Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy
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Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

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.
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Chapter 10: Design and manufacturing: the competitiveness of American, European and Chinese industrial design companies

Vida Vanchan and John R. Bryson


Globalization, though not a new process, continues to intensify as new complex international divisions of labour emerge. The developing global economy is facilitated by place-based differences in factor inputs, including labour, energy, raw materials and skills. The varieties of capitalism literature has highlighted the variegated nature of capitalism with an emphasis on institutional differences (Hall and Soskice, 2001; Daniels et al., 2011). Localized consumer cultures, however, continue to exist, reflecting different lifestyles, traditions, histories, cultures and even climate. The continued persistence and even intensification of local consumer cultures means that companies have to be increasingly sensitive to the variegated nature of consumer cultures. The continued existence of local consumer cultures represents an opportunity for companies that are able to differentiate or segment products by core markets.

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