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Working for Ford Forty Years On

Edwards, Paul (2014) Working for Ford Forty Years On. Discussion Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham.

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Huw Beynon’s Working for Ford achieved celebrity when published in 1973. An assessment 40 years later identifies the lasting value of the book. Though written from a clearly stated point of view, it did not present a biased account, and it included much information permitting alternative assessments. It is also possible to construct an explanation of why the situation was as it was; this explanation turns on the technology of car plants, distinctive strategies adopted by Ford management, and the active role of workers. Though the particular events analysed in the book were of their time, the book is of more than historical interest. Its lasting value is four-fold: it explains how and why workers engage in immediate battles for control of the workplace; it indicates that workers do not choose such battles willingly and are often aware of wider concerns while lacking the means to pursue them; it points to substantial areas of continuity with the contemporary organization of labour and struggles for workers’ dignity; and it permits reflection on the possibilities of organized alternatives to current forms of work organization.

Type of Work:Monograph (Discussion Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:21
Department:Department of Management, Birmingham Business School
Date:16 April 2014
Series/Collection Name:Birmingham Business School Discussion Paper Series
Keywords:Beynon; car industry; Ford; social class; sociology of work; workplace industrial relations
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Copyright Status:This discussion paper is copyright of the University, the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights in respect of this are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this paper must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Copies of the paper may be distributed and quotations used for research and study purposes, with due attribution. However, commercial distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
Copyright Holders:The Authors and the University of Birmingham
ID Code:1888

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