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By Steven L. Goldman

The essays awarded during this paintings handle the advanced social rootedness of latest commercial competitiveness, starting from the austerely monetary during the political and managerial to the richly sociological.

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S. and Japanese management practices in contrasting ways. American leadership, nationally as well as at the level of the individual firm, places a premium on invention, on achieving competitive advantage by breakthrough research and innovations. Japanese leadership, especially at the level of the firm, places a premium on manufacturing and production values that yield competitive advantage through constantly improved applications of science and technology. In the United States, science and technology serve international political goals in the "hope that domestic economic prosperity and civilian technological leadership" will be by-products.

It took a long time before American management was receptive to this, by then all too obvious, new truth. S. and Japanese managerial values relating to production. S. and Japanese social values with respect to competition and relates the different managerial attitudes toward production that Cooper noted to the institutionalization of these values in Japanese and American versions of the Page 22 modern industrial corporation. Smith argues that the American public is "obsessed" with Japanese success, and the cost to America with which that success has been won, because Japanese society is a "distant mirror" of our own.

America has many resources that it can bring to bear on improving its manufacturing competitiveness, but an honest, open debate is needed to clarify policy alternatives, engage public opinion, and catalyze political action. If no consensus exists among the American people with respect to the competitive strength or weakness of our manufacturing base, or on what should be done to improve its competitiveness if it is weak, then it is unrealistic to expect decisive national political action. S. Congress today, reflecting the absence of such a public consensus, seems confused about the state of our manufacturing industries.

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