Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations.




Organizational research has entered into a network paradigm (Borgatti & Foster, 2003). Despite the proliferation of literature on networks, very little emphasis has been placed upon elucidating the ways in which networks are governed. This thesis moves to understand network governance within the context of the North American automotive industry. Within this industry, lead firms, specifically General Motors, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler, have outsourced a substantial portion of parts production. This thesis argues that in an aim to govern their supplier relations, North American lead firms' imposition of QS 9000 and now ISO/TS 16949 quality assurance standards upon their suppliers, is a governmental programme of network standardization. Constitutive of this programme is failure. Nodes situated in the network are called upon to pre-emptively manage failures. Drawing upon the governmentality literature, particular attention is given to the centrality of probabilizing failure and the techniques used to manage failure. Utilizing the quality assurance standards themselves, and 15 in-depth interviews with quality assurance managers by the author at different Tier 1 part supplier plants, this article explores the moral rationalities and technologies of performance used to manage failures. This thesis focuses on the creation of part narratives, and particularly, on the quality audit and its role in governing the conduct of part suppliers at-a-distance. Lastly, this thesis focuses on the network prudential subject, who is called upon to pre-emptively manage failures on behalf of the network. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .S667. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1247. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.