martes, 24 de julio de 2012

J.A. Schumpeter (desde su biografía - 7)


"For a whole industry, the litmus test of innovation becomes more complicated. Any industry more than a few years old contains powerful elements pulling in opposite directions. Some companies, often the incumbent market leaders, tend to be more conservative and risk-averse than startup firms. By contrast, in new industries with hundreds of companies –such as automobiles in 1900- the more Schumpeterian the particular’s firm culture, the likelier its chances to win the race. Companies in “mature” industries, such as today’s tires, textiles, steel, and automobiles, often do not appear to be Schumpeterian at all. Key innovations have long since worked their way into the routines of every company. But time ant time again, as Schumpeter liked to point out, innovative firms have unexpectedly altered an industry’s apparent maturity.

To take a modern example, when the French company Michelin started mass producing the radial tire in the 1940S, it began a sequence of creative destruction that by the 1980S had shattered America’s long dominance of the industry. The shift to radials killed off all of the big five tire companies except Goodyear and ended the reign of Akron, Ohio, as the Rubber Capital of the World. An industry-wide culture of complacency, deriving from long success, simply prevented American firms from responding effectively.

During the twentieth century, innovative companies also transformed the “mature” textile industry by developing rayon, nylon, polyesters, spandex, and other synthetic fibers. In steel, the advent of basic oxygen furnaces and minimills ended the supremacy of United States Steel, British Steel, and other giant firms.

One of the best examples of all has been the revolutionary Toyota Production System. Toyota Motor, funded in the 1930S, produced only 42,000 cars in 1960 –but 2.3 million in 1980, an increase of 5,240 percent. And its new production system not only transformed the making of cars –ending seven decades of supremacy by Detroit- but also changed the face of manufacturing in general. Toyota’s quality-control mechanisms, its lean manufacturing, and its empowerment of assembly-line workers spread to innumerable factories throughout the world."

No hay comentarios: