In this chapter, we discuss some implications that managers and policy makers may draw from the examples and observations in this book. We have started our line of evidence with the observation that the management teams of industrial firms bear the responsibility for making their firms competitive - through management quality, or the ability to mobilize the workforce, and by adopting promising strategic positions (summarized in the competitiveness diamond in Chap. 1). The case studies in Chaps. 2 through 9 have demonstrated that all the positions in the diamond are feasible in Germany and France. We have finally shown that offshoring, the practice of performing certain activities abroad in low-wage or industrialized countries, does not deserve its bad reputation as “job killer.” On the contrary, off-shoring tends to create value, growth and jobs; this is the case in the excellent companies that we have showcased in this book, who use it strategically rather than just as a cost-cutting tool, and job creation is also observed by systematic studies at the level of the economy. There are challenges, however, which include job churn, training and potential relocation. This book cannot fully discuss, much less solve, how these social issues can be addressed at governmental level. Our point is that management needs to step up to its part of the responsibility, and policy makers must recognize that it is their responsibility to help companies be competitive, not fight them or see them simply as cows to be milked for supporting needy parts of the economy. Finally, we argue that what seems to be missing in Germany and France today is an honest dialogue between the public sector and companies.
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