Technical change and employment in the British printing industry
This thesis examines the impact of technical change on
employment in the British printing industry. within this
overall objective .one of the main purposes is to
investigate the attitudes of employers, employees, and
equipment suppliers to the introduction of new technology.
The research was carried out by a comprehensive literature
survey in relation to: international trade, employment, and
competitiveness; technical change and industrial relations;
management attitudes/behaviour in relation to innovation;
and management qualifications. And by in-depth interviews
with representatives from the three groups.
Much research on the National Newspaper sector in the past
has been applied to the whole of printing despite the
fact that the unit size of that sector is considerably
greater than the rest of the industry; and that· less than
10% of those working in the industry work in the National
Newspaper sector. Little research has been done on other
areas of the industry. This research is primarily concerned
with these other sectors, and the attitudes and behaviour
of those working there with regard to technical change.
This research has found the analogy with the newspaper
industry is misplaced, a substantial majority of employees
viewing the introduction of new technology as desirable and
vital to maintaining and/or improving competitiveness. The
problem as they see it is how this is achieved.
In common with other post-war industrial studies on
management attitudes and behaviour with regards to
innovation and investment, this industry was also found to
be generally conservative and short-term in its planning
and organisational methods.
British manufacturers of printing press and post-press
equipment were generally found to-be lacking in innovation
and long-term developmental strategies, though British
companies pre-press, were found to be at least as R&D
intensive and innovative as their overseas competitors.