The New Old Economy: Networks, Institutions, and the Organizational Transformation of American Manufacturing

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9780199286010: The New Old Economy: Networks, Institutions, and the Organizational Transformation of American Manufacturing
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American manufacturing is in obvious crisis: the sector lost three million jobs between 2000 and 2003 as the American trade deficit shot to record highs. Manufacturers have increasingly decentralized productive responsibilities to armies of supplier firms, both domestic and abroad. Many have speculated as to whether or not manufacturing is even feasible in the United States, given the difficulties. Josh Whitford's book shows that discussion of this shift, in the media and in the academic literature, hits on the right issues - globalization, de-industrialization, and the outsourcing of production in marketized and in network relationships - but in an overly polarized way that obscures as much as it enlightens. Drawing on the results of extensive interviews conducted with manufacturers in the American Upper Midwest, Whitford shows that the range of possibilities is more complex and contingent than is usually recognized. Highlighting heretofore unexamined elements of constraint, contradiction and innovation that characterize contemporary network production models, Whitford shakes received understanding in economic and organizational sociology, comparative political economy, and economic geography to reveal ways in which the American economic development apparatus can be adjusted to better meet the challenges of a highly decentralized production regime.

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About the Author:


Josh Whitford is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. He received his MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, where he was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship (spent at the European University Institute in Italy) and the Lumpkin Award for the best dissertation in sociology, 2002-03. He then spent a year as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. His research cuts across disciplinary boundaries, contributing to and drawing on economic and organizational sociology, Comparative Political Economy, Economic Geography, and pragmatist social theory in analyses of the social, political, and institutional implications of productive decentralization (outsourcing). He has published papers in Economy and Society, Theory and Society, and Industry and Innovation.

Review:


"In an important new book based on over 100 interviews at more than 50 metal manufacturing firms in the Upper Midwest and filled with interesting and original insights, Josh Whitford examines the nature of interfirm relationships....Whitford presents a fresh and original analysis of the nature of domestic supply-chain relationships in the context of the U.S. institutional framework. ..The book deserves to reach a wide readership, as it offers a richly detailed understanding of the realities of the new logic of organizing production."--Administrative Science Quarterly


"Whitford does a great service by explaining in intricate detail how American manufacturing has changed in the last 15 years, and his findings do provide intriguing implications for policy....Simply going well beyond empty discussions of off-shoring and the "knowledge economy" to examine the concrete nature of relationships between suppliers and customers is worth the price of admission....Considered, timely, and important."--American Journal of Sociology


"A new economy is being born from in the old rust belt economy, and Josh Whitford is a terrific chronicler and analyst of this extraordinary transformation-one so important yet so difficult. Anyone interested in the idea of partnership and collaborative community in industry will find this immensely thought-provoking." -Professor Paul Adler, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California


"Josh Whitford here demonstrates the importance of focussed empirical research in challenging stereotypes. The picture presented here of US Metalworking firms is not that of the familiar stylized facts. That is because it is the result of real, on-the-ground research-but driven also by excellent theoretical analysis and reflection." -Professor Colin Crouch, Chair, Institute of Governance and Public Management, Warwick Business School


"At the very center of the transformations of contemporary economies is a profound restructuring of the relationships among firms. Josh Whitford's The New Old Economy provides a penetrating analysis of these transformations, showing how new strategies interact with old institutional arrangements to produce novel configurations. It should be read by anyone interested in understanding the dilemmas and dynamics of the American economy." -Erik Olin Wright, Vilas Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. American manufacturing is in obvious crisis: the sector lost three million jobs between 2000 and 2003 as the American trade deficit shot to record highs. Manufacturers have increasingly decentralized productive responsibilities to armies of supplier firms, both domestically and abroad. Many have speculated as to whether or not manufacturing is even feasible in the United States, given the difficulties. Josh Whitford s book examines the issues behind this crisis, looking at the emergence of a new old economy , in which relationships between firms have become much more important. Whitford shows that discussion of this shift, in the media and in the academic literature, hits on the right issues - globalization, de-industrialization, and the outsourcing of production in marketized and in network relationships - but in an overly polarized way that obscures as much as it enlightens. Drawing on the results of extensive interviews conducted with manufacturers in the American Upper Midwest, Whitford shows that the range of possibilities is more complex and contingent than is usually recognised. Highlighting heretofore unexamined elements of constraint, contradiction, and innovation that characterize contemporary network production models, Whitford shakes received understandings in economic and organizational sociology, comparative political economy, and economic geography to reveal ways in which the American economic development apparatus can be adjusted to better meet the challenges of a highly decentralized production regime. Seller Inventory # APC9780199286010

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.American manufacturing is in obvious crisis: the sector lost three million jobs between 2000 and 2003 as the American trade deficit shot to record highs. Manufacturers have increasingly decentralized productive responsibilities to armies of supplier firms, both domestically and abroad. Many have speculated as to whether or not manufacturing is even feasible in the United States, given the difficulties. Josh Whitford s book examines the issues behind this crisis, looking at the emergence of a new old economy , in which relationships between firms have become much more important. Whitford shows that discussion of this shift, in the media and in the academic literature, hits on the right issues - globalization, de-industrialization, and the outsourcing of production in marketized and in network relationships - but in an overly polarized way that obscures as much as it enlightens. Drawing on the results of extensive interviews conducted with manufacturers in the American Upper Midwest, Whitford shows that the range of possibilities is more complex and contingent than is usually recognised. Highlighting heretofore unexamined elements of constraint, contradiction, and innovation that characterize contemporary network production models, Whitford shakes received understandings in economic and organizational sociology, comparative political economy, and economic geography to reveal ways in which the American economic development apparatus can be adjusted to better meet the challenges of a highly decentralized production regime. Seller Inventory # APC9780199286010

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