Title: General Motor's great experiments: foundations for Lansing Grand River Assembly

Authors: Michael L. Moore; William M. Mothersell; Jaideep Motwani

Addresses: School of Human Resources and Labour Relations, Michigan State University, 368 Farm Lane, Room 429, South Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1032, USA ' Seidman College of Business, Grand Valley State University, 3073 L. William Seidmen Center, 50 Front Avenue S.W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504-6424, USA ' Seidman College of Business, Grand Valley State University, 3073 L. William Seidmen Center, 50 Front Avenue S.W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504-6424, USA

Abstract: This paper revisits the past and provides an extensive overview and analysis of the three major experiments conducted by General Motor's (GM) in the 1980s. Each experiment offered an entirely different paradigm for auto manufacturing, for union-management and employee-management relations. Although all aspects of the three experiments can be viewed today in Lansing Grand River Assembly (LGRA), there is one system has clearly become dominant. In this study, we examine the elements of all the three systems and demonstrate how the success of NUMMI led to the wide-spread adoption of lean manufacturing by GM in the past two decades.

Keywords: USA; automobile industry; General Motors; lean manufacturing; sociotechnical systems; STS; United States; Lansing Grand River Assembly; automotive manufacturing; union management; employee-management relations; New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated; NUMMI.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2014.065507

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2014 Vol.7 No.6, pp.771 - 790

Available online: 28 Oct 2014 *

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