Fertile Ground: Homegrown Loyalty Makes for Globally Competitive Industry

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KERI BRONDO, MARIETTA BABA, SENGUN YENIYURT and JANELL TOWNSEND

This paper proposes a theory to explain how rural sociality has influenced workforce behavior and productivity at a Global Manufacturing Systems’ automotive assembly plant in mid-Michigan. The paper argues that for over 100 years, rural and farming families in the region have been appropriating GM factories in order to sustain their rural life ways and remain part of their own ‘moral’ community. Loyalty to the company is conceptualized from the families’ perspective as a requirement of sustainable communities, motivated by an intergenerational desire to keep GM in Michigan. Employee loyalty also benefits the company by ensuring high performance and quality. The link between sociality and performance is illustrated through statistical modeling of attendance data and maps produced through ArcGIS.

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