Table of Contents

Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan

This interdisciplinary volume provides a critical and multi-disciplinary review of current manufacturing processes, practices, and policies, and broadens our understanding of production and innovation in the world economy. Chapters highlight how firms and industries modify existing processes to produce for established and emerging markets through dynamic and design-driven strategies. This approach allows readers to view transformations in production systems and processes across sectors, technologies and industries. Contributors include scholars ranging from engineering to policy to economic geography. The evidence demonstrates that manufacturing continues to matter in the world economy.

Introduction: manufacturing matters: space, place, time and production

Vida Vanchan, John R. Bryson and Jennifer Clark

Subjects: business and management, strategic management, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional studies


Manufacturing has undeniably transformed the world; from new inventions and technical improvements in machinery and manufactured products to the development of new production systems (Best, 2001; Owen, 2000). Manufacturing has played a critical role in creating the evolving global or international economy and in economic development. The ongoing formation of a global economy would be impossible without products produced by manufacturing production systems. The development of global commodity chains required innovations in logistics and the introduction of containers and container ports. While manufacturing dominated the 19th and early to mid 20th centuries as a significant component of developed market economies, it is sometimes considered to be of less importance from the 1970s. From the 1970s, developed market economies underwent a process of deindustrialization which involved a relative decline in industrial employment and a rise in service employment (Bazen and Thirlwall, 1991; Bluestone and Harrison, 1982).