This case study finds that disrespect by international expatriate managers towards local employees triggered long-term industrial unrest in the Indian subsidiary of the global car maker Toyota. Whilst innovative production models and their tools provide economic advantage to the company, the interaction of the application of the lean production model within the context of host country institutions often creates workplace disputation and unrest due to unilateralism and managerial hegemonies that overrides local customs and norms. The power of multinational enterprises to override or ignore institutional resistance and to inflict disrespect towards the local workforce can result in worker resistance, a lack of trust, and ongoing industrial unrest. This case study demonstrates how a lack of respect of local customs and workers grievances had long-lasting consequences in terms of the subsequent conflict and a poor industrial relations climate at the production plant in India.
- auto production
- lean management