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Managing Innovation and Change People, Technology and Strategy by Jon Clark

Managing Innovation and Change People, Technology and Strategy


Managing Innovation and Change People, Technology and Strategy by Jon Clark

Written specifically to meet the needs of students, this engaging book interweaves a fascinating case story with more general analysis to offer an ideal introduction to the processes and issues of managing organizational innovation and change. The story covers 10 years in the development of a major strategic initiative by Pirelli General - the creation and operation of an automated `factory of the future'. Each chapter advances the story through a particular theme introduced by concise overviews of the main theories, concepts and debates in the literature, and concludes with questions for discussion. Key topics covered are: strategy and structure - the competitive environment, strategic decision-making, roles, relationships and tensions in a complex multinational; human resource management and industrial relations - greenfield versus `brownfield' siting, flexibility, multi-skilling, single-union agreement, developing and implementing new HRM strategy; technological innovation - designing and implementing computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), the challenges and problems of total automation; total quality management - introducing a culture of continuous improvement; and managing strategic innovation - continuity and change, leadership and culture, ideals and realities, learning in organizations.


`Jon Clark's book, where the relationship between technology and man is explored, looks at just one establishment, Pirelli General's Aberdare suite. An extremely well-written sociological account of more than 10 years of massive technological, human resource and competitive change in one factory, it analyses the impact of automation and its implications for the workforce and the future of organisational life. It covers the conflicts, the decision-making processes, the failures and successes of this venture, in a narrative form that makes a cogent case study of green- and brown-field development in the automated factory of the future.... also a good practice example of technological innovation and creative human-resource management - Times Higher Educational Supplement

`I thoroughly enjoyed reading Managing Innovation and Change. Not only did I learn a great deal, but I found it absorbing and compelling. Anyone who wants to know about the management of change `for real
should read it

' - Keith Sisson, University of Warwick

`The book is different. Its selling point is that the conventional range of people issues - human resource strategies, choosing and implementing new technologies, managing quality - are interwoven with a real story of the opening and operation of a high-tech Pirelli cable plant in South Wales.... The company story, with its factory of the future overtones is chock full of incidents and insights, and enables the author to discuss the full range of new management practices . Connections between events and ideas are clear, and students are given summaries and discussion questions to consolidate their knowledge.... The book is excellent on the theory and practice of strategic change, particularly on the technological side.... but in terms of its objectives of an accessible introduction to managing change it works admirably. So many case studies are a disappointment, but Clark's combinations of debates and events, if used carefully, could be a highly effective teaching tool' - British Journal of Industrial Relations

`This is a story that is genuinely interesting. Each chapter begins with a concise, and generally good, literature review related to the main themes of the story. The issues raised are then mapped on to the Pirelli situation. The closing of each chapter includes a summary of the main points, followed finally by the now seemingly compulsory questions for discussion . Much of the book is a description of the ideas and actions of and among management. Who did what, when and why occurs on nearly every page. It is in such details that the art of good story-telling lies.... Encompassing postal questionnaires, interviews, observation and documentary data, the research design and its enactment are impressive.... The strength of this book lies in its description and illustration of the issues and processes involved in the initiation and implementation of leading-edge manufacturing innovation; a kind of one-stop, off-the-shelf text for students and teachers' - Journal of Management Studies

`This book breathes life into abstract academic concepts related to the management of technology through a rich, journalist description of how members of one company justified, implemented and managed an automated factory in the United Kingdom.... Overall, the book presents an engaging look at how abstract concepts related to individual's actions during the evolving enactment of a firm's stratey and technology. Thus, it should be interesting to those who want to gain insight into the messy realities of long-term strategic change and technology implementation. Although the book is primarily a case study, I believe that readers will be able to glean insights that can be applied to the implementation and management of large-scale, comprehensive, avanced manufacturing technologies in a variety of industrial settings' - Journal of Productivity and Innovation Management

`Clark traces the creation and operation by Pirelli General (later Pirelli Cables) of a cable manufacturing plant in Aberdare, South Wales. His story starts with the decision by Pirelli in 1984 to establish an experimental plant whose level of automation would provide an exampleto the rest of the company of how low-cost competition from newly emerging nations could be countered. Taking us up to the end of 1992, by which time the site was in full production, Clark examines in great detail the issues the site faced in putting the ideal into practice...A vivid and fascinating account of management decision making in a range of areas.' - Work, Employment and Society'

About the Author

Jon Clark is Professor of Industrial Relations in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1995


Jon Clark

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SAGE Publications Ltd


288 pages


Business strategy

Industrial relations



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