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By Rosalind Krauss

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R. D. (1980) The Large Industrial Enterprise, Croom Helm, Beckenham Weber, A. A. A. A. F. Hoare Linkages past and present Industrial linkages are often on the front page. December 28th, 1983 saw the collapse of the multi-million pound deal to sell cold slab steel from the British Steel Corporation’s loss-making Ravenscraig plant, outside Motherwell, to the United States Steel Corporation’s equally loss-making Fairless works in Pennsylvania for further processing. Then in early January 1984, the riots following Peugeot’s decision to close its Talbot plant outside Paris threatened supply lines to the company’s Ruyton (Coventry) works of French-made body panels, gearboxes and other parts for assembly of the Horizon, Alpine and Solara models in Britain.

Patterns of investment by share-holders do not accurately define the locus of decision-making any more than do the locations of the directors. Detailed analyses of the corporate decision-making hierarchy may offer some indication of the extent of ‘external’ control. Even then, what is being defined is control within the company and it is possible Progress in industrial geography 20 that external forces imposed by government, major suppliers or major customers via monopsony effects, may be so strong as to remove effective control from within the company altogether.

And more generally, it seems almost obligatory for modern textbooks to treat the question of industrial linkages under some broad heading relating to ‘agglomeration’, ‘external economies’ and the like. The seed of the idea thus is sown that industrial linkages are still a powerful sustainer of industrial agglomerations. So just as the geography of industry may have been slow to cast off the patterns inherited from an earlier age so industrial geographers may have been hesitant in discarding some of the thinking associated with these earlier geographies.

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A Note on Photography and the Simulacral by Rosalind Krauss


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