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Paper info: The Division of Labour and Industrial Networks


The Division of Labour and Industrial Networks


Luis Araujo
University of Manchester
United Kingdom
Luis Araujo and Søren Kerndrup

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.


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This paper deals with the problem of division of labour and industrial developmentfrom a network perspective. Our starting point is Young's (1928) seminal insightsinto how the process of the division of labour creates a series of connected qualitativeand quantitative changes in industrial structures. Our main argument is that thesequalitative and quantitative changes can be reframed as a cascade of connectedlearning processes that take place inside as well as across firm boundaries. Inparticular, we stress how business relationships create a useful platform for teachingand learning different sets of complementary capabilities. We illustrate thesearguments with a case study of the introduction of new technology in the Danishprinting industry and how one company took advantage of this technology torestructure its internal processes and business relationships.