The Machine Tool Industry in Germany and the United States from the Perspective of Industrial Culture

  • Gabrielle Laske


The understanding of technology as based on and emerging from social, economic, and cultural conditions shows configurations of influencing aspects which throw light upon technological developments in a new way. The following results of a study on U.S. and German CNC machine tool design are a starting point for perceiving technological development and technical artefacts from an industrial cultural perspective. This article also points out how persistent and dynamic forces of an industrial culture effect implementation and design of technical artefacts. They either become an advantage or hindrance to competition on the global (CNC machine tool) market. Existing structures like the organization of workforce and production systems contain persistent elements. Performing people seldom notice the underlying values and norms in these structures and themselves. ‘As nearly all our mental programs are affected by values, nearly all are affected by culture, and this is reflected by our behavior. The cultural component in all kinds of behavior is difficult to grasp for people who remain embedded in the same cultural enviroment; it takes a prolonged stay abroad and mixing with nationals there to recognize the numerous and often subtle differences in the way they and we behave, because that is how our society has programmed us.’(Hofstede, S. 23)


Machine Tool Industrial Culture Machine Tool Industry Skill Upgrade German Engineer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Asdonk,Jupp/Bredeweg, Udo/Kovol, Uli Die mikropolitische Arena technischer Innovation Eine Untersuchung zur Technikgenese im Bereich der Produktionstechnik; For-schungsbericht, Bielefeld, 1992Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, Thomas Change in the Nature and Structure of Work: Skillrequirements and Skill Formation University of California, Berkeley, 1990Google Scholar
  3. Bendix, Ulf/Knuth, Jutta/Kuhn, Michael/u. a. - Industrielle Metallberufe - Berufsreport 1A,1B,2 Bremen, 1991Google Scholar
  4. Böhle, Fritz/Mielkau, Brigitte Vom Handrad zum Bildschirm Frankfurt, 1988Google Scholar
  5. Brödner, Peter Fabrik 2000 Alternative Entwickungspfade in der Zukunft der Fabrik Berlin, 1985Google Scholar
  6. Competing in World-Class Manufacturing National Center for Manufacturing Science Homewood, Il 1990Google Scholar
  7. Das Erleben der Arbeit am Arbeitsplatz mit neuer Technik Am Beispiel von CNC-Werkzeugmaschinen in der industriellen Fertigung Projektbericht, Universität Hamburg, 1988Google Scholar
  8. Hofstede, Geert Culture’s Consequences Sage, Newbury Park, 1990Google Scholar
  9. Kelley, Maryellen R, New Process Technology, Job Design, and Work Organization: A Contingency Model American Social Review, Vol. 55; 1990Google Scholar
  10. Kelley, Maryellen R. Programmable Automation and the Skill Question: a Reinterpretation of the Cross- National Evidence Human System Management 6; 1986Google Scholar
  11. Methods to Transfer Federal Technology and Improve Industrial Competitiveness Executive Summary Georgia Institute of Technology, 1991Google Scholar
  12. Paschen,Herbert/Gresser, Klaus/Conrad, Felix Technology Assessment: Technologiefolgenabschätzung Frankfurt/New York, 1978Google Scholar
  13. Rauner, Felix/Ruth, Klaus Perspectives of Research in, Felix/Ruth, Klaus Perspectives of Research in ‘Industrial Culture’ Elsevier Science Publisher B.V., 1990Google Scholar
  14. The U.S. Machine Tool Industry and its Foreign competitors Working Paper; MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity Cambridge, 1989Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrielle Laske

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations