Managing Manufacturing in an Economy in Transition: Spain’s Challenges and Responses
A number of European firms find themselves at the vortex of economic, market and technological forces that pull at them in a variety of directions. The twin phenomena of Western European economic integration and Eastern European socioeconomic transformation are changing the economic landscape within which firms must compete and succeed. These creative and regenerative processes are also painful and, at least initially, quite upsetting and destructive. The 20–50% plummeting of Eastern European per capita GDPs and the rise of Western European unemployment to the 10–20% level are clear indications of the current upheaval. Manufacturing is, perhaps, the economic sector most seriously affected by the forces of globalisation and integration, as shown by the ongoing dramatic downsizing of ‘traditional’ industries such as steel, textiles, and automotives. Manufacturing is also of enormous significance since it lies at the core and foundation of any industrialised and/or post-industrial society (Dertouzos, 1989). Clearly, globalisation and integration offer manufacturing both challenges and opportunities, which must be diagnosed and addressed (Kennedy, 1993).
KeywordsEuropean Union Gross Domestic Product Uncertainty Avoidance Total Quality Management Spanish Economy
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