Defence Industry Diversification and Conversion (I)
Whereas the two approaches to conversion, previously discussed, are both primarily macro-level studies, the industrial approach to conversion is concerned, first and foremost, with practical initiatives at the micro-level of the individual firm or industry. There have been some valuable academic studies of initiatives undertaken by the top managers of defence firms. These initiatives include examples of both diversification and conversion although the former is, understandably, more common. The studies to be evaluated here strongly indicate that many of these initiatives are unsuccessful though it is not possible to say whether this position is different from efforts at diversification or economic conversion within the civilian economy. Partly in consequence of these failures there has, within the last ten years, been a remarkable growth in trade union and labour initiatives to encourage diversification and conversion, beginning with the well-known Lucas Plan. These alternative strategies have in turn helped to establish some common ground between the labour and peace movements in many Western countries, where before there had frequently been division and disharmony at grass-roots level.
KeywordsMilitary Activity Commercial Market Civilian Activity Civilian Work Defence Procurement
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