The New International Division of Labour in Asian Electronics: Work Organization and Human Resources in Japan and Malaysia

21 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2004

See all articles by Barry Wilkinson

Barry Wilkinson

University of Bath

Jos Gamble

Royal Holloway - School of Management

John Humphrey

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies

Jonathan Morris

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School

Doug Anthony

Cardiff University

Abstract

This article documents and analyses the organization of work and human resources management in ten manufacturing plants in Malaysia and three plants in Japan. Each of the plants carries out specific tasks within an emergent international division of labour surrounding two Japanese multinational producers of consumer electronics goods. Plant roles reflect their positions in commodity chains driven by the multinationals, varying in relation to product-to-product and component-to-component divisions of labour, and in relation to the location of product and process innovations. How work is organized and how workers are managed are explained by the location of each plant within this division of labour, and by the characteristics and situation of labour, the one commodity which talks back, within the local environment.

Suggested Citation

Wilkinson, Barry and Gamble, Jos and Humphrey, John and Morris, Jonathan and Anthony, Doug, The New International Division of Labour in Asian Electronics: Work Organization and Human Resources in Japan and Malaysia. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=565058

Barry Wilkinson (Contact Author)

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1225 386632 (Phone)

Jos Gamble

Royal Holloway - School of Management ( email )

Egham
Surrey, Egham TW20 8DG
United Kingdom
+44 1784 414094 (Phone)
+44 1784 439854 (Fax)

John Humphrey

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies ( email )

Brighton
Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9RE
United Kingdom
+4412 7367 8671 (Phone)
+4412 7362 1202 (Fax)

Jonathan Morris

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 (0)29 2087 6392 (Phone)

Doug Anthony

Cardiff University

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

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