How the partnership between Ford and the UAW, forged through more than fifty pivotal events, transformed their capacity to combine good jobs with high performance.
In 2009, the Ford Motor Company was the only one of the Big Three automakers not to take the federal bailout package. How did Ford remain standing when its competitors were brought to their knees? It was a gutsy decision, but it didn't happen in isolation. The United Auto Workers joined with Ford to make this possible—not only in 2009, but in a series of more than fifty pivotal events during three decades that add up to a transformation that simultaneously values work and delivers results.
The pivotal events—some planned and some unplanned; some at the facility level and some at the enterprise level –were not all successful. All had the potential, however, to further the transformation, and all provide insight into how large-scale system change really happens. The authors—each with years of experience with Ford, the UAW, and the industry—provide an unprecedented inside look at how core operating assumptions are shifted and at the emergence of integrated operating systems for quality, safety, and other aspects of the enterprise. It is a transformation built on a foundation of dignity and mutual respect, guided by a vision of combining good jobs with high performance.
About the Author
Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, a newly appointed Professor in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and former Dean and Professor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign, has consulted with UAW and Ford for over two decades.
Dan Brooks served as a union leader with the UAW for thirty five years, rising from local elected positions to co-lead many of the national UAW-Ford joint programs.
Martin Mulloy rose in management over thirty-four years to serve as Ford's Vice President for Global Labor Affairs.