Cooperation in Industry

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cooperation in Industry


the organization of production links among independent enterprises that are manufacturing a certain product jointly.

Cooperation is a result of the development of the social division of labor and of production specialization, and it is a condition for their further development. In Soviet industry, cooperation covers only some production links, such as the delivery of semifinished articles and parts and assemblies built to mutually agreed-upon technical specifications to the plants producing the finished machinery and equipment. Most deliveries of raw and processed materials are made by material-technical supply bodies. In the USSR cooperation works on a planned basis, in accordance with state plans. It helped solve major national economic problems in the period of industrialization, during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, and in the postwar period. Cooperation has developed most extensively in the sectors that produce complex products composed of many parts and items (for example, in machine building).

Under capitalism, production links among enterprises are largely spontaneous in nature. Cooperation in industry leads to a decrease in production costs, but the advantages go to the largest capitalist monopolies, which use cooperation to expand their domination over the small-sized subcontractors and to intensify exploitation of the workers.

Under socialist conditions, planned cooperation, organically linked with specialization, promotes an increase in the scale of production, fuller use of production capacities, and an increase in the economic efficiency of production.

In socialist industry, cooperation is organized on both the territorial principle and the sectorial principle. Cooperation in industry can be intraregional (production links among enterprises within a single economic region) or interregional (production links among enterprises in different economic regions). Cooperation by enterprises within a single sector of industry is called intrasectorial; among enterprises of different sectors it is called intersectorial. Intraregional cooperation in industry is a primary factor in the comprehensive development of the economic regions and an important condition for the rationalization of shipping.

Cooperation in industry may be permanent or temporary. Permanent cooperation is found among assembly enterprises and subcontracting enterprises which produce assembly components, semifinished parts, and units. The subcontracting enterprises are specialized by part or by production process. Temporary cooperation among enterprises is used in many cases, for example, when one enterprise has unused capacity and another is overworked.

Indexes of cooperation in industry include the number of enterprises cooperating with a given enterprise, the share of semifinished parts and articles coming from outside in the prime cost of finished articles produced by the given enterprise, and the ratio of intraregional and interregional cooperation for individual enterprises and sectors of industry. Industrial cooperation for structurally complex products involving many parts has been considerably developed. For example, hundreds of subcon-tractors participate in cooperative delivery for the large motor vehicle plants. In the total volume of output of the Soviet motor vehicle industry in the late 1960’s, about 40 percent of the parts and assemblies were received by the vehicle plants on a cooperative basis.

Intraregional and interregional cooperative links in industry are being improved. Nevertheless, nonrational crosshauling and unnecessary long-distance cooperative deliveries continue to exist in Soviet industry, and their elimination is an important task for planning bodies, ministries, and departments. The scale of development of cooperation in industry is significantly restricted by the prevalence within some sectors of comprehensive specialized enterprises that handle all phases of production, from output of semifinished parts to assembly of the finished goods. For instance, the share of cooperative deliveries in gross output in some sectors of machine building in the early 1970’s was just 10–12 percent. Further development of cooperation in industry requires further specialization by part and by production process. The establishment in industry of specialized plants producing cast, forged, and stamped pieces and standardized parts and assemblies and the establishment of other allied production facilities is fostering a further expansion of intersectorial and intrasectorial industrial cooperation.

The expansion and improvement of cooperative production links depend to a large extent on the establishment of scientifically substantiated prices for assembly components and semifinished parts (so that cooperation will be economically expedient), the improvement of the system of economic contracts for cooperative deliveries, and the strengthening of material liability for timely performance of deliveries.

Cooperation in production plays a large part in economic cooperation among the socialist countries. It is carried out on the basis of bilateral and multilateral contracts.

The steps envisioned by the Comprehensive Program for the Further Extension and Promotion of Cooperation and Development of Socialist Economic Integration Among the Members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), which was adopted by the 25th session of COMECON in July 1971, are very important for developing cooperation and specialization of production among the socialist countries.


Materialy XXIVs”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Bern, L. la. Spetsializatsiia i kooperirovanie v promyshlennosti SSSR. [Moscow] 1954.
Orlov, N. A., E. N. Slastenko, and E. S. lampol’skii. Spetsializatsiia i kooperirovanie v promyshlennosti SSSR. Moscow, 1964.
Ekonomika sotsialisticheskoi promyshlennosti [4th ed.]. Moscow, 1966. Chapter 9.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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