In this book we have explored about one hundred years of cultural transformations within automotive manufacturing. We examined major shifts in the structure and dynamics of work in the United States, emphasizing especially the contrasts between mass production and flexible and lean production. We developed two models of cultural transformation—one focusing on the elements of cultural adaptiveness, cultural responsiveness, and cultural problem solving, and the other that uses the metaphor of a bridge to focus on organizational-culture-change processes. We described a consensus-based cultural ideal for GM’s manufacturing culture that identifies one possible model for GM as it heads into its future. We also introduced a set of tools that GM and other U.S.-based organizations can use to facilitate the change process where change in collaboration, cooperation, and relationships are needed. Each of these aspects of manufacturing culture has the potential to yield benefits not only for GM and other U.S. manufacturing organizations but also for other U.S. organizations as well. Our focus in this chapter is to consider the lessons from this study of manufacturing culture and the ways in which those lessons are applicable to issues of cultural transformation in the American workplace.
KeywordsLesson Learn Bridge Model Lean Production Cultural Transformation External Customer
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