The Role of the Technology Supplier in the Politics of Production

Christian Koch

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    This paper examines the relations between the technology supplier and the customer factory as an element of the politics of production. It is initially argued that labour process theory cannot limit itself to the analysis of individual enterprises. The politics in production is actually impacted from a multitude of positions outside the factory. This includes the impacts through formation of subjectivity, labour market, social security, the origin of rawmateriel, ie.the production chains, and the technology used in the factory. On the basis of a Danish study the role of the technology supplier is then examined. It is argued that supplier and customer tend to build up a interdependency of economic, social and technical character, denoted as segments. The segments works as a fortification of a dominant alliance between suppliers representatives and parts of management. The segments further works as a inclusion mechanism for a technical and organizational solution and as exclusion of other alternatives. In this way the segments are extended factory regimes. Thus the argument made, is that Burawoys factory regime should be extended to an understanding of the social forces "behind" and "attached" to the technology.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTechnology Management Texts no.2. CISTEMA-DTU
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

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