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Modernisation without flexible specialisation: how large firm restructuring and government regional policies became the step-parents of autarchic regional production systems in France

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  • Hancké, Bob
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    This paper discusses the adjustment of large firms in France, in particular how theyregionalised their production structures in the 1980s. Throughout the Golden Age,large firms had geographically reorganised their activities: strategic planning remained in Paris, while the actual production was decentralised into the provinces, primarily to address cost and labour conflict issues. A proto-regionalised production system was the result.When the large firms then faced a serious profitability crisis in the 1980s, and thetraditional state-financed way out of the problems was no longer available, they sawin these proto-regional production systems a chance to become more competitive. Inorder to make the necessary changes, they relied on the decentralisation policies ofthe governments in the 1980s. Using the examples of technology and training policy, the paper demonstrates how the large firms used the second-order effects of the new policies as a means to modernise their own operations

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment with number FS I 97-304.

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    Date of creation: 1997
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbece:fsi97304
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    1. Hancké, Bob, 1996. "Industrial reorganisation in France: changing relationships between large and small firms," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 96-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Glyn, Andrew, 1997. "Does Aggregate Profitability Really Matter?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 593-619, September.
    3. Hohenberg, Paul M., 1977. "Political Strategies for Industrial Order: State, Market, and Industry in France. By John Zysman. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977. Pp. ix, 230. $12.75," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(04), pages 1104-1105, December.
    4. Hancké, Bob & Cieply, Sylvie, 1996. "Bridging the finance gap for small firms. The role of information flows across large firm-based production networks in supplying finance to small firms: the case of France," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 96-311, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Hancké, Bob & Casper, Steven, 1996. "ISO 9000 in French and German car industry: how international quality standards support varieties of capitalism," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 96-313, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    6. Dorothée Rivaud-Danset & Robert Salais, 1992. "Les conventions de financement des entreprises. Premières approches théorique et empirique," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 7(4), pages 81-120.
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