The implementation of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) in manufacturing organisations is increasing. In many cases the introduction of AMT has been associated with conflict between management and workers. This appears to be due to the potential for AMT to have a de-skilling effect upon job content and, in some instances, leading to job losses. In reality, fears concerning both these issues have reduced and consequently there has been a change away from conflict between management and workers to divisions amongst shopfloor operators. The paper explores some of the processes involved in this change within the context of an engineering case study. More specifically, it is shown that when AMT was introduced into a machining workshop, traditional conflict between management and operators was soon replaced by negative feelings between users and non-users of AMT. The implications of industrial relations suggest the need for more care and attention to the human side of work organisation when implementing new manufacturing technology.
- advanced manufacturing technology
- attitudes in the workplace
- industrial conflict