From Family Firms to Corporate Capitalism: Essays in Business and Industrial History in Honour of Peter Mathias

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What explains the growth of a business, and more broadly the development or decline of a whole economy? What role does a particular entrepreneur or indeed a culture of entrepreneurship play? Does the evidence suggest that a particular structure or organizational form was or should be adopted to ensure best practice and commercial success? These fundamental questions have long preoccupied business and economic historians. With the current expansion of business and management education and training, the investigations and findings of the historian may have wider significance and relevance.

This volume has been stimulated by the work of Peter Mathias, one of the leading figures in this field in the post-war period. Here a number of his former students—many now internationally distinguished historians—pay tribute in a book that explores the move from family firms to corporate capitalism. The contributors argue that sustained growth has never been a matter of a few spectacular technical breakthroughs, but instead rests on subtle economic and social transformations—in cultures, in economic organizations, and in the roles of science and technology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198290469
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Pages: 392
  • Lexile: 1660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Oslo

University of London

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Contributors
A Bibliography
Introduction 1
1 Inventors of the World of Goods 21
2 Firm, Family, and Community: Managerial and Household Strategies in the Staffordshire Potteries in the Mid-Nineteenth Century 51
3 Risk, Capital, and Credit on Tyneside, circa 1690-1780 84
4 Petty Pawns and Informal Lending: Gender and the Transformation of Small-Scale Credit in England, circa 1600-1800 112
5 Sugar Refining in Bristol 139
6 The Irremediable Evil': British Copper Smelters' Collusion and the Cornish Mining Industry, 1725-1865 170
7 Fuelling the Local Economy: The Fenland Coal Trade, 1760-1850 199
8 The Babcock & Wilcox Company: Strategic Alliance, Technology Development, and Enterprise Control, circa 1860-1900 219
9 Joseph Gilott and his Family Firm: The Many Faces of Entrepreneurship 247
10 Incomes Policies in Britain since 1940: A Study in Political Economy 269
11 The Lancashire Cotton Industry and its Rivals 297
12 The American Automobile Frenzy of the 1950s 315
Index 355
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