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Debate The Closure of a Steelworks and the Limits to Workplace Reform

Malcolm Abbott ()

Industry and Innovation, 1997, vol. 4, issue 2, 259-275

Abstract: In April 1997 BI-IP, Australia's largest company, announced its Intention of closing its steelworks at Newcastle. This brought to an end an important chapter in the development and growth of a steel industry in Australia. This paper places the decision by BHP into historical perspective, and analyzes the factors involved in the closure in terms of technological and market changes. The paper argues that although the plant saw significant improvements in productivity through workplace reform in the 1980s, these on their own, in the absence of complementary investments in technology and market development, were not sufficient to save the plant.

Date: 1997
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DOI: 10.1080/13662719700000014

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