Competitive Advantage on the Shop Floor
By (author) William Lazonick
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Competitive Advantage on the Shop Floor by William Lazonick
Book DescriptionWilliam Lazonick explores how technological change has interacted with the organization of work, with major consequences for national competitiveness and industrial leadership. Looking at Britain, the United States, and Japan from the nineteenth century to the present, he explains changes in their status as industrial superpowers. Lazonick stresses the importance for industrial leadership of cooperative relations between employers and shop-floor workers. Such relations permit employers to use new technologies to their maximum potential, which in turn transforms the high fixed costs inherent in these technologies into low unit costs and large market shares. Cooperative relations can also lead employers to invest in the skills of workers themselves--skills that enable shop-floor workers to influence quality as well as quantity of production. To build cooperative shop-floor relations, successful employers have been willing to pay workers higher wages than they could have secured elsewhere in the economy. They have also been willing to offer workers long-term employment security. These policies, Lazonick argues, have not come at the expense of profits but rather have been a precondition for making profits. Focusing particularly on the role of labor-management relations in fostering flexible mass production in Japan since the 1950s, Lazonick criticizes those economists and politicians who, in the face of the Japanese challenge, would rely on free markets alone to restore the international competitiveness of industry in Britain and the United States.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674154162
(233mm x 155mm x 32mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 29-Nov-1990
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William Lazonick
China as an Innovation Nation, Hardback (February 2016)
This book offers the most in-depth look at the status and trajectories of innovation in major Chinese technological sectors such as machines tools, railroad, automobile, information, communication technology, and wind and solar energy. The book expands our understanding of the industrial foundations of China's attempt to become an innovation nation
Management Innovation, Hardback (March 2012)
This book assesses the work, ideas, and influence of the doyen of business historians, Alfred Chandler, particularly on management innovation, strategy, organization, and finance.
Corporate Governance and Sustainable Prosperity, Hardback (November 2001)
Through historical analysis and comparisons with Germany and Japan, this book focuses on the microeconomics of corporate investment behaviour, and the macroeconomics of household saving behaviour in the US. It analyzes the factors which have influenced corporate investment since the 1980s.
Business Organization and the Myth of the Market Economy, Paperback (May 1993)» View all books by William Lazonick
Explains the transitions in twentieth-century industrial leadership in terms of changing business investment strategies and organizational structures.
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