chapter  3
27 Pages

Editorial introduction

ByAlan Townsend, Francis Peck

Townsend and Peck agree with Lloyd and Shutt in rejecting attempts to get at causality itself through extensive analyses of aggregate statistics of industrial change, whether these be aggregated by region or sub-region or by industrial sector. They, too, argue strongly for the importance of studying individual, named, corpora­ tions. On this last issue, their chapter is particularly useful in address­ ing some of the problems, both practical and conceptual, which face the researcher who sets out on this kind of analysis. But, again, like the authors of chapter 2, these authors do not wish their analyses of corporations to exist in a vacuum, and they therefore devote an early section of their discussion to the wider economic context within which the corporations are operating. These two levels of analysis also highlight a range of issues which again recalls some of those pointed to by Lloyd and Shutt. At the wider level, the facts of inter­ nationalization, of political strategies by governments, and of conflict between capital and labour are inescapable. At the level of the corporation the importance is stated of going beyond figures for employment to look at output, and at the rate of profit (a role which is certainly not mechanistic), at the importance of technology,

at the form of social relations through which the mechanisms of change are played out, and vitally, at non-market influences.