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Reconciling automation and flexibility? Technology and production in the postwar British motor vehicle industry

Posted: 29 Feb 2008  

David Bernstein

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: March 2000

Abstract

This article contests the view that `stages of development` determine a uniquely appropriate set of production and marketing strategies for a given industry in a given period. Looking closely at the British automobile industry after World War II, it instead presents the argument that opportunities for significant choices between more or less flexible technologies and organizational forms constitute a continuous feature of modern economic history. Moreover, piecemeal borrowing and selective adaptation have been more common than wholesale imitation of any particular system, and modification and hybridization of imported technologies represent not resistance to `foreign` elements, but creative attempts to fit those elements to local conditions.

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, David, Reconciling automation and flexibility? Technology and production in the postwar British motor vehicle industry (March 2000). Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 9-62, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=805033

David Eliot Bernstein (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8089 (Phone)
703-993-8202 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~dbernste

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