By Andrew L. Friedman
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Additional resources for Industry and Labour: Class Struggle at Work and Monopoly Capitalism
Though the combinations and merged companies were not always successful, the future path for British industry was clear. Britain's exploitation of foreign markets could not continue for ever in the increasingly competitive international economy while her home base remained relatively neglected. The pre-war British associations and mergers were formed to keep prices up, rather than to rationalise and modernise British industry. Most mergers between 1886 and 1914 occurred at times when rising share prices corresponded with trade cycle recessions (Hannah [1974a], p.
If steady profits are not maintained, managerial insulation from external financial interference will be threatened. If dividend flows and share prices are not maintained, the possibilities for shareholder interference and the risk of takeover will grow. Also, while evidence comparing profitability with the size of firms has shown no clear relation one way or the other, evidence for a clear positive relation between the size of firms and profit stability is strong (Singh and Whittington ; Eatwell [1971 D.
In 1876 Thomas Edison set up the first research organisation for the scientifically organised pursuit of industriallyuseful inventions. Before the First World War most huge American corporations had either set up their own research organisations, or dealt extensively with specialist research organisations (Braverman , pp. 163-4). These developments were of considerable importance in distinguishing Monopoly Capitalism from Modern Industry. During Modern Industry science was a generalised social property, only incidental to production, and technical progress was still based on the occasional appropriation of the fruits of science and on skilled workers' aptitudes.