Date of Award

1991

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Marshall M. A. Feldman

Abstract

This project is an in-depth study of flexible manufacturing in the New England textile finishing industry. Chapter 1 represents a literature review of the current debate surrounding the flexibility issue. Chapter 2 provides a brief outline of the methodology of the project. Chapter 3 provides a history of the textile industry, both in New England, and the United States as a whole. Chapter 4 zones in specifically on the textile finishing industry. It describes the production processes involved in finishing, and gives figures for employment within the industry at the national level. This chapter also identifies the ten key SIC codes that make up the finishing industry. Chapter 5 looks at industrial organization. It provides general information about the impact of imports on the industry as a whole, and the implications that this has for textile finishing. Further, it addresses the issues of profitability, productivity, supplier-customer relations, and firm size within the finishing industry. Chapter 6 addresses the issue of whether flexibility is increasing in textile finishing in New England. Chapter 7 provides a summary of the industry interviews that the study team for this project has undertaken at the time of writing this research project. Chapter 8 provides conclusions and policy implications that can be drawn at this stage in the research.

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