Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan
Introduction: manufacturing matters: space, place, time and production
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).