It is generally accepted that the technological level of the former planned economies was lower than that of market economies. Technologies differ, however, from industry to industry and develop over time. Therefore, it is necessary to study the technologies of each industry separately. This paper focuses on the shipbuilding industry of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the first half of the 1950s and thus examines the technological level of the most rapidly growing industry of the GDR during the period 1945 to 1955. In terms of product quality, the GDR's shipbuilding industry was capable of building ships that had as high a capacity as ships built in West Germany. But not all the ships had such high capacities; only some did. The research and development obtained, on the one hand, had good results because of the engineers concentrated in the central bureau of R&D. On the other hand, there were many problems : difficulty with the technology imported from western countries, delayed completion, and poor quality of structural designs, etc. In the early 1950s new technologies-structural welding and section building-were introduced to the GDR's shipyards by other shipbuilding countries. These innovations modified the shipbuilding industry into a line-production system for the first time. But the shortage of skilled workers, defects in production planning, delays in delivery of supplies, inferior quality of materials, and unstable electric power supplies, all of which were part of a day's work in planned economies, caused ineffective use of these new technologies. Because of these problems, the productivity of the GDR's shipbuilding industry ranged between one-third and one-tenth of those of the top-rank shipbuilding countries in 1953. As a result, the GDR's shipbuilding industry did not have sufficient international competitiveness.
As the consumption market expanded in local cities in Thailand in the 1980s, some leading provincial retailers diversified their business rapidly and became “local retail zaibatsu.” Tantraphan Group in Chiangmai city is a typical example. There are two main factors that lead the Tantraphan Group to the rapid expansion and diversification of its retail business. The first factor concerned the character of the local consumption market. Although local markets were expanding, the geographical extent was limited to urban areas. Moreover, big distribution companies from Bangkok as well as local companies entered the limited market, while finance companies expanded their lending business in local cities. Under such market conditions, the Tantraphan Group did not specialize in a specific field of retail business but chose to diversify. The second factor was the characteristic of the family business of the Tantraphan Group. The ownership and management of the group companies were concentrated in the group leader. The group leader could, therefore, make prompt decisions in expanding and diversifying the business. As excessive competition in the local market was obvious in the 1990s, the Tantraphan Group faced a financial crisis and finally decided to sell its department store and shopping center section at a loss to the CRC Group of Bangkok. At the same time, the Tantraphan Group decided to establish a holding company consisting of only the founder's family members and reinforced ownership and control of its subsidiary companies. This behavioral pattern indicates that the group intended to preserve the family property by all means. In this respect the group clearly demonstrated its characteristic as a family business and zaibatsu. At the same time, the Tantraphan Group, to some extent, transferred the authority of its practical business affairs to professional managers. Although it is not clear yet in what forms local zaibatsu will exist in the future, it is surely very difficult for them to expand their business in the unchanged form of family business. The case of the Tantraphan Group shows that local zaibatsu must carry out some kind of reform in their business management, just as the big zaibatsu in Bangkok did.
This paper explores the role of industrial welfare in industrial relations, internal labour markets, and the management thought at Cadbury in early twentieth-century England. Welfare provisions by British employers have been hitherto regarded as an expression of philanthropy or gentlemanship in nineteenth-century England, which despised the mammonism. It has been also said that there was no labour management because of craft regulations in British industries. Industrial welfare, therefore, has been considered the only managerial authority of the employers, who could not manage production processes directly. In this paper, industrial welfare is dealt with as a labour strategy. British employers intended to avoid industrial conflict and increase efficiency of work through the various labour policies, such as overseeing, deskilling, piece-wages, and welfare provisions. In these respects, industrial welfare was useful as one means to modify conflicts in employment relations that could not be solved by the cash nexus and to win the loyalty of employees. The case of Cadbury indicates that industrial welfare contributed to reconstructing industrial relations system in the new managerial structure; that the company provisions, including health care and education of employees, provided a solution to recruitment, training, and promotion problems at the company-level; and that industrial welfare contributed to the humanising of labour. The human factor of labour management was emphasised by the employer, who used industrial welfare as a labour strategy at a time, when Taylorism was discussed in England. Finally, industrial welfare at Cadbury was used as one means of labour management based on the physical and mental control of the employees by the employers, who retained traditional authority under a bureaucratic organisation.