Toyota's Production Methods: Do They Commensurate with the Values of the United States?

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Toyota's production methods: Are they commensurate with United States' values? America is a society that famously values hard work. Americans work longer hours than their European counterparts, and they have fewer vacation days. Americans also offer fewer benefits to the unemployed and less extensive government social support programs such as health care and pensions, versus Europe. This work ethic is similarly embodied in the culture of Toyota, one of the world's most famously precise and rigorous companies. In the Toyota Corporation, zero waste and zero defects is the ideal, and "a disciplined yet flexible and creative community of scientists" devises ways for Toyota to realize this objective (Spear & Bowen 2012:1). Toyota's rigorous standards are achieved by very rigid control of worker activities. "Employees follow a well-defined sequence of steps for a particular job. This specificity enables people to see and address deviations immediately encouraging continual learning and improvement" (Spear & Bowen 2012:1). Toyota's demand for uniformity of movements might seem anathema to American individualism, were it not for the fact that scientific management as a concept actually originated in the United States. Scientific management had similar principles to the Toyota Production System (TPS), whereby extraneous movements are eliminated and every order for every supply and every movement on the production line is predetermined. Anyone who has ever worked for a fast food

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