wailes, Anja Kirsch


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The auto industry is a prime example of globalisation in which multinational enterprises have developed networks, alliances, and cross-shareholdings across regions and nations. This important study—based on a three-year empirical research project in seven countries—focuses on employment relations in the auto assembly industry and shows that the influence of globalisation is tempered to varying degrees by institutional employment patterns at the local level. Twenty-one scholars and researchers representing all seven countries analyse the data, clearly describe the differences across both countries and firms, and offer conclusions and recommendations that greatly facilitate our understanding of the globalisation process at the level of human resources in industrial production. For each of the seven countries—two liberal market economies (the United States and Australia), two coordinated market economies (Germany and Sweden), and three Asian market economies (Japan, South Korea, and China)—the book describes five key issues in detail:

• work organisation;

• skill formation;

• remuneration systems;

• staffing arrangements and employment security; and

• enterprise governance and employee–management relations.

The authors offer in-depth comparative analysis of these central issues in the context of such overriding factors as corporate strategy, local institutional constraints and advantages, competitive pressures among automakers to capture emerging markets, power relations within firms, and the role that agency and interests play in shaping social action. Whether this book is used for its vast bank of information, or for its deeply-informed analysis, or for its far-reaching relevance to employment relations policy, it more than fulfills the urgent need to come to grips with the runaway impact of globalisation on employment relations. Anyone involved with labour and employment issues in any business, legal, or governmental setting will rely on its findings and insights for years to come.

Resources DM Piece
DM Piece
Last Updated 03/10/2008
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041126986
SKU 10059158-0001
Table of Contents

Contents: Notes on Contributors.

1. Introductory Chapter: Globalization, Varieties of Capitalism and Employment Relations in the Automotive Assembly Industry; N. Wailes, R.D. Lansbury, J. Kitay, A. Kirsch.

2. Globalization and Employment Relations in the Australian Automotive Industry; R. D. Lansbury, J. Saulwick, C.F. Wright.

3. The Changing Nature of Employment Relations in the Chinese Automotive Industry; S. Zhao, J. Zhang, W. Zhao, W. Huang, C.F. Wright, R.D. Lansbury.

4. Globalization and Employment Relations in the German Auto Industry; U. Jürgens.

5. The Automotive Industry in Japan; M. Ishida, A. Ono, N. Mitani, Y. Tomita, A. Kirsch.

6. Globalization and Employment Relations in the Korean Automotive Industry; Byoung-Hoon Lee, Young-bum Park.

7. Lean Production and Employment Relations in the Swedish Auto Assembly Industry; G. Brulin, O. Hammarström, T. Nilsson.

8. Recent Developments in U.S. Auto Labor Relations: The Decline of the Big Three and the United Automotive Workers; H.C. Katz.

9. Concluding Chapter: Globalization, Continuity and Change: The Automotive Assembly Industry; R.D. Lansbury, N. Wailes, A. Kirsch.