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Title: Diversity in the lean automobile factory: Re-doing class along socio-demographic identities
Authors: ZANONI, Patrizia 
Issue Date: 2009
Source: Best Papers Proceedings. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.
Series/Report no.: 2009
Abstract: The study investigates how diversity is discursively constructed in an automobile factory as 1) the inability of specific socio-demographically ‘different’ groups of workers to function within the lean production system and 2) individual workers’ resistant strategy to contain exploitation drawing on alleged inability. In both constructions, workers’ difference is systematically associated with lower surplus value. These discursive constructions are, on the one hand, firmly anchored in the material and discursive productive structure of the factory. On the other, they are deployed to legitimize the elimination of 1) phases of the production process that can be carried out by ‘different’ workers through outsourcing and 2) ‘different’ workers themselves in restructuring processes. Both modes of elimination are functional to increase the value extracted from labour. Based on these findings, a re-conceptualization of diversity as a mode of enacting contemporary class relations is proposed.
Notes: Winner of the Best Paper Award of the Critical Management Studies Division
Keywords: Gelijke kansen en vrouwen;diversity, class, automobile industry
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Category: C2
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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