The emergence of market-oriented economies in eastern and central Europe has produced an extensive debate on institutional transfer. Whilst it is generally recognized that new regulatory systems are being created out of a de facto consensus between unions, employers and government, less is known about the firm-specific organizational ramifications of such changes. This case study examines the interplay between institutional constraints and management decision making in the organization of production and work in two recently privatized Hungarian clothing manufacturing firms. We focus upon managerial action and the implementation of strategy; specifically on how managers have sought to re-shape the organization of production in an attempt to meet the market exigencies of a changing global production system in apparel. We show contrasting ways in which firms have sought to introduce new production paradigms that emphasize quality, cost and productive efficiencies, arguing that even where firms have more resources than others, efforts to restructure time discipline amongst workers are not necessarily successful
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