Throughout the 1980s the 100 largest manufacturing enterprises in the UK maintained their share of manufacturing net output at around 40 per cent and they played an important role in the shaping of regional economies through the re-organisation of production activities. These re-organisations were accompanied by significant employment losses in the manufacturing sector. Although the firms were responding to changes in the macro-economic environment, it was the decisions of the firms themselves that led to job losses (and in some cases job gains) in particular places. For many communities the loss of jobs was seen to arise from the policies of major firms, rather than from the changes in the global and national contexts within which the firms were operating.