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Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and by Jonathan Zeitlin, Gary Herrigel

By Jonathan Zeitlin, Gary Herrigel

This ebook develops a brand new and conceptually unique research of Americanization in eu and eastern after the second one international warfare, in accordance with a wealthy set of sectoral and firm-based stories via a global team of distinct students. The authors spotlight the self reliant and inventive position of neighborhood actors in selectively adapting US expertise and administration easy methods to go well with neighborhood stipulations and, strikingly, in developing new hybrid varieties that mixed indigenous and international practices in unexpected and sometimes remarkably aggressive methods.

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Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and Management in Post-War Europe and Japan

This e-book develops a brand new and conceptually detailed research of Americanization in ecu and jap after the second one global struggle, in response to a wealthy set of sectoral and firm-based reviews via a global workforce of unique students. The authors spotlight the self sustaining and artistic function of neighborhood actors in selectively adapting US know-how and administration how to swimsuit neighborhood stipulations and, strikingly, in growing new hybrid types that mixed indigenous and overseas practices in unexpected and infrequently remarkably aggressive methods.

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42 A key dimension of national economic and technological self-confidence is the degree of industrial backwardness relative to the United States in the minds of domestic engineers, managers, and government officials, which was arguably greatest in the cases of France, Italy, and from some points of view Japan, but least in those of Britain, Sweden, and Germany. Another important element is the intensity and continuity of interactions with American industry before 1945. Here the UK was clearly in a class of its own, as Anglo-American economic cooperation and technological exchange deepened substantially during the war, in 42 Milward, Reconstruction of Western Europe, ch.

This paper draws on arguments from our joint introduction to World of Possibilities, ‘Stories, Strategies, Structures: Rethinking Historical Alternatives to Mass Production’. 1–33. 26 For most of the authors in this book, by contrast, US manufacturing techniques and management practices represented at best a more or less effective response to a historically specific set of environmental conditions, outside of which there could be no presumption they would prove equally successful. In a longer historical perspective, such as that adopted in this volume, many core features of the American model would widely come to be seen as liabilities rather than assets as the international environment became increasingly volatile from the 1970s onwards, while the individual chapters, as we shall see, offer striking examples of the pitfalls resulting from excessive emulation of post-war US practice—both technological and managerial—under rapidly changing competitive circumstances.

Post-war strategic debates and decision-making processes, it cannot be too strongly emphasized, were conducted under conditions of radical uncertainty: about the size, structure, and stability of demand in markets at home and abroad; about the trajectory of technological development for particular products and entire industries; about the institutional framework for business activity across individual nations, regional trading blocs, and the international economy as a whole. Even where visionary entrepreneurs and policy makers apparently succeeded in reshaping industries and markets through ‘self-fulfilling’ bets on American-style mass-production technologies and supranational commercial integration—as Matthias Kipping for instance suggests in his chapter on French steel users and producers—the outcome does not thereby ‘prove right’ their position against the doubts raised by contemporary critics.

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