The capital goods industries--machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, transport equipment (except automobiles), and instruments and related equipment--provide more than one-third of total U.S. exports. But in the past twenty years, these industries have displayed a continual weakening of their competitive position. In this study, Robert Eckley investigates this leading sector of the American economy and its competition for global markets by concentrating on case studies of seven companies that represent the principal segments of the capital goods industries.The approach that Eckley takes is an empirical one, utilizing the experience of IBM, Boeing, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Caterpillar, Cummins, and Cincinnati Milacron to illustrate the developments that have occurred in this sector of the world economy. The companies are all leaders within their industries, and also offer a representative variety of the products, processes, and labor organizations found in the capital goods industries. Following a detailed introduction, Eckley devotes one chapter to each of the seven companies, seeking out commonalities within the larger capital goods sector and drawing conclusions about costs, markets, and organizational and managerial practices. A concluding chapter focuses on the keys to regaining American leadership: increasing capital investment, remedying educational deficiencies, and improving business decisions. Marketing and planning executives in international business will find this work to be an invaluable resource, as will students in business and public policy courses.
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