Week 2 Summary
The article that I have chosen for this week summary is ‘Death of a Factory: Market Rationalism’s Hidden Abode in Inner-City Melbourne’ by Rob Lambert. The writer of this article presents a brief overview of the historical development of this local business, an account of the texture of the social relations of production at the Chef factory and the organisational culture the management had created.
Chef has been Australia’s leading stove producer since the 1960s. Their innovative development of the gas burner technology not only received recognition in Australia but they manage to secure a lucrative royalty deal with a Japanese manufacturer which increased their sales reaching a turnover of $ 8 million by the early 1970s. However, due to the takeover, the intense work, high risk and innovation by Chef has come to an end. On the other hand, the writer also wrote about how the General Manager, Ron Barbano who played a pivotal role in making the working environment in the factory a meaningful way of life and not just a place to work for all the diverse employees working at Chef. In addition, employees refers the factory as ‘my home’ because they were valued as persons, independently of skills and position, grow up together and did many activities with their colleagues and bonded as a community.
Meanwhile, Barbano believes that his management style has been influenced by Max Flockhart, his father, and the Young Christian Workers. He learned that as a manager, he needs to understand the needs and aspirations of shop-floor workers and give them security so that they can do their job well as they know they are secured. It is also said that he treated everyone like his friend without caring about his status. Barbano’s commitment to security and equality was able to unite the immensely diverse migrant workforce which has the potential of social conflict if it has not been managed well....