Product changes in multi-plant enterprises

M. J. Healey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Product change is a neglected form of locational adjustment. This exploratory study examines the changes that 64 multi-plant enterprises in the United Kingdom textile and clothing industries made to the products manufactured in their plants during a six year period. Transfers of products to and from plants and the introduction of products new to the enterprise were the most common types of change. The extension of manufacture of products to other plants and product abandonments occurred less frequently. Product change decisions were relatively important in comparison with the frequency of occurrence of other types of locational change. Altering the use made of particular locations gave an important flexibility to the operations of the companies. The most important reasons affecting the product changes were a desire to expand production of products already manufactured by the company, to introduce closely related products and to reorganise the location of products between plants. The degree of diversification, the investment strategy, the size, and the profitability of the enterprises were the most important characteristics of the companies influencing the frequencies with which the various types of product change occurred. Some types of plant were also found more likely to experience product changes than others: notably, the head office plants of parent companies, large plants, plants producing in declining industries, and recently opened plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-370
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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