Title: Does it matter what workers do? The role of workers' relational agency in the hybridisation of TNC subsidiaries in China and Mexico

Authors: Frido Wenten

Addresses: Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG, London

Abstract: This article questions if the issue of hybridisation - or convergence and divergence - in the operations of global car producers is sufficiently addressed on the level of ideal typical 'productive models' or other forms of static ideal types. Arguing that there are difficulties in accounting for dynamic change and process, I suggest a shift in attention to processes of relational agency between social agents on and beyond the shop floor. Based on empirical evidence on the Chinese and Mexican subsidiaries of one of the largest global car manufacturers, I argue that in these relational processes worker agency has to be considered as a factor that shapes institutional change and variety, as well as the actual performance of shop floor institutions.

Keywords: automotive industry; hybridisation; convergence; divergence; workers; labour; agency; China; Mexico.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2017.084803

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2017 Vol.17 No.2, pp.190 - 207

Received: 15 Nov 2016
Accepted: 20 Dec 2016

Published online: 20 Jun 2017 *

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