• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Using your knowledge of relevant theories (for example from team working and organisational structure), critically evaluate the novel approach to organisation originally used at the Volvo Uddevalla plant as compared to conventional productional lines.

Extracts from this document...


Using your knowledge of relevant theories (for example from team working and organisational structure), critically evaluate the novel approach to organisation originally used at the Volvo Uddevalla plant as compared to conventional productional lines. First of all, it has to be clarified what is understood under conventional production method and the novel approach used at the Volvo Uddevalla plant. Conventional production is mass production along with serial flow production. The key elements are a paced assembly line, short cycle times, standardized work methods and hierarchical organisational structure. Serial flow production means that the production task is worked on continuously or that the processing of material is continuous and progressive. 1 In recent decades lean production was implied in manufacturing, based on a Japanese approach to reduce waste and cost in production. However, in 1989 Volvo open another revolutionary plant in Uddevalla, Sweden (see picture2), using a production technique sometimes called "reflexive production" (Elleg�rd, Engstr�m, Johansson, Nilsson, Medbo, 1992) or "parallel flow production"3, however having the basic idea of cell production where the production is divided into cells (i.e. teams) and each completes the production of a whole item independently of the others. "According to The Economist, this model [of production used at Uddevalla] "... centres on autonomous teams of highly skilled craftsmen. ...read more.


of mental ability, an ability to identify and adjust imbalances in the group, a strong plant that produces ideas for the team, a good coordinator that shows patience, command, seeks out ability and elicits trust and a range of team roles available to the group.11 The main benefit is said to be heuristic - there was individual effectiveness at Uddevalla; workers had the opportunity of discussing their own and other people's contribution to the team and therefore resolve performance and relationships issues which could create a barrier to overall effectiveness. All this was possible at the conditions under which workers were operating at Uddevalla, whereas workers in a flow production were not having this opportunity and therefore were not working as efficient since there was no chance of personal intervention. Another great contribution to effectiveness made possible by working in a team is by the presence of synergy. Synergy the idea of a team working together so well that it outperforms even its best member. Through the process of working together inferior contributions can be eliminated, errors out averaged and workers think more creatively.12 Another contributor is a process called reflexivity. West (1996) defined it as "the extent to which group members overtly reflect upon the group's objectives, strategies and processes and adapt them to current or anticipated circumstances. ...read more.


There are a lot more differences in these two production lines - much more that could be covered in a 2000 words essay. For example, in this essay the motivational aspect of simply working in a group was nearly completely ignored. However, "because assemblers at Uddevalla worked in groups, they had more opportunity to interact socially with their co-workers. Furthermore, Uddevalla workers reported more satisfactory "supervisor climate" and "relations with fellow workers" (Engstrom, Johansson, Jonsson, et al., 1995)".18 Furthermore, it was ignored that, "When compared to conventional assembly, Uddevalla work had some areas where lower demands were placed on workers, and other areas with higher demands. Serial-flow workers have higher demands in terms of assembly timing because a predetermined model paces their work. The tilting devices at the Uddevalla plant were created to maintain musculoskeletal comfort. Working on tilted cars places less physical demand on the workers compared to conventional assembly (Kadefors et al., 1996). On the other hand, psychological demand is greater: During the 100-minute cycle time, the Uddevalla assemblers completed significantly more tasks than conventional assemblers, and the tasks where varied and complex. Uddevalla workers reported more psychological workload than conventional workers, though they also reported more satisfactory "stimulus from the work itself" (Engstrom, Johansson, Jonsson, et al., 1995)."19 The main essence of the novel approach was the flattening of the organisational structure and the working in teams, which doesn't happen in conventional flow production lines. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. The Balance of Power Between Hedda and Brack

    Brack speaks slowly in the same patronising tone as Hedda in Act Two, asking her questions he already knows the answer to, "You didn't leave the room while he was here?" , "No", "Think again." Showing, again, he has the power in the relationship as he is able to manipulate Hedda into doing what he wants.

  2. Form and Structure Brecht's 'The Resistible ...

    again: "But don't rejoice too soon at your escape-/ The womb he crawled from is still going strong." * The prologue and Epilogue act as brackets to the play, concluding it in a way that reinforces the technique of 'epic' theatre adopted by Brecht to present it.

  1. In this essay I will be analysing in depth four scenes from Baz Luhrmann's ...

    There is a high angle aerial shot of Satine once the curtains close and they show Satine dying, becoming very weak. This is used as when you look down on someone/something it is seen as be weaker than you. The camera however looks up on Christian, which suggests that he survives.

  2. Beautiful Burnout by frantic assembly: REVIEW

    outcome of the play, they did so by using the lighting as an emphasis on the emotion of the storyline, both intimate and intriguing moments, for example when Cameron was struck down the lighting was changed from and exciting purple (to convey an up-beat fight)

  1. Form and Structure of 'Two'

    The Landlord and Landlady re-enter the play like structured intervals and this is how the play is structured, because after other characters have finished a monologue or duologue, for example after Roy and Lesley there is a small section after them between the Landlord and Landlady.

  2. Analyze and comment on the effectiveness of media devices used to present war in ...

    Another Media device I will be looking at is: editing sequence. This is how shots are cut and spliced together and it can be very effective if it is used correctly. In saving Private Ryan, the editing sequence is lengthy as soldier after soldier is killed of leaving the boat.

  1. The author Michael Frayn has used many different devices in order to sustain the ...

    it becomes quite obvious at that moment she is keeping secrets and trying to justify her actions to those who begin to query her. Mr Hayward's behaviour can also be seen as particularly distrustful, on the occasions that we hear from him in the novel he can be presented as a violent and intimidating character.

  2. 'The Fordist system led to both labour market and production inflexibility, which prevented organizations ...

    Under mass production, not only were parts interchangeable, so too were assemblers. According to Womack, Jones, and Roos (1990), the mass production system carried the division of labour to its ultimate extreme. 'The assembler had only one task, to put two nuts on two bolts or perhaps to attach one wheel to each car.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work