The New International Division of Labour in Asian Electronics: Work Organization and Human Resources in Japan and Malaysia
21 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2004
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.
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