Top Definition
All of the parts of a productive system that contribute to marketable products; the productive elements in a particular economy. This includes the entire network of firms, regulatory bodies (like government), infrastructure (roads, telecommunications), and financial intermediaries (banks, thrifts).

In a global economy, there are many industrial systems. In fact, it's quite possible that a single town could have companies belonging to different industrial systems; e.g., a paper mill near a biotech research facility. Almost none of the productive systems share potential employees or potential markets; a recession for the biotech business could--and probably would--completely spare the paper mill. Moreover, the managers of the two businesses probably want opposite policies: the mill owners want low taxes and small government, while the biotech researchers want big spending on education and infrastructure.

Much confusion is caused by calling the industrial system the "economy." The industrial system is not the economy. The industrial system is an organic entity within a greater economy. Various policies may be beneficial for this or that industrial system, with an ambiguous effect (if any) on the economy.
The family model was incorporated into the industrial system with the agent (who was the chief manager) filling the father's role. The same model was also expressed in the hierarchical management structure... The overseer was the "father" of his workroom and was expected to treat the workers like his children.

(Tamara K. Hareven, *Family Time and Industrial Time* 1982, p.4)
by Abu Yahya February 24, 2010

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