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The Rise and Fall of Mass Production
The International Library of Critical Writings in Business History 16
This important collection presents in two volumes the most significant papers on the history of mass production and highlights crucial debates in the attempt to understand the phenomenon and its social and economic effects. The selection focuses on six important themes. Volume I opens with an exploration of the antecedents to mass production and an investigation of the mechanical, economic and social roots of the transformation in production methods at the beginning of the 20th century. The following section examines the emergence of 'Fordism' and the fundamental elements of the new system. The final section describes the extent to which mass production has spread through the wider economy and the ways in which it has changed in the process. In Volume II, the first section covers the impact of mass production on work and the workers. The second section looks at how Japan has exploited the principles of mass production and may indeed have evolved a new form of productive organisation. The concluding section raises the question of whether in the late 20th century the dominance of mass production is in decline.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Steven Tolliday has expertly assembled a collection of articles that treat the history, meaning and impact of mass production... Tolliday is to be commended for assembling an illuminating and exciting set of often contending essays on what might more precisely be called the uneven rise and uneven persistence of mass production. It will be unfortunate if these volumes remain unused on reference shelves.' -- Walter Licht, Techology and Culture 'The 32 articles are usefully organised into sub-groups: antecedents; the "moment" of Fordism, diffusion and variations, labour under mass production; the Japanese challenge; industrial divides. Tolliday provides a very helpful introduction by highlighting the main issues in what, at times, has become a very sharp debate over the alleged rise and decline of mass production.' -- B.W.E. Alford, Business History 'Tolliday has brought together a very useful mix of articles, some of which are well known while others are not that well known or are not very accessible ... The scope of the articles is broad.' -- Per Boje, Scandinavian Economic History Review '[this book] brings together important work on the history of mass production ... an excellent collection of seminal works ... Importantly, the volumes encourage re-reading of pieces and reflection, when extra nuances and insights emerge. When I received these volumes, I could not put them down, flicking back and forth, dipping in and out ... Tolliday is to be congratulated for that. The volumes still have a prominent and easily reached place on my increasingly cluttered bookshelves, and will be frequently used as a reference and resource.' -- Chris Rowley, Asia Pacific Business Review