Exploding the Myth of the Total Quality Toyota

The FT has an article which details union concerns that Toyota was sacrificing quality for price competitiveness. This is not in of itself news: it is a constant of the conditions of capitalist production that cost is weighed against quality and market share. What is interesting is that Toyotism has largely been described as a managerial philosophy where among other contradictions the tension between quality of build and price competitiveness need not exist. Of course the hype was always just that hype. Most forms of managerialism which portaray themselves as resolving fundamental contradictions simply serve to repress them only to find them surfacing in other forms, places and times. Worth a look.

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