Publication Date



Lean production, from Toyota, is said to be paradigmatic for future production organization in the auto industry. This article challenges that view. Case studies at auto plants in the U.S., Germany, and Sweden show a wide diversity of developing new work organization. Not only are there differences across countries, there are also substantial and persistent variations across firms and even individual plants. No single model of production is yet emerging from this diversity. Although there are common elements such as team and group work, just-in-time delivery, and "total quality management", the actual shape of new work organization depends on a variety of factors including industrial relations, training systems, and labor market conditions.


Suggested Citation
Turner, L. & P. Auer. (1994). A diversity of new work organization: Human-centered, lean, and in-between [Electronic version]. Industrielle Beziehungen, 1(1), 39-61.

Required Publisher’s Statement
© Rainer Hampp Verlag. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.