The days of the integrated chemical company were coming to an end, with companies abandoning noncore business segments in efforts to boost the creation of shareholder value. The reshaping of the industry had begun in the 1980s, but it was on a small scale compared to that in the 1990s.
The German chemical industry have been doing tremendous job (Landau and Arora, 1999) and continues to do so in development of the global and national economies in terms of employment, investments and value added as reported by the President of the Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V. (Association of the German Chemical Industry). In past several years, the industry has been downsizing, “right sizing,” and producing new companies through small mergers, megamergers, and spin-offs. The new business reality gives every reason to believe there will be further consolidation and subsequent downsizing in the chemical industry (Millenium Special Report, 1999). This is also confirmed by the data for German chemical industry for 1992–2004 period, which tells us that the average size, defined as the number of employees of the firm, has decreased by about 47% (from 813 to 433).
to survive, and that economical/technological situation has put considerable pressure on smaller firms (Swift, 1999). Then the natural question arises: “Why small is beautiful?”
Authors find, though, that both dowsizers and upsizers increase in productivity and the relationship is quite complex and not clearcut. In their other paper, Baily et al. (2001) try to resolve the debate on cyclical nature of the labor productivity over time. They claim that the productivity of long-term downsizers tends to be quite considerable, much larger than that of long-run upsizers." (Moi ici: A melhoria disruptiva é mais rentável que a melhoria incremental)
Bathelt (2000) identifies three types of German chemical firms: (i) semiflexible integrated firms, mainly medium-large and large sized, with main features being high degree of vertical and/or horizontal integration and limited product and process flexibility; (ii) conventionally specialized firms, mostly small and medium sized, which are characterized by a low degree of product and process flexibility; and (iii) flexible specialized firms, which are mostly small and can only be found in the narrow chemical subindustry (pigments, dyes, paints, and varnishes). Except for the third type of firms, which tries to achieve economies of scope to adjust to market-segmentation tendencies, the first two care about economies of scale by various production activities and by producing relatively long-term homogeneous goods."