Teamwork and Gendered Work Cultures: The Case of Finland
In this article I focus on women workers’ experiences of transformation from line work to teamworking in Finnish clothing companies in the 1990s and also show what happened after this transformation in the clothing branch. The undertone of it is rather melancholic. Following an initial period of intensive and successful development, clothing work was moved from Finland to countries of cheap labour, such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, and even China. In this type of network manufacturing, the development of modern information and communication technologies played a central role. My aim is to present the standpoint of women clothing workers in this process. The main body of the empirical data of my study consists of dialogues with clothing workers, union representatives, supervisors and managers. I also make use of my fieldwork notes, memos and research diaries from three companies over a period of five years. Furthermore, in the background lie the action research material from Scandinavian type work conferences and the survey material of an extensive mail inquiry that covered the whole branch in Finland. My own research started in 1991 as a mail inquiry and then continued as a case study in companies from 1992 to 2000, by employing action research and ethnographic methodologies.
Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
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