Just-in-Time: Hur industriella rationaliseringsstrategier formar arbetsdelning och kompetens

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The emergence of new modes of production, referred to as flexible specialization, post-Fordism or neo-Fordism, has played an important and controversial role in the debate among economic geographers and industrial sociologists. In the discussion assumptions have been made about a process of up-skilling of the work force. In this study a random sample of 351 white- and blue-collar workers in eight enterprises, were interviewed about their work tasks, in order to examine the division of labour and competence. The aim of the study is to identify the existence and practical implementation of new strategies in industrial production and to contribute with empirical evidence to the question of whether a process of up-skilling and job enrichment is under development. The management strategies with the strongest prevalence in the enterprises were just-in-time production lay-outs, decentralization, customer-designed products and introduction of automation technologies.

The results indicate a development of job enlargement, often in combination with higher knowledge demands. The rate of job enlargement was greater for white-collar than for blue-collar workers, but the trend is the same for both groups. Most frequently integrated in the jobs were new communicative and administrative tasks. The job changes could be ascribes to a joint effect of organizational strategies and technology. Hence, the results confirm the fact that the division of labour is not solely determined by technological development. Technology has the potential to facilitate the control of work tasks in an organization, as well as the opposite. It is the strategies of production, with no-storage buffers, precise standards of quality and deliveries and market-adapted products, which make decentralized decisions, skill and involvement among employees valuable to the production process.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Human Geography
  • Wärneryd, Olof, Supervisor
Award date1994 Mar 4
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 1994-03-04
Time: 10:15
Place: Department of Social and Economic Geography
External reviewer(s)
Name: Björkman, Torsten
Title: Professor
Affiliation: KTH Stockholm

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Geography

Free keywords

  • Competence
  • post-fordism
  • just-in-time
  • division of labour
  • flexible production
  • skills

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