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Working paper

Rhetoric and reality in the clothing industry: the case of post-Fordism

URP Working Paper No. 26
Clothing trade Manufacturing Organisational culture Australia
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apo-nid130686.pdf 21.71 MB

This paper is the second in a series on technological and organisational change within the Australian clothing industry, and forms part of the research project entitled 'A Local Division of Production : Technological Change and Productive lnterlinkages in Australian Manufacturing'. The purpose of this second paper is to examine in greater detail how new production concepts have been translated at the clothing manufacturing enterprise level. These changing production techniques are empirically explored through the 'lens' of the post-fordist paradigm. The study concludes that although most companies have had to introduce varying degrees of flexibilty into their operations, this flexibility cannot legitimately be described as post-fordist. A cautionary note is also raised : when examining technological and organisational change in the clothing industry it is not enough to look at individual firms as self-contained units; any useful analysis must also take account of the practice of subcontracting and strategic interlinkages between companies.

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