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Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and by Jonathan Zeitlin, Gary Herrigel PDF

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By Jonathan Zeitlin, Gary Herrigel

This e-book develops a brand new and conceptually specific research of Americanization in eu and eastern after the second one global struggle, in accordance with a wealthy set of sectoral and firm-based reviews by means of a global workforce of unique students. The authors spotlight the self reliant and artistic function of neighborhood actors in selectively adapting US know-how and administration ways to go well with neighborhood stipulations and, strikingly, in growing new hybrid types that mixed indigenous and overseas practices in unexpected and sometimes remarkably aggressive methods.

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Extra resources for Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and Management in Post-War Europe and Japan

Sample text

But others, as a number of the chapters also document, contested this universal vision of industrial modernity in the name of economic and technological objections which cannot easily be discounted in retrospect: indeed, their warnings about the inflexibility of specialpurpose equipment, the high overhead costs of bureaucratic management, the wasteful accumulation of buffer stocks and work-in-progress, and the restrictive impact of standardization on product innovation anticipated much of the critique of US manufacturing practice in comparison to that of the Japanese which became commonplace during the 1970s and 1980s.

Even in such instances, however, as Ruggero Ranieri shows in a marvellous piece of historical detective work, there was often a plurality of conflicting views among US advisers and policy makers at different levels, so that only by mobilizing an extraordinary coalition including American engineering consultants, steelmakers, and equipment suppliers as well as Fiat could Finsider's Oscar Sinigalia succeed in overcoming the combined opposition of the World Bank, local Marshall Plan officials, Italian private steel companies, and other prominent US industrialists and consultants to the construction of a new integrated wide-strip mill complex at Cornigliano on the Genoese coast.

Such multiple, overlapping, and cross-cutting chronological perspectives—together with associated techniques such as flashbacks, anticipations, and epilogues—can also be understood as narrative strategies for challenging and subverting the unilinear, teleological presentation of post-war Americanization as progressive modernization which remains predominant in the existing literature. Like synchronic comparisons across firms, sectors, and countries, or the polyphony of multiple voices within a single text, the plurality of temporalities in this book contributes to what literary theorists Gary Saul Morson and Michael André Bernstein have termed ‘sideshadowing’: the narrative representation of action as a process of deliberative choice among an open (though not of course infinite) set of alternative possibilities, more than one of which might in fact have been realized.

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