Theodore, Weber / SMALL MANUFACTURERS
1. The performance measures to which the moniker refers often include increases in productivity growth, quality (e.g., ISO 9000 status), rates of customer retention, and employee retention.
2. A 1993 survey of a random sample of 800 larger U.S. manufacturing establishments found that roughly 35% report the use of teams, 55% rotate workers between teams, and 45% use quality circles (Osterman, 1994). More recent evidence suggests that the use of teams and quality circles among manufacturers is on the rise in larger establishments.
3. The benchmarking survey conducted by the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center detected an upward trend in wages in small manufacturers beginning in 1998 (D. Luria, personal communication, March 2000).
4. Houseman (1999) offered two possible explanations for this finding. First, employers may wish to provide different benefits packages to different groups of workers, a practice that would be in violation of federal labor laws. Staffing certain occupations through temporary help agencies would allow employers to offer premium benefit packages to regular workers while excluding contingent workers from such benefits. An overall savings from wages and benefits could then be achieved. A second possible explanation is that before employers are willing to provide costly benefits packages to workers, they pre- fer to screen prospective employees, initially hiring them as temporaries prior to offering them regular employment.
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