Competitive Manufacturing: New Strategies for Regional Development

Overview

Stuart A. Rosenfeld presents a timely analysis of the problems the United States and other industrialized countries face as they adjust from economies based on natural resources and goods to economies based on quality of human resources and high-performance, market-oriented organizations. Some of the questions raised include: Will American industry successfully face the competitive challenge of the global economy? Can US manufacturing raise productivity and innovate enough to remain healthy? Have the latest ...

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Overview

Stuart A. Rosenfeld presents a timely analysis of the problems the United States and other industrialized countries face as they adjust from economies based on natural resources and goods to economies based on quality of human resources and high-performance, market-oriented organizations. Some of the questions raised include: Will American industry successfully face the competitive challenge of the global economy? Can US manufacturing raise productivity and innovate enough to remain healthy? Have the latest advances in process technology and management practice penetrated the rural industrial base? How can public policy help improve the competitiveness of the crucial manufacturing sector? This book challenges the conventional wisdom in economic development policy. Past state and local industrial policy focused on locational decisions, not on issues of competitiveness. Building the competitive advantage of industry is more important than promoting the competitive advantages of location. Incentives to modernize are more important than subsidies to locate.

Competitive Manufacturing uses the rural South, the most industrialized rural region of the nation, to examine the strengths and weaknesses of manufacturing as the basis for economic growth. Using historical analysis, surveys, and intensive case studies, the author analyzes the technological capabilities of rural manufacturing, the factors that influence the decision to modernize, and the effects of technology on education and work. Comparative studies in Denmark and Italy point to new directions for US economic development policy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Selected by Choice (1993) as "Outstanding Academic Book" “How can the US overcome a loss of competitiveness in the world economy? How can lagging regions be made prosperous? Rosenfeld answers by shifting the ground to the competitive advantage of industries rather than locations . . . Rosenfeld blends survey and census data, case studies of specific manufacturing firms, research reports, newspaper and magazine articles, and academic writings into a thorough and highly readable defense of his conclusions . . . One is not an expert in economic development absent knowledge of Rosenfeld's arguments.” —R. A. Beauregard, Choice “This book is just in time for the new administration. Its ideas may be incorporated into the federal policies that Clinton develops, based on his experiences as governor of Arkansas. Rosenfeld has worked with economic developers in Arkansas and throughout the South. The book draws on this experience to give examples of strategies for state and local public and private sector actors… This book includes an extensive literature review, and relies on Rosenfeld’s field work in the U.S., Italy, and Denmark… The most important audience for this book is elected officials.” —Linda Hollis, Journal of the American Planning Association “This book is a timely and lively account of industrial and social dynamics in the U.S. rural South. The theme, repeated often throughout the text, is an urgently needed change in the region’s economic development strategies. Small cities in the rural South ought to implement policies designed to help firms located there to compete for new markets rather than policies that help them compete for firms… Rosenfeld’s conclusions are urgently important… This book can help in creating a consensus for change in the industrialization efforts of the U.S. rural South.” —Emmanuel D. Tsiritakis, Social Science Quarterly "A well-researched study, with convincing and clear policy directions." —Journal of Planning Education and Research "A thorough guide to the modernization policies that . . . shape national, regional, and state approaches to economic development." —Journal of Regional Science "Charts a new direction for public policy . . . An important book both for laymen and economic development specialists." —Urban Studies "This is an important book that will be as useful to informed laymen as to economic development specialists. It is based on a thorough understanding of the adjustment problems that face rural areas in particular, but American industry in general. It demonstrates how public policies can help companies, and therefore the country, become high-income, world-class producers." —Ray Marshall, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Professor of Economics, University of Texas
Booknews
More than a study of rural development, this work is an analysis of the problems the US and other industrialized countries face as they adjust from economies based on natural resources and goods-producing processes to economies whose success depends mainly on the quality of human resources and high-performance, market-oriented organizations. Rosenfeld points out that, unfortunately, not many companies in America are striving to become high-performance work organizations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412848381
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart A. Rosenfeld is principal and founder of Regional Technology Strategies, Inc., senior policy fellow with the Southern Growth Policies Board and senior research associate with the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. His writings include Small Firms in Small Towns and Exports, Competitiveness, and Synergy in Appalachian Industry Clusters.

Ray Marshall is professor emeritus and holds the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Under President James Earl Carter, he served as the United States secretary of labor.

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 The Road to Industrialization 21
1 Hard Travelin' 23
2 Winds of Change 52
Pt. 2 A Portrait of Modernization 81
3 Automation Down Home 83
4 Decisions, Decisions, Decisions 118
5 Rural Modernization, European Style 160
Pt. 3 Preparing for Technology 207
6 Mind Over Matter 209
7 Retooling the Training System 251
8 An Unlikely Choice 282
Pt. 4 Looking Ahead 307
9 A New Rural Policy Paradigm 309
Notes 341
Bibliography 366
Index 383
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