The Workforce in the Automotive Industry between Boom and Crisis: The Example of BMW


The project investigates the workforce at BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) in Munich and Dingolfing from the 1960s through the 1980s, with regard to their structural composition, their (political) awareness, and their actions and ability to act within the company. This takes not only the workers themselves into account but also the relevant actors of the period – management, works council, union representatives, and radical left-wing groups at the company. The focus of the micropolitical study lies in the effects of societal, economic, and workplace-linked changes on the working lives of employees. The aim here is a comparison of the BMW sites in Munich and Dingolfing, the company’s locations in the Bavarian capital and in provincial Lower Bavaria. By investigating the contrasting makeups of the workforce there, different patterns of attitude, identity, and behavior can be established, making it possible to form more general conclusions on the implications of the socioeconomic processes of transformation for the BMW employees during the period in question.

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