Economic stagnation in the 1970s heavily influenced public perception of small business in the industrialized world. Suddenly, small businesses were seen as the dynamic creator of new jobs, as a source of new technology, as a flexible mode of organization able to outmanoeuvre larger firms, and as an important key to community revitalization. Because of its inherent diversity and complexity, however, small business does not easily lend itself to traditional
quantitative consideration, and relatively scant scholarly attention has been paid either to the role of small business in the wider economy or to potentially valuable international comparison. In Small Firms,
Large Concerns, G-7 researchers and scholars follow the process of small business development in North America, Europe, and Japan. They examine economic growth and social stability; the links between small and big business; and the resilience and vulnerability of small business management. Fuji Business History series General Editor: Professor Akira Kudo, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo Series Adviser: Professor
Mark Mason, Yale University This is the third volume in the collaboration between OUP and the Business History Society of Japan to publish the `Fuji Conference Series' under the general
editorship of Professor Akira Kudo. The series itself has been established for more than twenty years and is a major international forum for scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America. Books in the series were formerly published by the University of Tokyo Press.
`The book gives an interesting ... survey of the various systems of small business to be found in the most advanced economies of the world and considers the historical and cultural determinants of their performance and vitality.'
Andrea Colli, Business History, Vol.42, No. 3. July 00.
`This collection of essays offers a valuable introduction to the evolving historical literature on small business and probes the limitations of our current knowledge... a noteworhty contribution to the literature on small business... I highly recommend it for historians, economists, and others concerned with the development of small enterprise.'
Jonathan Bean, Enterprise and Society
Konosuke Odaka and Minoru Sawai: Introduction: Small Business in Historical Perspective
Part I. North America
1: Philip Scranton: Moving Outside Manufacturing: Research Perspectives on Small Business in Twentieth-Century America
2: Mansel G. Blackford: Small Business in America: An Historical Overview
3: Kris Inwood: The Architecture of an Industrial Sector: Size and Structure in Canadian Manufacturing
Part II. Europe
4: C. F. Pratten: Small Firms in the UK
5: Ulrich Wengenroth: Small-Scale Business in Germany: The Flexible Element of Economic Growth
6: Michel Lescure: Small- and Medium-Size Industrial Enterprises in France, 1900-1975
7: Aurelio Alaimo: Small Manufacturing Firms and Local Production Systems in Modern Italy
Part III. Japan
8: Johzen Takeuchi: Historical Features of Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises: A Comparative Economic Approach
9: Takeshi Abe: The Development of the Putting-out System in Modern Japan: The Case of the Cotton-Weaving Industry
10: Minoru Sawai: The Role of Technical Education and Public Research Institutes in the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises: The Case of Osaka Between the Wars
11: Konosuke Odaka: Evaluating Japanese Industrial Policy: The Auto-Parts Industry Example
Konosuke Odaka and Minoru Sawai: Epilogue: Where Do We Go from Here?