Manufacturing and Investment Around the World: An International Survey of Factors Affecting Growth and Performance

An ISR Economic growth & performance study

This book is a comprehensive cross-national examination of modernization and development in manufacturing. The focus is on the nature and sources of the important variations that occur internationally in growth, competitiveness, and attractiveness to foreign direct investors.

The study begins with an overview of existing published research on general manufacturing development before turning to particular key aspects.

It compares production and investment in a range of Western and non-Western countries. It also presents case studies of growth and performance in major industries and sectors.

Business executives, investors and analysts will find the study a good read. Combining scholarly research findings with practical professional information and insights, it is clear, attractively designed, and easy to read and understand.

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1. Manufacturing and Investment around the World: Introduction and Overview

Introduction* Manufacturing growth and performance: a review of research findings* Manufacturing in Western countries: international comparisons* Manufacturing in non-Western countries: international comparisons* International trade, markets, and demand trends* Finance and investment in manufacturing* Industrial manufacturing facilities and services*

2. Manufacturing Growth and Performance: a Review of Research Findings

The growth of manufacturing firms: key business-economic and related influences* The influence of geography: manufacturing industry and enterprise in particular local communities* Technological development in industry* Studies of industrial organizational development* Bureaucracy* Max Weber: the modern capitalist corporation* J.K. Galbraith: the large modern industrial corporation* Global competitiveness: the findings of the World Economic Forum* Small firms and performance/profitability* The management of change* The sociological analysis of industrial enterprise development: general* Structural differentiation and functional specialization within industrial organizations* Organizational integration* Summary and conclusion: the importance of wider socio-cultural influences in industrial enterprise development*

3. Manufacturing in Western Countries: International Comparisons

Similarities and differences in management and industrial organization, industrial employment relations, productivity, growth, and general performance (etc.) amongst the major Western countries* Manufacturing in Britain: negative influences and the political-legal environment, industry cases, and shop floor industrial relations and business performance* Japanese firms in Britain* Manufacturing in the United States and Germany*

4. Manufacturing in Non-Western Countries: International Comparisons

General overview of trends and issues in manufacturing and investment in non-Western countries* Survey and analysis of manufacturing growth and performance in the Far East region, Japan, India, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and China*

5. International Trade, Markets, and Demand Trends

The main market-economic influences on manufacturing* Political-legal environmental factors* Survey and analysis of the growth and performance of export manufacturing firms in non-Western countries* Manufactured goods markets and demand trends in the UK*

6. Finance and Investment in Manufacturing

A general overview* The major positive and negative influences* Surveys and analyses of direct foreign investment, enterprise growth, and performance in a range of major countries and regions*

7. Industrial Manufacturing Facilities and Services

The major kinds of infrastructural and other facilities, services, and inputs essential for manufacturing growth and performance* Survey and analysis of the importance of transport and distribution services, industrial land and buildings, the attraction of key managerial, professional, and other personnel, and scientific and technical facilities and services*


Print book

Second revised edition 2002. New impression 2011

ISBN 9780906321256

104 two-column pages


Price £74.95 including free postal delivery


E-book price £15.39 (British pounds 15.39)

E-book ISBN 9780906321607

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Sample passages

On balance, the privatization of state sector enterprises and the lifting of price controls and legal regulatory burdens have been good for industry. Around the world, reforming governments have opened up numerous previously closed monopoly industries to foreign firms as well as indigenous private entrepreneurs – and the positive effects on manufacturing growth and performance in the countries concerned have been evident.

The benefits of division of labour/specialization apply at the macro-level of the economy and society as a whole as they do at the micro-level of individual roles in factories (etc.). Bureaucratic corporations that used to perform political as well as industrial-commercial functions have become more cost-efficient as they have transformed into regular specialized economic businesses. Former state enterprises have developed new expertise and autonomy in production and distribution, employee management, capital investment, and dealing with suppliers and customers (etc.) – all of which have helped boost growth and performance… (page 5)

Numerous general business-economic and related factors affect growth and performance in manufacturing.

Specific key influences are industrial technological and organizational developments. In addition, there are significant local-regional differences in business-economic growth and investment. Studying the latter provides numerous insights into manufacturing growth, performance, and investment overall.

Wider socio-cultural influences are of major importance. Some understanding of general social science models of industrial modernization and enterprise development is necessary in studying growth and performance in manufacturing.

The same kind of endogenous and exogenous, social and non-social factors that affect growth and performance in agriculture, trade and markets, financial systems, and industries and economies generally also affect growth and performance in manufacturing… (page 23)

This EU bloc green energy policy imposed substantial cost burdens on industrial and household energy users. Massive amounts of money went annually into closing down coal-fired power stations, constructing and subsidising alternative energy infrastructure, insulating buildings, and buying industrial carbon emission permits for manufacturing (etc).

In Britain, less than 2% of energy consumption came from renewable sources. The country at the start of the 21st century already had some of highest industrial electricity prices in the Western world. Raising the total amount of energy from renewable sources to 15% by 2020 (as EU directed) would add at least 70% to industrial electricity bills and 33% to domestic. UK energy production subsidies were already massive. However, without additional huge energy purchasing subsidies, many high-energy intensive firms in industries such as steel, bulk chemicals, glass, ceramics, and cement making would be unable to afford energy at these cost levels and so would have to close or relocate overseas. This in turn would threaten a much wider range of downstream firms and industries… (page 54)

By 2002, such had been its overall progress that the World Trade Organization admitted China to membership. This further strengthened the Chinese government’s overall commitment to fostering free trade, markets, and enterprise and investment.

There had been substantial direct foreign investment in the special economic zones in the south of the country. Here, foreign firms had set up (independently and in partnership with Chinese enterprises) a wide range of business operations – in industries ranging from capital and consumer durables manufacturing, through housebuilding and hotels and tourism, to food processing.

The attractions of the special economic zones for foreign manufacturers included:

1. favourable fiscal regimes (with corporation tax rates lower even than in Hong Kong);

2. special tax incentives for larger, high-technology, and/or capital-intensive projects;

3. simple border entry and exit procedures;

4. labour market and employment flexibility: freedom of hiring, firing, and bargaining over wages and other terms and conditions of employment;

5. large amounts of building land, factories, and warehouse space available at low rents – something that was especially attractive to over-crowded Japanese and Hong Kong manufacturers;

6. good roads, electricity, water, telephone, external air and sea links, and other infrastructural facilities and services; and

7. attractive profit sharing deals in joint venture operations… (page 71)

The demand for building materials derives from the demand for buildings. Other factors being equal, increases in housing starts, reductions in the costs of holding stocks to builders, or increases in industrial-commercial construction result in increased demand for building materials.

Reductions in housebuilding or in housing repair, maintenance, and improvement work (e.g. because of tax changes) adversely affect the demand for house bricks, concrete roof tiles, and other materials. Cement production crucially depends on industrial-commercial construction rates, levels of road building and repair, and other civil engineering programmes; and so on.

However, the size of existing stockholdings affects precise supply and demand responses to particular market price changes.

There is limited international trade in the more common, bulkier and lower value building materials. However, such things as the exchange rate of the pound significantly influence competitiveness at the higher value-added end of the market.

Finally, changes in aesthetic considerations or tastes affect the demand for particular materials. In housing, there has been a steady increase in demand for facing bricks with kerbside appeal. Meanwhile, demand for less aesthetically attractive common bricks has been in secular decline… (pages 87-88)

On the other side of the world, direct foreign investment has been a major factor facilitating industrial growth and performance in Barbados.

The attractions of this small Caribbean country as a location for international manufacturing operations have included specific tax incentives for foreign investors. Amongst other things, the government has offered direct tax holidays of up to ten years – plus zero duties on imports of plant, materials, and equipment.

However, much more important have been general positive factors:

· large modern industrial-commercial buildings and estates;

· efficient public infrastructural facilities;

· industrial production costs lower than in North America or Western Europe;

· access to major Western markets via good air and sea communications and preferential trading agreements;

· a well-educated English-speaking working population and harmonious industrial employment relations; and

· a generally favourable political-legal environment for business.

These factors benefit domestic as well as foreign business investors. General free trade and low taxes across the board are much more important in achieving sustained overall economic growth and performance in countries than temporary/limited fiscal concessions (etc.)… (page 93)

In many contemporary traditionalistic and modernizing societies, there is widespread socio-cultural bias in favour of public sector employment as such. There is still substantial political ideological conservatism, statism-collectivism, and opposition to free enterprise in many countries around the world.

In some societies, there are strong national movements in favour of preserving traditional small-scale, village-based enterprises and production methods. Socialist and economic nationalist/corporatist ideologies are also influential. Many politicians and intellectuals have stuck to backward statist-collectivist models that have no chance of delivering economic growth and prosperity.

However, substantial programmes of liberal modernizing reform have gotten underway elsewhere. Particularly important have been the privatization of state sector enterprises and the lifting of price controls and legal regulatory burdens. Reforming governments have opened up numerous previously closed monopoly industries to foreign firms as well as indigenous private entrepreneurs. The positive effects on manufacturing growth and performance in the countries concerned have been impressive. Enterprises that used to perform political as well as industrial-commercial functions have invariably become more efficient as they have transformed into regular specialized economic businesses. Companies have developed the expertise and autonomy in production and distribution, employee management, capital investment, and dealing with suppliers and customers (etc.) necessary to maximize growth and performance… (pages 100-101)