Critically evaluate the novel approach to organization originally used at the Volvo Uddevella plant as compared to conventional production lines.

Essay by hybryUniversity, Bachelor'sC, April 2007

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Using your knowledge of relevant theories (for example from team working and organisational structure), critically evaluate the novel approach to organisation originally used at the Volvo Uddevella plant as compared to conventional production lines.

In 1986 Volvo opened a plant in Uddevalla. This was completely new model car-plant. It was based on teamwork and self management therefore it required lower level of supervision. It was designed as test factory for new ideas as well as source of attracting new skilled employees as it was high level of job security and low level of unemployment in Sweden at the 1980's. (Lottridge, 2004)

For first few years the plant was less efficient than Volvo's main Swedish - Torslanda - plant which was traditional assembly line plant because it was going through development stage. However before it was closed in 1993, it had similar or even better lead and assembly times than Torslanda as well as better quality.

Also since car was built in small team there was less expenditure on equipment such as tools and heavy machinery for each position would have been needed in traditional assembly line. (Sandberg, 1994)

Team model in Uddevalla plant was in the way that it assembled whole car at the time. There were around 8 people working in one team with team leader changing every so often within the group, therefore eliminating or at least flattening hierarchy within the team and rise the motivation of workers within the team. Responsibilities of the team leader were to do all the administrative duties and to organize the team work. It was also possible for workers to undergo management courses to improve their skills and increase job efficiency. Unlike in assembly line where one has only one task he/she is performing in that one possible...