Ford V Fordism : The Beginning of Mass production
This article questions the stereotypes of Fordism and mass production. It does so by demonstrating that there is a contradiction between the stereotypes and the reality of Henry Ford's manufacturing practice in production of the Model T at the Highland Park factory between 1909 and 1919. Highland Park was not an inflexible factory which combined dedicated equipment, Taylorised semi-skilled workers and a standardised product. More positively, the article quantifies Ford's heroic achievement in taking two-thirds of the labour hours out of the product at the same time as he built more of each car. Ford used productive intervention to realise manufacturing flow through proto-Japanese manufacturing techniques which involved a commitment to continuous improvement.