Originally published in 1989, this book analyses the economic and political position of the small firm in the 1980s, and in particular the relationship between small and large firms in an advanced capitalist economy. Focusing on the printing and clothing industries, it examines the industrial relation practices in these two contrasting sectors and shows that apparent industrial relations harmony – for example, the lack of strikes – should be put down to the powerlessness of the workforce rather than to contentment.
1. Constructing a Modern Myth 2. The Small Firm in Context – Theory 3. The Small Firm - Combined and Uneven Development 4. Case Studies 5. Not So Great Expectations 6. There Is No Alternative – Trade Unionism and Small Firms 7. Summary and Conclusions. Appendix: The Bolton Report.