The History of Royal Dutch Shell: Four-Volume Set

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Understanding oil is essential for understanding modern history. The 20th century has rightly been called the century of oil, and the beginning of the 21st century suggests that this strategic commodity still gains in importance. From its creation in 1907 Royal Dutch Shell has played a key role in the global oil industry. For most of the 20th century Royal Dutch Shell was either the largest or, after Standard Oil/Exxon, the second largest oil company.

This History of Royal Dutch Shell comes in three parts. Volume One by Joost Jonker and Jan Luiten van Zanden covers the development of Royal Dutch Shell from the foundation of the two main constituting companies until the outbreak of the Second World War. Volume Two by Stephen Howarth and Joost Jonker takes the story from the outbreak of the Second World War to the first oil crisis in 1973. Volume Three by Keetie Sluyterman highlights how Shell faced up to the nationalizations in the oil industry in the 1970s, and how high oil prices cushioned the required changes. The story then moves on to the second challenging period, after the collapse of oil prices in 1986. It explores how the company responded to innovation in information technologies, and the return of globalization and privatization in the 1990s, with a major organizational overhaul. This book lastly discusses how in the early 21st century high oil prices, nationalizations and alarms about oil scarcity resurfaced, and the two parent companies were finally unified. Volume Four contains appendices and a cumulative index.

Based on unrestricted access to Royal Dutch Shell records, these books give a unique insight into the exciting world of oil and the tireless efforts to ascertain energy supplies for future generations.

Lavishly illustrated and produced, the book is being published to coincide with the company's centenary in 2007.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The latest in a long tradition of corporate chemical histories that include well-received works underwritten by DuPont, Dow, BASF, CIBA, Roche...this three-volume set (plus accompanying appendixes and DVDs) from Royal Dutch Shell is the most comprehensively conceived, researched, written, and elegantly produced of all... As a work of history, it provides a huge service; for those interested in chemistry, geology, engineering, and business, it will likely be a resource second to none; as a set of books, it is truly a work of art and a pleasure to add to any library...Highly recommended."--CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199298778
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/11/2007
  • Pages: 1800
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 5.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Howarth, an independent full-time author of history since 1979, has 14 major published works on a wide range of subjects. His corporate histories include The Story of P&O (co-written with David Howarth, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987), Sea Shell: The Story of Shell's British Tanker Fleets, 1892-1992 ( Thomas Reed, 1992), A Century in Oil: The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company, 1897-1997 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997), and Henry Poole, Founders of Savile Row: The Making of a Legend (Bene Factum, 2003). Stephen Howarth is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Joost Jonker is a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Utrecht. He graduated from the Free University, Amsterdam, and has since specialized in financial and business history.
Keetie E. Sluyterman is Professor of Business History at Utrecht University, and senior researcher at the Research Institute for History and Culture at the same university. She has written or jointly authored a large number of commissioned business histories, including Océ, De Kuyper, Proost and Brandt, CSM, Rabobank, and Hagemeyer.
Jan Luiten van Zanden is Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Utrecht.
Van Zanden studied economics and history at the Free University of Amsterdam, received a Ph D from the Agricultural university of Wageningen (in 1985), and has published widely on the economic history of Western Europe and Indonesia.

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Table of Contents

Volume I: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader, 1890-1939
General Introduction Introduction to Volume I
1. From Opposite Ends Towards a Common Purpose, 1890-1907
2. An Enterprise Waiting to be Made, 1907-1914
3. Surviving the Crucible, 1914-1919
4. At the Peak of its Power, 1919-1929
5. The Contours of a Mature Corporation: management and staff relations
6. The Evolution of Technology, Research, and Marketing
7. Taxing Times, 1929-1939
Conclusion of Volume I
Volume II: Powering the Hydrocarbon Revolution, 1939-1973
Introduction to Volume II
1. A Worldwide Group Endures a Worldwide War, 1939-1945
2. Losses and Gains in Access to Oil, 1945-1968
3. New Money, New Management: The Expansion and Reformation of the Group, 1945-1968
4. Creating Competitive Advantages, 1945-1968
5. Beyond the Core Business, 1945-1972
6. The Seven Sisters and the Dominance of the World Oil Industry,1969-1973
Conclusion of Volume II
Volume III: Keeping Competitive In Turbulent Markets, 1973-2007
Introduction to Volume III
1. Coping with OPEC, 1973-1986
2. Mixed Results of the Diversification Strategy, 1973-2000
3. Adjusting to a World of Low Oil Prices and Global Markets, 1986-2000
4. Motivating Staff and Shareholders, 1973-1998
5. License to Operate: Company Response to Public Scrutiny
6. New Challenges in the 21st century Conclusion of Volume III Collective Conclusion of the Work

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