Manufacturing Possibilities: Creative Action and Industrial Recomposition in the United States…

Paperback | December 29, 2012

byGary Herrigel

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Manufacturing Possibilities examines adjustment dynamics in the steel, automobile and machinery industries in Germany, the U.S., and Japan since World War II. As national industrial actors in each sector try to compete in global markets, the book argues that they recompose firm and industryboundaries, stakeholder identities and interests, and governance mechanisms at all levels of their political economies. Micro level study of industrial transformation in this way provides a significant window on macro level processes of political economic change in the three societies. Theoretically, the book marks a departure from both neoliberal economic and historical institutionalist perspectives on change in advanced political economies. It characterizes industrial change as a creative, bottom-up process driven by reflective social actors. This alternative view consists oftwo distinctive claims. The first is that action is social, reflective, and ultimately creative. When their interactive habits are disrupted, industrial actors seek to repair their relations by reconceiving them. Such imaginative interaction redefines interest and causes unforeseen possibilities foraction to emerge, enabling actors to trump existing rules and constraints. Second, industrial change driven by creative action is recompositional. In the social process of reflection, actors rearrange, modify, reconceive, and reposition inherited organizational forms and governance mechanisms asthey experiment with solutions to the challenges that they face. Continuity in relations is interwoven with continuous reform and change. Most remarkably, creativity in the recomposition process makes the introduction of entirely new practices and relations possible. Ultimately, the message of Manufacturing Possibilities is that social study of change in advanced political economies should devote itself to the discovery of possibility. Preoccupation with constraint and failure to appreciate the capaciousness of reflective social action has led much ofcontemporary debate to misrecognize the dynamics of change. As a result, discussion of the range of adjustment possibilities in advanced political economies has been unnecessarily limited.

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Manufacturing Possibilities examines adjustment dynamics in the steel, automobile and machinery industries in Germany, the U.S., and Japan since World War II. As national industrial actors in each sector try to compete in global markets, the book argues that they recompose firm and industryboundaries, stakeholder identities and interes...

Gary Herrigel is a professor in the Political Science department at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD from MIT in the Program of Science, Technology, and Society and the Political Science Department. He has published widely on topics related to industrial development, regional industrial policy, corporate governance, comp...

other books by Gary Herrigel

Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:December 29, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199665982

ISBN - 13:9780199665983

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Manufacturing Possibilities, Creative Action, and Industrial RecompositionPart I: Industrial Recomposition: The Steel Industry in Post-World War II United States, Germany, and Japan1. American Occupation, Market Order, and Democracy: Restructuring the steel industry in Japan and Germany after World War II2. Contrasting Forms of Coordination in the Steel Industry: Germany, Japan, and the US 1950-19743. Left for Dead? Recombinant Steel Industries in Germany, Japan, and the US since 1974Part II: Contemporary Recomposition in the US and Germany: Coping with Vertical Disintegration on a Global Scale4. Coping with Vertical Disintegration: Customer-Supplier Relations and Producer Strategies in Complex Manufacturing Supply Chains5. Inter-Firm Relations in Global Manufacturing: Disintegrated Production and its Globalization6. Vertical Disintegration in National Context: Germany and the US Compared7. Roles and Rules: Ambiguity, Experimentation, and New Forms of Stakeholderism in GermanyConclusion: Changing Business Systems, Power, and the Science of Manufacturing Possibilities

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "In Manufacturing Possibilities, Gary Herrigel...offers a lucid and compelling contribution to the literature on industrial and institutional change in developed economies... This is an impressive book, and one that will strike chords with economic geographers inseveral ways... This thoughtful and thought-provoking monograph deserves to find a broad research-level audience across several social and management science disciplines. Clearly those with specific interests in the case study sectors and countries will want to engage extensively with the book andwill benefit greatly from doing so." --Neil M. Coe, Journal of Economic Geography 25/05/2011