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Flexible production, electronic linkages, and large firms: evidence from the automobile industry

  • Elsie L. Echeverri-Carroll

    (School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA)

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    At the beginning of the 1980s, a reverse trend in local economic development began, supporting old urban industrial areas in which large firms represented the most competitive territorial and industrial systems. Using the case of the automobile industry as an example, this paper argues that contrary to what is anticipated by some researchers, the new flexible organization of the large firm will support neither an asymmetrical relationship of control between spatially decentralized firms nor a spatial reconcentration of activities toward industrialized countries. On the contrary, flexible production will support symmetrical networks that bind together spatially decentralized firms in a web of two-way partnership interactions. As space reflects changes in the organization of production, we anticipate greater coordination and interaction between spaces. This process would not be determined, but facilitated by electronic linkages through technologies such as international EDI systems and groupware designed to increase cooperative work and joint decision-making.

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    Article provided by Springer & Western Regional Science Association in its journal The Annals of Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 135-152

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:30:y:1996:i:1:p:135-152
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