Sustainable Consumption, Production and Supply Chain Management
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Sustainable Consumption, Production and Supply Chain Management

Advancing Sustainable Economic Systems

Paul Nieuwenhuis, Daniel Newman and Anne Touboulic

This incisive book integrates the academic fields of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) as a framework for challenging the current economic paradigm and addressing the significant ecological and environmental problems faced by the contemporary business world.
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Chapter 8: Economies of scale and the roots of mass production

Paul Nieuwenhuis, Daniel Newman and Anne Touboulic


Mass consumption, or over-consumption has only been made possible by mass production, which - as we will show - almost inevitably leads to over-production. As Sabel and Zeitlin (1985, 1997) have argued, mass production was never an inevitable outcome of historical developments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; it was the result of specific choices made at the time. Mass car production can be seen as the archetype of modern mass production. Today it is dominated by large centralized assembly facilities sourcing from world-wide networks of suppliers. However, it is clear that the present structure is closely linked with the adoption, by much of the car industry, of three interlocking strands of activity; in addition to the technological contributions by Ford and Budd outlined in the next chapter, there was also the crucial contribution by General Motors under Sloan that made a mass car market possible by essentially creating the demand for cars.

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