Corporate flexibility : a comparative analysis of small firms in Northern Ireland and Massachusetts / Nola Hewitt-Dundas.

Hewitt-Dundas, Nola.

Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog
List of tables	viii

List of figures	xi

Preface	xii

1: Flexibility: The key to economic regeneration?	1
	Introduction	1
	Industrial location	2
	Theories of structural change in the economy	5
	The growing importance of small firms in
	regional development	16
	The peripherality of Northern Ireland within
	the United Kingdom	23
	Conclusions	25

2: Vicious and virtuous circles of regional development -

	The case of Northern Ireland and Massachusetts	27
	Introduction	27
	Economic development in Northern Ireland	29
	Economic development in Massachusetts	36
	Economic measures of change in Northern Ireland
	and Massachusetts	43
	Conclusions	60

3: Matched plant methodology	63
	Introduction	63
	The evolution of matched plant methods	64
	The matched plant methodology in Northern Ireland and
	Massachusetts	68
	Sampling techniques	71
	Characteristics of the sample	74
	Matched plant questionnaire	76

4:Comparative analysis of matched plant growth: Northern Ireland
	and Massachusetts	84
	Introduction	84
	Small firm growth	86
	Growth within the matched plants - turnover and employment
	based measures	87
	The relationship between turnover growth and employment
	growth	90
	Output per employee growth 1988 to 1993	92
	Operational mechanisms contributing to growth	93
	Summary	109

5: Functional flexibility in the production process	113
	Introduction	113
	Functional flexibility	115
	Employee characteristics	117
	Summary	127
	Functional flexibility on the shopfloor	127
	Summary	132
	Functional flexibility of supervisory workers	132
	Functional flexibility of managers	147

6: Numerical flexibility in the production process	160
	Numerical flexibility	160
	Numerical flexibility within the matched plants	162
	Labour flexibility: Conclusions	170

7: Flexibility in the production process	175
	Introduction	175
	Just-in-time and Just-in-case production	178
	Summary	206

8: Conclusions	212
	Flexibility - rhetoric or reality?	212
	Flexibility and growth	213
	Numerical flexibility and growth	215
	Functional flexibility and growth	216
	Flexibility in the production process and growth	221
	Numerical, functional and production flexibility -
	Mutually exclusive concepts?	226
	The evidence for flexible specialization and flexible
	accumulation	228
	Evaluation	236

Appendix: Accumulation in the 20th Century	242

Bibliography	248