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«Boss» Island

The Subcontracting Network and Micro-Entrepreneurship in Taiwan's Development


Gwo-Shyong Shieh

Challenging the state-centered approach to the East Asian development, this book enters into the hidden abode of production of Taiwan's «miracle» by analyzing its organization of production. The widespread subcontracting network, which penetrates and links numerous tiny units of production, has sustained the export-oriented industrialization in Taiwan during the past tree decades. Through management of inter-unit relationships and intra-unit adjustments, it generates flexibility and extra production capacity. This process creates opportunities for workers to set up their own workshops, which induces them to identify themselves with the existing arrangement. Paricipant observation, intensive interviews as well as official statistics and documents are employed in this book.
Contents: The book deals with the subcontracting system in Taiwan and the effects that it has brought about for the export-oriented industrialization in the past three decades. Its whole organization, the dynamics of the contracting unit, the subcontracted workshop, and the subcontracting point, as well as the becoming of one's own boss are examined.