TQO Saturn: The GM/UAW Quality Partnership

Project Details


The research focuses on the role of labor in quality management, examining in particular whether co-management and a labor-management partnership work organization add value to first-time-quality performance at General Motors( Saturn Corporation. The researchers will examine the relationship between the specific characteristics of the quality partnership and quality performance by analyzing the variation in this relationship across three plants and 50 departments at Saturn. An in-depth empirical study of the system of quality and operations co-management will focus on the behavior patterns and management methods of union members as supervisors when compared to their non- represented counterparts, and the impact of these supervisors on first-time-quality improvement. In addition, this project will examine the process by which General Motors (GM) and the United Auto Workers have attempted to transform their organizational cultures and to develop an innovative alternative to past practice. The process of organizational learning and diffusion of Saturn(s quality systems back to GM also will be studied.

Effective start/end date1/15/9512/31/97


  • National Science Foundation: $220,291.00


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