JOBS: Doubting Sweden's Way

Boredom on the job. Blue-collar blues. By any name, the problems of low morale and numbing monotony surrounding production-line work have been of considerable concern in U.S. industry. One alternative often cited by various work reformers is the team-assembly concept pioneered by the Swedish automakers Saab and Volvo, according to which workers in small groups perform rotating tasks rather than installing the same widget on a fast-moving, impersonal line. American sociologists and union and management officials regularly return from tours of such plants favorably impressed. But recently a group of six...

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