Concentration in Modern Industry: Theory, measurement and by Leslie Hannah

By Leslie Hannah

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The desire for personal independence and control over the individual's working environment is widespread in all social classes and this creates a richness and diversity in society which has been highly prized. Thus one proponent of this view has written Is not that community the best, and, in the widest sense of the word, most healthy, which has the largest proportion of its citizens who have the enterprise, and energy, and initiative, to create new things and new methods for themselves, and not merely to carry out the order of somebody 'higher up' (Lothian 1930) The weakness ofthis dream, as socialists frequently pointed out, was that most people in our society must take orders from somebody 'higher-up' and indeed this has always been the case.

Finally the British economy is more susceptible to penetration by imports than the American so that concentration ratios will be an especially poor measure of market shares in Britain. K. that concentration does not lead to the exaction of excessive profits. THE ORIGINS OF MONOPOLY PROFITS If we accept that high profit rates and high concentration are found together, some problems of interpretation remain. It is possible that large market shares confer monopoly power on firms with no other special advantages: it is also likely that some firms possess particular capabilities or technologies which enable them to achieve both market dominance and above-average profits so that the latter simply represent the deserved rewards of superior performance.

354) cites the case of Standard Oil of New Jersey, with twelve layers of management between research and development scientists and top decision-makers and no major new commercial product in 15 years. As the process of bureaucratisation continues, the similarity between the attitudes and backgrounds of leading civil servants and businessmen increases (Nett! 1965). This can be seen on one side in the increasing concern of big business with ill-defined concepts of social responsibility and on the other in the well documented tendency of regulating agencies within governments to become pressure groups for the regulated (Bernstein 1955).

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