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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/11871

Title: Diversity in the lean automobile factory: doing class through gender, disability and age
Authors: Zanoni, Patrizia
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: ORGANIZATION, 18(1). p. 105-127
Abstract: This study advances a critical re-conceptualization of 'diversity' through class. Drawing on the case of CarCo, the Belgian branch of a North American automobile company, I show how the discursive constructions of various socio-demographic identities reflect underlying class relations between labour and capital and are, in turn, implicated in their reproduction. Reflecting the instrumental conceptualization of labour as the source of economic value in the capitalist mode of production, female, older and disabled workers were discursively constructed as unable or unwilling to perform as expected within the factory lean production system. These negative identities in turn legitimized the elimination of 'different' workers in the company restructuring and the outsourcing of the phases of the production process that could be carried out by them, materially reproducing class relations. The analysis unveils the 'dark' business case against diversity at CarCo, a company which was renowned as a 'best' case for diversity in Belgium. I argue that the re-conceptualization of diversity through class offers a powerful analytical tool to better understand how unequal power relations are played out in contemporary organizations.
Notes: [Zanoni, Patrizia] Hasselt Univ, SEIN Ident Divers & Inequal Res, Fac Business Econ, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Zanoni, Patrizia] Katholieke Univ Leuven, Res Ctr Org Studies, Fac Business & Econ, Louvain, Belgium. patrizia.zanoni@uhasselt.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/11871
DOI: 10.1177/1350508410378216
ISI #: 000287233000006
ISSN: 1350-5084
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2012
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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