By Doreen MASSEY
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Additional resources for Spatial Divisions of Labour: Social Structures and the Geography of Production
The nature of the calculation in these companies is different. ' The sector of production is given. It is not just that in the latter case the company has no intersectoral spread, but that with that attitude, that kind of calculation, it is not going to develop one. Antony Pilkington, chair of the major British glass manufacturers with his surname, was quoted in 1982 as saying that he and his board 'have never even thought half seriously of moving into anything other than glass and allied products'.
The analysis of production, and thence of location, must be set in the context of broader social processes, both inside and outside the finn itself. In order to understand the causes and the significance of location decisions - or of the geographical distribution of an industry, the fortunes of a particular region, or the pattern of geographical differentiation within a country as a whole - it is necessary to embed that problem within the broader context of what is going on in society in general.
Categories such as 'small firm', in other words, may not have much analytical meaning. If production is a social process, then the social nature of capital is of fundamental importance when it comes to characterising a particular company. Descriptions based on apparently objective (because quantitative or formal) measures may completely miss all the important differences. Similar kinds of contrasts may exist between much larger firms, too. The difference between a wide-ranging multisectoral conglomerate and a single-industry company is not always just one of intersectoral spread.
Spatial Divisions of Labour: Social Structures and the Geography of Production by Doreen MASSEY