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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.
First in-depth treatment of the impact of globalisation on employment
relations practices in the auto industry
Detailed comparative analysis of major employment relations issues in the auto
industry in seven leading national economies
Deeply-informed attention to corporate and national institutional contexts
Important development of the varieties of capitalism theory of globalisation
Offers powerful insights into the patterns of change in employment relations
Clearly shows the range of effective options available to employers, unions,
and policymakers in engaging with the auto or other industries
Clearly illustrates systematic differences in globalised employment relations
across varieties of capitalism
Advances understanding of the globalisation process by focusing on one of its
most essential and exemplary components
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,
4. Globalization and Employment Relations in the German Auto Industry;
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.