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Americanization and Its LimitsReworking US Technology and Management in Post-war Europe and Japan$
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Jonathan Zeitlin and Gary Herrigel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269044.001.0001

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Introduction: Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and Management in Post-War Europe and Japan

Introduction: Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and Management in Post-War Europe and Japan

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction: Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and Management in Post-War Europe and Japan
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Americanization and Its Limits
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Jonathan Zeitlin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269044.003.0001

This introductory chapter is divided into three main sections. The first section re-examines the historiography of post-war Americanization, highlighting the theoretical assumptions underlying contending perspectives in order to bring out the distinctive features of the conceptual approach developed in this book. The second section draws together the empirical findings of the individual chapters to sketch out a complex, multi-level comparative analysis of similarities and variations in post-war European and Japanese engagements with the American model across firms, sectors, and national economies. This stresses the creativity and reflexivity of local actors together with the resulting proliferation of hybrid forms and practices. The third and final section of the chapter considers the implications of the book's interpretation of post-war Americanization for current debates on the transfer and diffusion of foreign productive models across national borders, underlining the historical grounds for scepticism about the likelihood and desirability of international convergence around any single ‘best practice’ model of economic and technological efficiency, whether Japanese or Anglo-American.

Keywords:   post-war Americanization, engagements, Japan, Europe, American model

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