In the early 1980s a growing body of literature began to draw the attention of economic analysts and policy-makers to the “new” role played by small businesses in the context of industrial production. The developments of the literature on the matter – not always supported by reliable empirical evidence – led quickly to the establishment of a new standpoint, which viewed the phenomenon as a sharp reversal of the previous trend towards the concentration of production activities within giant enterprises, which would herald a future characterized by an increased role for small-scale production. By the end of the century a widespread belief had grown among many institutions and a growing number of scholars that the industrial system was probably to be considered as being at the outset of a new era of small, customer-oriented manufacturing activities which would quickly sweep away the remnants of the mass production system.1


Size Structure Business Unit Business Firm Bretton Wood System Advanced Industrial Country 
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Copyright information

© Fabrizio Traù 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrizio Traù
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Department of the Confederation of Italian IndustriesRomeItaly
  2. 2.Research Associate at the ECRC Centre for Business ResearchUniversity of CambridgeUK

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