Saturn, The GM/UAW Partnership
Author(s)Rubinstein, Saul; Kochan, Thomas
Designed and implemented as a partnership between GM and the UAW, Saturn breaks new ground in firm governance,management and industrial relations. Through detailed study of Saturn?s partnership arrangements we have found that thelocal management and union leaders have not only implementedthe contractual joint governance institutions which involvelabor in business strategy, product development, supplier andretailer selection, and manufacturing policy, but have also created a system of co-management which gives hundreds ofjointly selected unionoperations management.1members theIn order toresponsibilities ofunderstand the impact ofthe involvement of union members as management, we analyzedthe relationship between the behaviors of both representedand non-represented middle managers, the dynanics of theirindividual union-management partnership relations,differences in their patterns of communication andcoordination, and Saturn?s quality performance. We alsoexamined each partner?s use of time to explore the balancingof social and economic tasks between represented and nonrepresentedpartners. These data were combined with analysesof the tensions within the union between its traditional rolein membership representation, and its new role in managementand governance. Finally, we raise questions regarding thelearning from and diffusion of Saturn to the rest of the GMand the UAW organizations.
The Impact of Co-Management and Joint Governance on Firm and Local Union Performance
GM, Saturn, operations management, UAW