Full text: Accumulation and Technology

12 
There are, first, signs of a technological development 
which runs counter to the tendencies we have become 
accustomed to associate with industrial progress: 
Large units based on large scale economies, mass production 
based on standardisation, and replacement of skilled by 
unskilled labour. Some new techniques are wizzards 
which don't make you very big but make you very small. 
Miniaturisation certainly is the opposite of the tendency 
which brought us monster tankers and furnaces. And the 
chip apparently facilitates more flexible tools, more 
easily adaptable machinery which favours smaller units. 
Again we find that agammst all received ideas smaller 
power stations are becoming economically feasible, 
due to joint production of energy and heat. 
Second, there are tendencies which, broadly speaking, come 
from the numan side. The superiority of the big concerns 
is not any more unquestioned. The big organisation shows 
signs of degeneration in the private just as in the public 
field. This is reinforced by the changing image of 
hierarchical organisations in the minds of people. 
In the technological industries- admittedly still a small 
part of total industry - highly skilled manpower has gained 
a decisive importance as an element of success in R&D 
and therefore in competition. These engineers have shown 
a preference for working in small or mediumfirms which 
offer a more congenial surrounding to research. The R&D 
in large concerns is hindered by inflexibility and 
complicated decision work in committees which causé delay 
and slowness in carrying out new development. The smaller 
firms moreover offer more in the way of profit sharing 
and even participation. The large concerns try to adapt
	        

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