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Productivity and Skills in Vehicle Component Manufacturers in Britain, Germany, the USA and Japan

Christopher Carr
National Institute Economic Review
No. 139 (February 1992), pp. 79-87
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23868402
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Productivity and Skills in Vehicle Component Manufacturers in Britain, Germany, the USA and Japan
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Abstract

This article investigates international productivity differentials in one industry over the last 10 years, and the impact of skills differences. In 1981–3 interviews were held with Chief Executives and other personnel down to the level of the shop floor, in 56 matched vehicle component manufacturers in Britain, Germany, the USA and Japan. In 1989–90 further, more limited, interviews were carried out in 22 British and 23 German vehicle component manufacturers to gauge the effects of past differences and to investigate more recent progress. Findings suggest that substantial progress on manning levels and labour flexibility has resulted in some narrowing of the productivity gap against Germany, but a large gap remains against Japan. It is suggested that Britain may need to look to the Japanese skills model, emphasising high standards of basic education and vigorous programmes aimed at continuous employee development.

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