Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Department

Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Hansman, Catherine

Subject Headings

Automobile industry workers -- United States, Automobile industry and trade -- United States, Globalization -- Economic aspects -- United States, Industrial relations -- United States, United Auto Workers, Auto workers, Corporate bureaucracy, Critical theory, Union bureaucracy, Electronic books. local

Abstract

The domestic auto industry in the United States is struggling for survival. A steady loss of market share to foreign competitors resulted in the industry reevaluating their business and labor practices that have proven so successful over the years. The problem is that little research has been conducted regarding the impact that the interrelationship between separate management, union, and work force subcultures are having on the reorganization of the domestic auto industry. The purpose of this research was to examine the impact the past and present business and labor practices have had on the domestic automobile industry from the perspective of three existing subcultures: managers, union representatives, and hourly workers. This critical qualitative study will augment the awareness of others interested in how the interrelationship between business and labor practices can lead to an entrenched bureaucratic system that impacts not only the total industry culture but also its existing subcultures. To fulfill the purpose of the research ethnographic interviews of managers, union representatives, and line workers were conducted. An emic approach of the author was incorporated into the process in an attempt to further the thick descriptions of the participants as they tell their stories

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