Reading manufacturing firms and new research agendas: scalar-plasticity, value/risk and the emergence of Jenga Capitalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter outlines and develops an approach to reading businesses to inform practice, research, and policy. This approach is applied to identify new manufacturing research agendas. These include new research agendas on value, operations, care, and responsibility including diversity, risk and uncertainty, products, and a more nuanced approach to scale. The Global Production Networks (GPN) approach is reviewed, and revisions identified including the development of GPN 3.0 based on new approaches to scale. The existing conventional approach to the scale question is based on the multi-scalar approach. This needs to shift to acknowledge that scale is socially constructed and is an extremely fluid and dynamic process. The concept of scalar-plasticity is developed as an alternative. This approach to reading businesses is positioned within a broader argument regarding the emergence of a new epoch in the ongoing evolution of capitalism. We have entered the period of Jenga Capitalism in which system convergence, combined within increased global connectivity, produces domino effects that ripple across the globe enhancing inequalities, disrupting GPNs and national economies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Manufacturing Industries in the Global Economy
EditorsJohn Bryson, Chloe Billing, William Graves, Godfrey Yeung
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781789908510
ISBN (Print)9781789908503
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameElgar Research Agendas
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.


  • Reading Business
  • Jenga Capitalism
  • Value and Risk
  • Operations
  • scalar-plasticity
  • responsible business


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