Greenfields and ‘Wildebeests’: Management Strategies and Labour Turnover in Japanese Firms in Telford

Chris Smith, Tony Elger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the nature of industrial relations and work practices in Japanese firms within an investment cluster in Telford, Shropshire. Telford has the highest concentration of Japanese firms in one site in Britain. The article examines how conditions which were supposedly favourable to the transfer of Japanese production and personnel practices - a new town, offering greenfield investment opportunities within a quiescent industrial relations environment - actually did not facilitate ease of transfer. Rather, we suggest that problems within the labour market, including the very absence of trade unions as a collective voice for expressing workers’ grievances, created conditions unfavourable to the transplantation of Japanese work and personnel practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-284
Number of pages13
JournalEmployee Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Employee relations, Japanese management styles, Labour market, Staff turnover

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