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Title: Power, competition and regulation : the case of the UK brewing sector.
Author: Bobe, Jonathan Mark.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3468 6993
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis explores the role of unequal power relationships between business enterprises in the UK brewing sector and how these asymmetries shape the dynamic and direction of changei n patternso f geographicailn dustrialisation.P ower has,t o date,r emaineda largely neglected concept in economic relationships as considered in economic geography. A new model of geographical industrialisation is developed in this thesis that focuses on capital: capital relations, incorporates the dynamic nature of enterprises and the networks of relations within which they are embeddedt,h e asymmetryo f power relations within and betweene nterprisesa ndt he dynamicc hangesin markets tructured uring periodso f recession and restructuring. It further seeks to explore the relationship between stability and instability in the derivation of emerging patterns of geographical industrialisation. The model is based on the concept of circuits of power (Clegg, 1989) which has been successfully applied to economic geography over recent years (Taylor, 1995,1996; Taylor and Hallsworth, 1996,1999; Taylor eta!, 1995). In this model inequalities in power between enterprisese stablishesth e basesu pon which competition can take place and go on to create the context within which social relationships are established and can develop. However, as currently specified this approach neglects the collective agency of enterprises inherent in segmented economic sectors (Taylor and Thrift, 1982a, 1982b, 1983). By the incorporation of appropriate insights from the study of complexity, collective agency, the element of process within the circuits of power framework, can be more fully understood. In this way those processes that create instability and flux in enterprises, but which at the same time lead to periodic stabilisations, can be identified. The thesis is divided into four parts. Part I. makes explicit the limitations of current theories of geographical industrialisation (Chapters 1 and 2) and proposes a new model (Chapter 2), incorporating the concepts of circuits of power and complexity, that addresses these limitations. Part II of the thesis (Chapters 3,4 and 5) tests the model against historical trajectories of change in the UK brewing sector identifying six cycles of change since 1700. For each cycle, by applying the model, the processes that have instigated and promulgated change are made explicit. Distinct enterprise segmentations, associated with each period of relative stability during these cycles, are also identified. Part III of the thesis, through a questionnaire survey (Chapter 6) and a series of semistructured interviews (Chapter 7), uses the model to examine the state of the UK brewing sector at the present time. Chapter 6 identifies contemporary enterprise segments active within the sector and the differential action of pressures upon these segments. In doing so the path dependent trajectories ofchange ofenterprise segments, and the limitations imposed upon such trajectories, are made explicit. Chapter 7 considers, through the model, the day to day interactions of enterprise segments and how these interactions reinforce the negotiated inequalities inherent in asymmetrical power relations. Coping strategies adopted by enterprises during a period of instability are identified and the relationship between the market and interpersonal relationships are made explicit. It is concluded that the model proposed in this thesis provides for a more realistic interpretation of changing patterns of geographical industrialisation than previous models
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic geography; Segmentation model