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Designed for Learning: A Tale of Two Auto Plants

The Toyota-GM joint venture, NUMMI, and Volvo's Uddevalla plant represent two different ways of organizing the labor-intensive production of standardized products, in this case, auto assembly. NUMMI is based on the Japanese "lean production" model, whereas Uddevalla has been called a "human-centered" model. Which model can best simulate continuous improvement while maintaining worker morale? The authors argue that the answer is, emphatically, NUMMI.

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