New production arrangements: the totally flexible cage?

Patrick Mark Dawson, Jan Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the management of innovation and change in two different operating units on a single site of a UK Division of a high technology US-owned multinational corporation. The transformation of work in changing from `production for stock' to `production to order' is analysed, and the process of changing established patterns of work (as a brownfield operation), and designing new production arrangements from the outset (as a greenfield operation) are contrasted and compared. The key features of Just-in-Time and Total Quality Control principles are identified and the extent to which they represent real inovations in production is assessed. The paper concludes with a critical discussion of the flexible specialisation debate through reappraising the empirical evidence, and concludes by rejecting the view that modern production arrangements signal the general enhancement of working life through a reversal of the division of labour, increased worker autonomy and greater employee involvement in production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-238
JournalWork, Employment & Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989


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