The Structure of British Industry

The Structure of British Industry

The Structure of British Industry

The Structure of British Industry

Synopsis

'...as an up-to-date and intelligible an account of large areas of British industry as you will find... It will be a valuable handbook for a variety of users: students and teachers(its prijmary audience), businessmen or coivil servants.' British Business

Excerpt

This edition, like the first, is designed to meet two objectives. First, it provides sixteen chapter-length studies on a wide range of industries. Each chapter is intended as an authoritative source of reference on the main structural, behavioural and performance characteristics of the industry in question, and as a starting point for further study. Secondly, the book offers illustrative material for use in those courses in higher education and elsewhere whose contents relate to industrial activity. Thus, for example, a discussion on pricing in industry would be able to draw on most of the chapters for case-study material.

Two factors determined the coverage of the book. the first was the desire to cover as wide a spectrum of industrial characteristics as possible. Hence declining and expanding, ‘traditional’ and ‘science-based’, private and nationalized, capital- and labour-intensive industries are analysed. the production of both goods and services is included. the second consideration was the need to find someone able and willing to write each chapter.

Inevitably the particular selection of industries given in this book will be the subject of criticism. It is a very easy task to suggest other industries that might have been included. However, given the factors mentioned in the previous paragraph, and the constraints imposed by the economics of publishing (as seen by the publisher!) the industries chosen do represent a reasonably balanced and wide-ranging picture of industrial characteristics. Nearly 40 per cent of employees in employment in Great Britain are accounted for by the industries covered in this book. This percentage assumes that employment in information technology, the subject of Chapter 7, is limited to labour utilized in the production of relevant hardware. As that chapter shows, however, nearly 40 per cent of total employment may be classified as being in ‘information-related’ occupations.

Most of the chapters are listed in the order in which the relevant industries appear in the 1980 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). the chapter on North Sea oil and gas, however, precedes the chapter on coal because the former also contains some information on the energy sector as a whole. Information technology does of course impinge on the activities of a wide range of industries and is not separately identified in the sic. It has nevertheless been located in the position occupied by data processing and telecommunications in the sic as it is these industries that supply a significant proportion of the relevant equipment. It is perhaps appropriate that consideration of information technology is now at the centre of a book on British industries. Tourism, the last chapter in this book, also straddles a number of industries.

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