Technological change and rationalisation of production and/or the labour process have always accompanied periods of economic, social, and political development in capitalist societies. Crises have frequently been triggered or exacerbated by the obsolescence of long-established production and labour processes and its inhibitory effects on economic growth and capital accumulation. Technological development has always been crucial for the dynamic of the relations between labour and capital and between the organisations which represent them. Industrial relations systems as political, economic, and social phenomena are influenced by historical and cultural factors. In Great Britain, a low growth rate, a relatively retarded level of technological advance, and a largely unchanged system of industrial relations which had no political or social steering function, all fused into the vicious circle of an imperialist power in a protracted period of decline.