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.

Chapter 28: Manufacturing in the knowledge economy: innovation in low-tech industries

Teis Hansen and Lars Winther

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


Recent studies stress the relevance of a broad conceptualization of the knowledge economy which goes beyond the strong, current policy focus on high-tech industries. Today, low-tech industries continue to have a significant role in European manufacturing in terms of employment, value added and export. However, the character and activities of these industries are profoundly changing as they become increasingly knowledge intensive. Thus, innovation processes and knowledge production in manufacturing are much more complex than suggested by the classic division into high-, medium-and low-tech industries. This calls for a rethinking of manufacturing’s position in contemporary capitalism and a redefinition of the central categories based on research and development (R & D) intensity that dominate the debate on the knowledge economy.

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