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作者 Fields, Gary Howard
書名 Communications, innovation and territories of profit: The production networks of Swift Meat Packing and Dell Computer
國際標準書號 9780493822174
book jacket
說明 310 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-09, Section: A, page: 3384
Chair: Stephen S. Cohen
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Berkeley, 2002
This dissertation compares how business firms in different historical periods reorganize their production networks as transport and communications technologies change, and how such innovations in production networks reshape the geography of economic activity. This comparison addresses one of the core issues in regional development of how economies grow and change, and the role of firms in this process of transformation
Case studies of two companies, Swift Meatpacking and Dell Computer, provide the research method for this comparison. The case studies focus on the production network of Swift created from the rail and telegraph revolution, and the production network of Dell created from the Internet revolution. The theoretical framework for positioning the two cases is a synthesis of literature on innovation, communications revolutions, and the organizational structure of the firm. From this framework, the two cases reveal a common pathway of economic development in different historical periods in which firms, responding to communications revolutions, innovate their production networks and reshape the territorial organization of economies. The study builds a model of this route from communications revolutions, to the process of innovation in the firm, to the reorganization of production networks, to changes in the geography of economic activity
The comparison yields five key findings. Firstly, the two cases reveal communications revolutions to be control revolutions enabling firms to create process innovations for facilitating the circulation of goods over long distances. Such communications and control revolutions elevate the role of logistics and distribution as sources of competitive advantage for firms. Secondly, this study challenges the belief that mass production created wealth from goods while the Internet age creates wealth from information. The networks of Swift and Dell generate profit from high-volume processing of both information and flows of material goods. Thirdly, this study embraces networks as basic elements of economic life that change over time, and rejects the idea that networks distinguish economies in the current period from economies in the past. The integrated organization of Swift is no less a network than the dis-integrated organization of Dell. Fourthly, while the two networks are differentiated in organizational structure, the integrated network of Swift, and dis-integrated network of Dell share similar mechanisms of administrative control in organizing flows of production and distribution. Consequently, this study challenges views of interfirm production networks as examples of ascendant market forces, and presents an alternative view of interfirm networks as organizations also interacting through mechanisms of power and administrative planning used by integrated firms such as Swift. Finally, both networks reveal a similar tendency of territorial spread and concentration, but each network contributes to a different historical geography. The network of Swift helped define a national market while Dell is establishing new standards for organizing global markets
School code: 0028
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 63-09A
主題 History, United States
Urban and Regional Planning
Alt Author University of California, Berkeley
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