The future direction of manufacturing in the Single European Market

A case study

Authored by: Edgar Bellow , Lotfi Hamzi

The Routledge Companion to European Business

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138226586
eBook ISBN: 9781315397306
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter makes the case that innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity for growth within a geopolitically oriented economic policy environment are inextricably linked. While Europe shows specific patterns of highly advanced market integration, due to its geoeconomic and geopolitical position it not only undergoes frequent and rapid change but, in recent years, has been subject to significant shifts due to the eurozone economic crisis. As a result of the contraction in the European economy, therefore, the management of country-based debt has had a negative impact on state-based operations. To this end, it can be argued that the euro crisis has become a matter of solvency linked to overuse of state borrowing, high debt leveraging and substantial fiscal loss over the last five years, and global markets are often targeted as a stop-gap measure in mitigating European geopolitical challenges (Bruno and Shin 2014), which can lead to poor entrepreneurial planning at the firm level (Cowles 2013). This chapter will make the argument that, particularly in European multinational corporation (MNCs), the challenge of balancing planned and divergent strategic behaviour is a major component to innovation and entrepreneurship through diffusion, but structural market context changes linked to geopolitically oriented economic policies can exert a significant influence on the ability of firms to apply divergence and diffusion strategies (Brauer and Heitmann 2013). The focus of this chapter is the manufacturing industry as we see it develop now and into the future. We focus on a company case for illustration.

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