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The Post-War Productivity Failure: Insights from Oxford (Cowley)

Bowden, S., Foreman-Peck, J. and Richardson, T. (2001) The Post-War Productivity Failure: Insights from Oxford (Cowley). Business History, 43 (3). pp. 54-78. ISSN 0007-6791

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In the story of Britain's post-war economic 'slippage', the British motor industry plays a special role. The downfall was so complete and expensive that commentators have vied with each other in condemning every aspect of management responsible for the industry. Rather than reiterating the fact of failure, the present paper adds structure with evidence to the explanation of management shortcomings. It details the 'how' and 'why', in labour and capital markets. New primary source material is presented in a coherent theoretical framework that explains precisely what was wrong with the piece-rate payment system and how it could have been remedied. The paper goes on to explain the inadequacies of the corporate governance mechanism that allowed this fundamental deficiency to persist, using material from the shareholders' register and interviews.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Economics and Related Studies (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2009 12:37
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2009 12:37
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713999230
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/713999230
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5796

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