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The Women can be moved to fill in the gaps': New production concepts, gender and suppliers

Newsome, K.J. (2003) The Women can be moved to fill in the gaps': New production concepts, gender and suppliers. Gender, Work and Organization, 10 (3). pp. 320-341. ISSN 0968-6673

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This article wishes to extend our understanding of New Production Concepts (hereafter NPC) induced restructuring in two areas. Firstly, it wishes to further explore the gender distinctions to be made when considering the impact of NPC on the labour process. In turn, this calls for a consideration of the extent to which NPC restructuring perpetuates, recasts and fortifies gendered divisions of labour within organizations. It will indicate how the introduction of NPC within a buyer and two supply organizations intensified prevailing gendered divisions of labour and disproportionately impacted upon women workers. It will also stress that women workers appeared to be more exposed to the implementation of policies designed to secure responsiveness to the satisfaction of customer requirements. However, while the evidence will reveal the importance of exploring distinctions within labour as part of a process of restructuring, it also highlights the linkages between these organizations. Secondly, therefore it aims to extend the territory of existing debates by highlighting a gender distinction across and between organizations. It will conclude by highlighting the importance of constructing an analysis of NPC-induced restructuring which not only embraces a gendered analysis of change but simultaneously does not privilege research attention to particular 'hermetically sealed' workplaces, dislocated from a wider process of inter-firm restructuring.