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Mass production is alive and well: the future of work and organization in east Asia

Gamble, Jos, Morris, Jonathan Llewellyn ORCID: and Wilkinson, Barry 2004. Mass production is alive and well: the future of work and organization in east Asia. The International Journal of Human Resource Management 15 (2) , pp. 397-409. 10.1080/0958519032000158572

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This paper reviews the extent to which multinational corporations from developed economies and newly industrialized economies1 in east Asia (Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) are hollowing out their mass production of standardized goods and transferring such production to the emergent economies of China and Malaysia. Based on data from sixty-one mini-case studies in two industries, garments and electronics, it argues that the HRM practices and policies being utilized in those overseas affiliates are functions of a number of factors, including corporate business strategies, corporate control mechanisms and host-country institutional HRM capacity. The research finds remarkable similarities in HRM policies and practices between the two countries, the two industries and between different corporate ownerships. The use of Taylorist forms of work organization and low-trust/low-investment HRM policies are part of corporate strategies of hollowing out, of poor host-country HRM capability and of tight control over affiliates.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: East Asian investment in China and Malaysia; HRM strategy; business strategy; corporate control; work organization
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0958-5192
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:32

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