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"Work and Flexible Automation in Britain: A Review of Developments and Possibilities"

by Jones, Bryn (1988)

Abstract

The convergence of information technologies into flexible automation systems underlies theories of both the upgrading and deskilling of jobs in manufacturing. Relevant empirical studies are analysed using a distinction between the system-integration and operational flexibility dimensions of the technologies. The review shows that their use in Britain is still limited and that the present pattern of accompanying work roles and occupational statuses includes both enhancement and degradation of work, even within the same occupation. The social and technological patterns are attributed to: organisational constraints on unions, the financial priorities of enterprises operating within a dual industrial structure, and state policies' emphasis on the cost-saving gains of the advanced system-integration forms of technology.

Keywords

Automation, Machines, Technology, Flexibility, Flexible Automation, British Context, Technology Adoption, Robotics, Division Of Labour, Work Organisation

Themes

Automation Issues

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