Inactive banana time: lean production and the degradation of work in the UK civil service

R. Carter, Andrew Danford, D Howcroft, R Richardson, A. Smith, Philip Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Lean production methods have long been associated with the manufacturing sector, in particular auto plants. Proponents claim that lean is a superior way of organising work that eliminates waste and inefficiency, whilst simultaneously continually improving quality and productivity (Womack et al., 1990). Although there is limited reference to workers, lean is typically located in the language of mutual gains, with promises of enhanced worker involvement and responsibility. Furthermore, Womack and Jones (2003) argue that lean can successfully be applied to the service sector. The adoption of lean is perceived as especially relevant given the current fiscal climate of public sector reform (Radnor and Boaden 2008). However, in doing so they largely ignore evidence from critics that lean results in constant pressure and subordination, which degrades the experience of work (Stewart et al. 2009)

Conference

Conference30th International Labour Process Conference
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period27/03/1229/03/13

Fingerprint

Civil service
Lean production
Degradation
Workers
Manufacturing sector
Organizing
Inefficiency
Public sector reform
Subordination
Service sector
Production methods
Language
Productivity
Responsibility
Climate
Fiscal

Keywords

  • dignity
  • degradation
  • lean production
  • meaning of work
  • public sector
  • visual management

Cite this

Carter, R., Danford, A., Howcroft, D., Richardson, R., Smith, A., & Taylor, P. (2012). Inactive banana time: lean production and the degradation of work in the UK civil service. Paper presented at 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.
Carter, R. ; Danford, Andrew ; Howcroft, D ; Richardson, R ; Smith, A. ; Taylor, Philip. / Inactive banana time : lean production and the degradation of work in the UK civil service. Paper presented at 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.
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Carter, R, Danford, A, Howcroft, D, Richardson, R, Smith, A & Taylor, P 2012, 'Inactive banana time: lean production and the degradation of work in the UK civil service' Paper presented at 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, 27/03/12 - 29/03/13, .

Inactive banana time : lean production and the degradation of work in the UK civil service. / Carter, R.; Danford, Andrew ; Howcroft, D; Richardson, R; Smith, A.; Taylor, Philip.

2012. Paper presented at 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Carter R, Danford A, Howcroft D, Richardson R, Smith A, Taylor P. Inactive banana time: lean production and the degradation of work in the UK civil service. 2012. Paper presented at 30th International Labour Process Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.