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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/10910

Title: Diversity in the lean automobile factory: Exploring the relationship between difference, control and resistance
Authors: ZANONI, Patrizia
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: IERA Conference ‘Diversity and New Employment Relations’, Nijmegen, June 29– July 2 2008.
Abstract: The paper investigates how diversity informs and is in turn informed by the dynamics of control and resistance. Drawing on an in-depth qualitative case study of CarCo, an automobile factory, I show that diversity is constructed in highly problematic terms, as a synonym of types of workers who fail to meet the productive demands of just-in-time production. Specifically, female, older, and disabled workers are constructed as ‘different’ because they hamper constant productivity gains and the flexible allocation of labour, two cornerstones of lean production. Yet paradoxically, such stigmatized construction of diversity opens up ways for these employees to effectively resist managerial control, as it legitimates their claims not to be fit for certain jobs. In as much as specific socio-demographic groups actually lack needed skills, are expected by management to lack them, or claim themselves to lack them, being ‘different’ becomes a powerful way to resist.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/10910
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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