Management & Organizational History

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Print ISSN: 1744-9359
The paper combines economic and sociological perspectives on organizations in order to gain a better understanding of the forces shaping the structures of industrial districts (IDs) and the organizations of which they are constituted. To effect the combination , the resource based view (RBV) and resource dependency theory are combined to explain the evolution of different industry structures. The paper thus extends work by Toms and Filatotchev by spatializing consideration of resource distribution and resource dependence. The paper has important implications for conventional interpretations in the fields of business and organizational history and for the main areas of theory hitherto considered separately, particularly the Chandlerian model of corporate hierarchy as contrasted with the alternative of clusters of small firms coordinated by networks.
This article puts forwards a “reorientationist” perspective about the genealogy of collective action and artefacts deployed for its orientation. It draws on the history of religion and religious organizations as elaborated by several promoters of the so-called “new history” in France. These historians (mainly medievalist) can be helpful in writing a different genealogy of contemporary models of collective action (i.e. ways of reaching a goal together) and their institutional context in western countries. They can also facilitate a critical understanding of long-range organizational dynamics. oui
This is the author's final draft of the paper published as Management and Organizational History, 2009, 4 (2), pp. 167-185. The final version is available from Doi: 10.1177/1744935908101844 This article considers the relationship between historical and fictional accounts of piracy, and relates them to contemporary issues about the legitimacy of states and global business. I begin by showing how privateers were gradually distinguished into pirates and navies. At the same time, the pirate becomes a character in the popular imagination, a `trickster' figure on the side of the people, and against authority.The second main section of the paper moves from `histor y' to `representation' and shows how the image of the pirate moved from a wild character on the edge of the world, to a stock cliché for Hollywood swashbucklers. I then investigate the legacy of radical histories and representations of piracy, focusing particularly on the idea of alternative organization on the ship and the pirate utopias on the land. The final section pulls together the historical figure, the stock character and the radical rogue in order to suggest that the pirate can mean what we want him (or to her) to mean. Nonetheless, the biggest historical irony is that the golden age pirate emerges at the beginnings of international business, and is only wiped out when the state and the businessman strike an alliance that lasts to the present day.
We explore the nature of two of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds (“SWFs”) by making sense of two of their controversial investments in US financial institutions. Drawing on core Benjamin-ian themes, we present an alternative view to purely financial accounts of those investments in terms of an unresolved struggle for influence between contrasting “wish-images” - partly fulfilled ambitions that are shaped by the image-holder's social experiences - of nation-building and entrepreneurial reward-seeking in China and Singapore. While this struggle exposes the complex nature of our SWFs, we suggest how our reflections have unexpected implications for their development. Where Benjamin welcomed a “critical state” in which hitherto ignored social experiences may exert a positive influence on social development, the critical state of both SWFs having recovered an entrepreneurial dimension for investing has become entangled with, and may damage, their central purpose as sovereign investment houses.
Authors' draft In this article we explore the implications of the epistemological position taken by writers of business history through a critical hermeneutic reading of recent key statements within this field. Using the theoretical lens provided by Ricoeur in Memory, History, Forgetting, we concentrate on the potentially reflexive nature of the historiographical operation that is involved in transforming memory into history. We argue that there is little sign of reflexive historiography within business history and suggest that this reluctance goes some way towards explaining the sub-discipline's relative isolation from the rest of organization and management studies.
The article presents a history of the Lancashire cotton textile industry from the perspective of decision-making entrepreneurs as embedded historical actors, in contradistinction to the economics-based counterfactuals that dominate the recent historiography of the industry.A simulation approach is used to recreate the decision- making parameters faced by entrepreneurs and is used to support a genealogical path-dependent interpretation to overcome the problems of teleology and hindsight. Using historical evidence and evidence from the simulation, a critique of three economics-based counterfactuals is developed. These are the Lazonick counterfactual, the Keynesian counterfactual and the neo-classical counterfactual. It is shown that none of these take into account the full context of the decisions that were taken and none therefore offer a convincing explanation of the collapse of the industry.
The constitution of an organizational path (Sydow et al. 2009, 692) 
Membership development of Bertelsmann‟s b ook club 
The quest to consider the historical side of managerial and organizational action has become increasingly accepted. An open question is still how this can be achieved systematically. In this paper we refer to the theory of path dependence as an interesting candidate to fill this gap. The problem with the notion of path dependence is, however, that whilst being much quoted, its actual meaning and logic have remained vague and ambiguous. In order to provide a clear template for the consideration of historical relations and how they impact on present and future developments, we present a comprehensive theoretical framework clarifying how organizations become path-dependent. The process of an organization – or some of its subsystems – becoming path-dependent is conceptualized along three distinct stages: Preformation, Formation and Lock-in Phase. A case from the German publishing industry is used to demonstrate the potential explanatory power of this processual framework. The case study focuses on a book club that has, after years of huge success, persistently suffered a decline and losses for more than 10 years. Reasons are given why and how this book club has become path-dependent and, finally, locked-in.
Institutional and market changes 1804-1993
In the context of utilities service markets, the political exchange between private companies and institutional actors constitutes a central mechanism for appropriating and controlling strategic resources. Analysing the singular trajectory of the French funeral market throughout two centuries, this paper describes the shifting forms of arrangements between the undertakers, the Church and the municipalities. For each period, it examines how the alliance of companies with institutional actors was based on their ability to meet political constraints in terms of projects and legitimacy. In return, this alliance gave them access to central resources on the market, be it in terms of property rights, a network of prescribers or material agencements.
The task of this article is to provide an analysis of the uneven terrain of Martian political geographies in the context of western political economic trajectories. Focussing on debates over the nature of Mars’s legal status, the article attends to a key question, a question which has not yet been answered: should Mars be a terra communis—the common property of humanity, unavailable as private property--, a terra nullius—or space available for private property claims--, or a ‘cosmic park’ space of intrinsic value? That is, should Mars be claimable space, and if so, how could it be transformed into a possession, and by whom? By outlining arguments both for and against the idea of Mars as available for claiming and colonisation, the article demonstrates that when it comes to Mars, the historical processes of imperial and capitalist management and organisation of ‘new’ spaces are not the only options available for human’s relationships with Mars.
ABSTRACT The article will present two strategic cases of financial fraud that demonstrate the recurring reference points that conmen use to facilitate their white-collar crimes. The cases are constructed from the Ponzi and Madoff financial frauds, perpetrated by the most well swindlers of the twentieth and (so far) twenty-first centuries. The article will illustrate that their ‘modus operandi’ shared essential reference points, as it owed as much to their sophisticated socioeconomic insights and consequent exploitation of social capital processes, as it did to their sophisticated insights into criminal financial schemes and financial engineering. This article will demonstrate that social relations and the resources that inhere in these relations (social capital) can be negative. This contribution will add to an emerging field of analysis that considers deviant organizational behavior. For this article, the negatives of social capital will be described as its shadow aspect, which for financial fraud includes decision-making based on excessive in-group trust, as well as general credulity replacing due diligence. The article’s theoretical contribution will be to develop understanding of historical phenomenon, in this instance of financial fraud, with
The purpose of this paper is to introduce decolonial feminist theorizing to the field of organizational history to explore issues of historical revisionism, hierarchy, power, and coloniality. This paper is a theoretical work and uses empirical material from the archive of the company Pan American Airways (PAA) to exemplify possible interpretations when using decolonial feminist frameworks. We analyzed how representations of Latin Americans explore ideas of race, gender, and nationality? Drawing on the feminist and decolonial literature we suggest that the field of organizational history can profit from the reflexive nature of the colonial past and the possibility of thinking about the future by reflecting on the past (the mestiza way). In short, this work is a contribution to the ‘decolonial turn’, that shifts the way we produce knowledge by understanding that most social problems should be understood through consideration of the implications of modernity and coloniality. The work is part of a larger project on Pan American Airways (PAA) and the production of intersectionality – involving extensive archival research, including analysis of a range of documents such as letters between the airline’s Latin American Division (LAD) and its head office, tourist brochures, magazines, maps, as well as pictures of landscapes and people from the so-called Latin American region.
The pinewood of Leiria is the most renowned Portuguese woodland. This article aims to shed light on the forest policies, administration, and governance of the pinewood from its blurry origins in the late 1200s to the late 1700s. By the early 15th century the state (Monarchy) had established a permanent bureaucracy for its management, with the main purpose of ensuring the availability of timber for shipbuilding. Throughout the Early Modern Age, the Portuguese Monarchy carefully managed the pinewood, paving the way for 19th-century scientific forestry. The fire of 1613 marked a turning point in the management of the pinewood, further linking the fate of the pinewood to the royal navy. The pinewood of Leiria is an ecosystem that has resulted from centuries of sound management by the Portuguese state. To unravel its history, this article combines the methods and materials of history, geography, and historical cartography.
Critical management authors are constantly searching for alternative models. We could learn from the study of the functioning of pirate communities, for example. It would have been important for the critical authors to have an example of a real pirate city organized under libertarian principles, such as the Republic of Salé (1627–1641/1666). Unfortunately, the study of this case, based on historical sources, shows that it was not an ideal pirate city, but rather a maritime city state, a plutocracy, inserted in national and international trade networks. Even when demythologized, the pirate utopia remains a fascinating part of our collective imaginary and thus could provide us with solutions to the limitations of existing models. One could, however, say that fully assumed fiction would have more impact than this false reality to which is attributed things that did not even exist.
A curriculum vitae that would be translated into the 'Table of existing construction personnel' (fig. 2), 1816. Source: GStA PK, Rep. 93 B, Nr. 597, fol. 62. Permission for reproduction under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license [].
'Table of existing construction personnel in the Government District of Merseburg and suggestions how the officials can be employed in the organization of the building administration,' 16 August 1816. Source: GStA PK, Rep. 93 B, Nr. 597, fol. 85. Permission for reproduction under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license [].
'Table of all construction officials employed in the province of Magdeburg,' 6 February 1783. Source: LASA, A8, Nr.107, fol. 23. Permission for reproduction under CC BY-ND 3.0 license.
This paper explores the history of the curriculum vitae (CV) as a medium of job application in the Prussian technical bureaucracy around 1800. A document that so far has not received much attention in historiographical works, appeared as a major tool for bureaucratic innovation at the end of the eighteenth century. Drawing on primary archival sources, this paper will raise three major points. First, the curriculum vitae facilitated the depiction of ‘careers’: linear sequences of professional formation pointing toward certain positions. It helped applicants stylize their education and employment history as a time of continuous progress and merit, i.e. a veritable career. Second, the CV enabled the organization and control of personnel in a large-scale administrative body. Administrators used the CV as a tool to familiarize themselves with unknown persons and place them to positions according to their past professional trajectory. Finally, the lives recounted in CVs did not correspond to the contemporary concept of self-reflexive Bildung but were embedded in a utilitarian discourse of usefulness. In this vein, only those biographical events mattered for a CV that were useful for the state and pertained to the professional formation of the subject.
The eighteenth century is considered a crucial period in terms of the rise of the modern State. During this century, the logic of organization of several large European Empires began to emerge in the fragmented Italian panorama through the Lorena family's domination of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Peter Leopold of the Lorena dynasty inherited the Grand Duchy in 1765 and implemented his Reform of the Municipalities in 1774. This Reform contributed to modernizing the State and undermined most of the ancient privileges that had been established by the previous rulers of the Grand Duchy. The aim of this paper is to highlight both the government/organizational drivers of that Reform, and the relationship between central and municipal levels of governmental organization, including insights drawn from Michel Foucault's conception of governmentality in interpreting the implications of the Reform. The study is based on primary source materials from the State Archives of Florence and Galeata, and contributes to the extant, yet scarce literature on public sector management and organization of the period, and enriches understandings of the economic and accounting issues that were rationales for the Reform.
This paper examines how the gentlemen's club was a space for facilitating business activities in the literary publishing industry of Victorian Britain. These clubs served to blur the boundaries between the social and professional sphere, to the point that many used the club as hub for networking and for providing opportunities. The gentlemen’s clubs of London have been examined within gender studies and in studies on social culture, where emphasis has been placed on its role in elite and middle-class society and its influence on gender and class inequality. However, little attention has been dedicated in academic business research to the club’s influence on shaping the activities of businesses in the publishing industry. By exploring how individuals engaged with so-called ‘club life,’ it is possible to analyze the dynamics of how and why gentlemen’s clubs were important to literary businesses. Through an exploration of narrative and documentary archival sources, this paper explores the perspective and choices of individuals working in the publishing industry, and the extent to which their choices in business were governed by the cultural influences of the gentlemen’s club.
1892 saw the publication of Brewery Management by C. Howard Tripp,the first book in the sector to address problems of management, as opposed to the technical problems of brewing.This article explores the growth of management knowledge in this sector, correcting the tendency to focus on manufacturing when exploring the roots of management. An examination of Tripp's account also indicates some of the barriers to the spread of management practices. The analysis, informed by institutionalist perspectives, suggests that we pay careful attention to the structural and cultural influences on management practices.
Path dependence is a promising and increasingly popular perspective for analysing long-term historical developments in firms, industries or referring to other units of analysis. A central assumption is that paths can narrow down as a result of self-reinforcing processes that eventually result in a lock-in that is difficult, if at all possible, to reverse. Typically, path dependence is investigated relating to one path on a specific unit of analysis, e.g. an organization. The present article explores how different paths on different levels of analysis can influence each other. Empirically, we use the long-term development of the Swedish pulp and paper company MoDo as the focal level of analysis. The organizational level paths are then related to paths on the field level of the Swedish pulp and paper industry and to paths represented by individual owner-managers’ ways of thinking. We conceptualize the dynamic interplay between paths by elaborating on processes of path-spreading, path-breaking, path-convergence and path-divergence.
This paper investigates the importance of entrepreneurship in the establishment of institutions for scientific research in Norway from the late nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century. By rethinking the historical development of three forms of institutionalization of scientific research – the science academy with its private funds; the central research institute; and the research council – this paper provides insights into how the entrepreneurial process worked to identify future opportunities, gather resources and legitimize ventures for the organization of science in Norway. The paper pays special attention to the role of a select group of scientists, and their inter-generational transfer of knowledge. At the same time, the paper argues for academic entrepreneurship as an inherently collective endeavor, involving also state representatives and industrialists. The methodology of the long-term historical narrative allows for highlighting the specificity of the Norwegian development, while acknowledging the importance of the shifting contexts of entrepreneurial action in a period marked by two world wars and economic crises.
In this article, we explore employment policies and practices in Colonial Nigeria, during a period of planned development, from the late 19th to early 20th century. We consider the relationship between colonial government, commerce and development of a labour force against the working experiences and growing aspirations of many colonised locals. Our study draws on Michel Foucault's work on governmentality. We draw on an archive that comprises British government and colonial administrative reports, complimented by a range of official and unofficial documents of the period. There was a coexistence of colonial governmentality through waged labour (a non-traditional practice in precolonial Nigeria), sovereign power through localised rule by traditional leaders and slave labour) and forced labour (introduced by the British). In the Lagos area in particular there was concentration of commercial, administrative and waged employment, with Lagos also the main hub for the organisation of labour and the seeds of resistance to unfair working conditions and colonization among workers dissatisfied in particular with wage and taxation levels. We also use the Foucaudian approach of the deep archive, which captures the interplay between governmental policy and its outcomes, and accounts of the lived experience, as our method of evaluating our research archive.
This article examines the relationship between law and business, and the connection between criminal law and civil law in controlling economic transgressions. In the late 19th century, governments all over Europe sought to establish new legislation regulating the economy. This was also the case in Norway. Traditionally, this had been done through criminal law, but, as argued in this paper, a new understanding of the economy as a system marked by its own logic moved the control of business transgressions away from criminal law. Instead, civil law regulations became the preferred means of control. In effect, this implied a decriminalization of norm violations in the business community. Through this, the symbolic power of law contributed to a changed view of business morals: economic action was no longer to be understood solely through notions of guilt and personal responsibility.
This article probes into the impact of management thought on municipal administration in Amsterdam in the period 1900–1940. To understand the discursive and practical impact of management thought – and the city manager as one of its most feasible expressions – on municipal administration in its historical context, this article places this European case study against the background of the American hotbed and source of management reform in local government. Key to the comparison between the USA and the Netherlands are issues concerning the discursive and legal constructions of the legitimacy of management institutions and practices, the nature of reformist discourse and the scholarly and judicial frameworks of reference that underpinned burgeoning practices of modern management in local government.
In this paper, I study the history of corporate training in the Finnish retail industry from the beginning to the last quarter of the 20th century. In this effort, I search for answers to questions regarding how and why retail organizations adapted their in-house educational organizations to the different pressures arising from ideologically imprinted stakeholders or external regulators and the competitive business environment. From the historical development of corporate training systems, it is possible to discern two clear dimensions that help to structure the history of the corporate training of Finnish retail organizations. The dimensions are the form (generic vs. specific) and content (ideological vs. practical) of training. During the research period, corporate training transformed from the development of means-end rational capabilities into a ‘semipublic’ educational system.
This article analyzes the internationalization pattern of Pirelli followed in Argentina during the first half of the twentieth century. It focuses on Pirelli's market entry and on the establishment of international relationships that preceded and accompanied this entry, showing that the internationalization model adopted by the Italian multinational is consistent with the more recent revisions of the classical Uppsala model, wherein internationalization is described as a network-building process. This article stresses in particular multinational enterprises' capability of acquiring both market and operational knowledge through relationships, suggesting a hierarchy in terms of strategic relevance between these two types of knowledge.
France is not usually perceived as a Nation of Managers and Management even if Frenchmen, like H. Fayol could probably be considered as one of the inventors of modern Management. Another misconception about France is that most of its modern management models and methods have been imported from the USA after WWII. Does this mean that nothing existed before this time in France? This paper aims to provide a contribution to this debate by offering a study of French Management Education. A historical journey back to the early roots of French management Education is required to confirm or interrogate the possible existence of a management ‘à la française’.
This article focuses on the historical evolution of private-label brands (PLBs) in the USA. The article focuses on the historical forces extant in nineteenth-century America and, in particular, on the unfolding of a brand strategy at a single company, J.C. Penney, over a period of three decades. Analysis focuses on the evolving use of private labels at J.C. Penney between the company's founding in 1902 and its formalization of a distinct pricing policy for PLBs in 1933. During that period, Penney was one of only three national department store chains in the USA. Although not the originator of PLBs, Penney was an early adopter. Analysis of corporate archives finds evidence that Penney did not treat store brands and PLBs as interchangeable. The conflation of store brands with PLBs has been the commonly accepted paradigm for studying both retailer strategies and consumer attitudes and behaviors toward all private labels. The article suggests the utility of a new framework: subdividing PLBs into store brands and reserved brands. The article concludes with a discussion of possible future avenues for research.
John Hay was one of Britain’s leading colonial capitalists, building his career from the 1900s to the 1960s in Malaya’s plantation industry. He became the leading spokesperson for the British rubber growers, and played a major role in the formulation of international restriction schemes during the 1930s. Hay was a remarkable entrepreneurial talent, consolidating his corporate power through the premiere Malayan agency house, Guthrie & Co. This in itself challenges the notion that Britain’s myriad of ‘free-standing’ companies, which were typical of direct investment in the Empire, represented a relatively weak and unsustainable form of multinational enterprise. But Hay’s dominance of the Malayan plantation sector also questions the notion of ‘gentlemanly capitalism’ as the driving force behind the expansion and sustenance of the British imperial system. Hay’s network of colonial corporate influence did not extend into the corridors of ‘gentlemanly capitalist’ power in Whitehall and the City, where he often had frosty relations. Ultimately, it was the financial sector in London that brought about Hay’s forced resignation from Guthrie in 1963. Examining questions of class, ethnicity, personality, ideology and strategy, the article focuses on why Hay did not develop better relations with commercial, financial and official elites, issues that would also engender tensions with the post-colonial political and business leadership of Malaya/Malaysia.
Favoritism in the organizational context is often regarded as dysfunctional and detrimental to organizational performance. On the other hand, it could function as a tacit-knowledge-based mechanism for making sure that the right people are in right positions in an organization, especially under conditions of rapid and forceful change. This study focuses on the leadership of the controversial Admiral Sir John ‘Jacky’ Fisher (1841–1920). Fisher, as the First Sea Lord of the British Admiralty, led the Royal Navy through a significant but disputed technological and organizational turnaround during the pre-World War I (pre-WWI) naval arms race between Britain and Germany. Fisher saw that he would achieve his aims essentially by appointing his favorites and cronies to key positions throughout the naval organization. The aim in this study is to highlight the most important facets of the phenomenon from a strategic-leadership perspective.
Managerial attention to the leader’s strategic designs has been identified as a key prerequisite for success in the adoption of new technologies. The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze how the battlecruiser concept as an organizational gestalt was developed, adopted, and assessed in the British Royal Navy (RN) in 1904–1918 from the perspective of the top leader’s personality and managerial attention. The battlecruiser was a pet project of the controversial Admiral Sir John Fisher, who instituted a thorough technological, organizational, and cultural turnaround in the RN before the First World War (WWI). The battlecruiser, ‘The Greyhound of the Sea’, was the largest and most expensive type of capital ship in the WWI era. It was developed to hunt down enemy commerce-raiding cruisers all around the globe, and to act as a powerful scouting arm of the Grand Fleet. In action, however, it proved more vulnerable than expected. The contribution of the article is threefold. First, it explicates the key personal characteristics and effectuation mechanisms of top leaders in persuading the organizational adoption of a novel concept such as the battlecruiser. Second, it describes the process of adoption and change when the technology is gradually proving less efficient than predicted. Finally, it posits that the evolving organizational gestalts strongly moderate the process of adoption and correction.
This study focuses on the institutional evolution of Finnish business schools 1909-2009. Its theoretical starting point is institutional theory, which attempts to explain change and inertia in societies, industries and organizations. When making sense of the evolutionary process, we capitalize on three perspectives on institutional theory related to business schools: the market demand approach, the national heritage approach and the professional system approach. Based on extensive historical evidence gathered for our study, we provide a narrative and a theorization of the evolution of the Finnish business school institution as 'oscillations' in certain clearly visible trends related to our research framework, for instance from early private ownership to nationalization and regionalization from the 1970s onwards, and again to privatization and reduced governmental control in 2009. Finally, we conclude that the scattering of small, barely viable business school units around the country combined with a dual system of Finnish- and Swedish-language business schools has led to a situation in which the Finnish business school institution has not yet been able to produce a truly competitive global business school, attractive to foreign students, faculty members and global corporations.
In 1914, Standard Oil (New Jersey) made its first major investments in Latin America, in Peru and shortly thereafter in Colombia. For strategic reasons Standard Oil set up these ventures through a Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil, establishing the International Petroleum Company. As a result, over the next three decades Standard's operations in these countries featured a complex set of relationships involving the host countries, Peru and Colombia, but also its own subsidiaries which became integrated companies in their own right. In addition, Standard Oil, which had initially intended to develop oil supplies for its domestic market, became increasingly tied to the growing markets of the host countries. This study indicates the complicated nature of foreign direct investment undertakings and the unintended consequences of multinational enterprise strategies.
Building on the concept of framing, this study analyzes the use of budgets by the Extraordinary Defense Corps, a unit of the Japanese Imperial Navy deployed to govern Micronesia during and immediately after World War I. A comparison of the use of budgets by the Defense Corps and the South Seas Agency, the civil authority that succeeded the Defense Corps as the territory’s governing body in 1922 pursuant to the granting of the South Pacific Mandate to Japan, reveals that the idiosyncratic budgetary practices of the Defense Corps were profoundly influenced by the institutional context in which the organization operated. In contrast to the practice of the South Seas Agency, budgeting under the Defense Corps was highly flexible, with little concern for spending limits. The primacy of promoting infrastructure formation and industrial development within the territory, as represented by sugar production, is apparent. As this study confirms, the flexible budgeting practiced by the Defense Corps provided an essential socio-economic institutional foundation for the subsequent governance of the South Seas Agency.
Sanlam staff efficiency, 1927-1945.
To enter a competitive industry and sustain the organization over a century demonstrates distinct success. A century-old organization is doing something right in a context of sustainability. Sanlam, a South African insurance company, established in 1918 negotiated a competitive industry since the beginning of the twentieth century to sustain itself for almost a hundred years. This article aims to determine what made the organization sustainable over time by focusing on the foundations of firm-level competitive advantage. This competitive advantage was grounded in its organizational capabilities such as management style, leadership, strategy and routines, and the organization’s ability to adapt to a changing internal and external environment. The focus of this article is the period 1918–1945, during which the new insurance company established a competitive advantage in the market. This paper investigates the organizational capabilities applied to succeed in the market. The key findings identify the management style of Sanlam, mainly focusing on organizing and control as management traits; understanding and utilizing organizational capabilities and routines; and governance and appreciation of the internal and external environment of the organization.
Studies on the development of hydroelectricity in early twentieth century in Spain have paid very little attention to the south-eastern part of the country, specifically the provinces of Alicante and Murcia. The specific needs of this industry (regular flowing rivers and with steep slopes) were in conflict with the fact that there is only one large river in the area, the Segura River, with a scarce flow and major droughts. However, issues related to the use of its waters for irrigation, or periodic flooding or drought, have been prominent themes in research on the Segura River. Despite this, a single company, the Compañía Riegos de Levante S.A. became the most important generator and distributor of electricity in the area until its sale to Hidroeléctrica Española in 1952. Originally, the CRLSA was not established to exploit the new urban electrical consumption markets, but to fulfil the needs of the expanding irrigated agriculture. In this article we will discuss the development of the company, particularly regarding its activities in the electrical energy business and explain the reasons for its establishment and its transformation into a leading company in this industry until the Spanish Civil War.
Applying the documental historical and hermeneutical methods as well as the policy process perspective, this article analyzes why and how the government machinery change. The analysis focuses on the modernization of public management and State reform, which occurred in Chile in the 1920s. It concludes that when dealing with changes in government organization and/or structure, management and organizational studies converge with analysis of policy change, particularly with the policy formulation process. Information on the issue comes from presidential addresses, bills sent to Congress, parliamentary discussions, press clippings, publications of interest groups and academic literature.
This paper explores the implementation of a centralised system of train control on the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) to collect, collate and analyse information required for monitoring the conveyance of traffic and use of assets. The paper provides evidence for the emergence of dynamic capabilities and cautions how these concepts are used in practice. The articulation and codification of experience that defines Zollo and Winter (2002) organisational learning is used to detail the emergence of a more systematic approach to the management of a rail network. The purpose of the paper is to inform the history of management techniques as a set of routines and to offer caution in too rigorous interpretation of what constitutes specific operating routines as opposed to a separate dynamic capability.
This article analyzes the foreign expansion of the Dutch brewery Heineken in countries that were successively seen as colonies, developing countries, and emerging economies. Why did Heineken want to go overseas as early as the 1930s, what advantages could the brewer offer, and what challenges did it face? We found both continuity and flexibility. Heineken used export, licensing, and direct investment, though in different mixes over time. Working with partners and seeking a large geographical spread reduced the risks of working abroad. Initially, Heineken worked with European partners but in later years, it more often found partners locally, or had them forced upon it. For many years, Heineken was always the partner that provided technical expertise and access to financial means, but from the 1970s onward Heineken also became directly involved with marketing and branding policies.
In May 1933, the American League for the Defense of Jewish Rights was founded in New York City to organize a boycott of Nazi Germany.The League was inspired by a speech by the controversial Wall Street attorney, Samuel Untermyer. The League's founders subsequently invited Untermyer to become their president.They hoped he would provide funding for their cause, as well as giving it a higher profile. Untermyer, after consulting with fellow Jewish leaders such as Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, became convinced that to be effective the boycott must embrace both Jews and non-Jews. In late December 1933, the League was renamed the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights. However, the League's founders soon became exasperated by Untermyer's autocratic management style, as were some of the prominent people Untermyer had persuaded to become directors of the League, such as Rabbi Silver. The septuagenarian lawyer's management style was not appropriate for a non-governmental organization that relied mostly on volunteers. Silver was forced to write to Untermyer to condemn his dictatorial regime at the League. This article explores the history of the League to assess whether Untermyer's management style undermined the effectiveness of the boycott.
The embedded South African Trust Company narrative of being the aristocracy of local South African financial institutions that rested on their long history of financial stability, conservatism and trustworthiness in the absence of any form of statutory regulatory control became outdated in the post-Depression and Second World War period. This article traces and analyzes the attempts at a process of organizational and managerial change aimed at modernization through amalgamation (mergers) and diversification. It draws on the Pettigrew tradition of a processual and contextualist approach with its elements of content, context and process. Moreover, the study is influenced by the role of change through narration, which has received support within the field of Management Studies in the last two decades. The way these managers narrated about the necessity for change and its content is an important focus as it highlights change through thick description. In the case of the trust companies, the main drivers for change were not only provided by internal but also external factors – the Registrar of Banks. This is an important difference to the framework that focuses primarily on internal mechanisms and agents in explaining organizational change.
The development of management as an occupation in post-World War II Canada is a topic that has received some attention from historians, but it is still an aspect of work and labor history that merits closer attention. This article seeks to reveal something about the nature of management work in Canada in the postwar decades by looking at how managers at Bell Canada were trained from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. This includes examining management theories that were prevalent at that time, the international aspects of them, and how they were used in Bell’s corporate training programs. This analysis shows that, in the case of one of Canada’s largest companies, management training was as much a process of adapting people to the methods and beliefs of the organization as it was about educating them to perform management functions.
This paper uses a combination of archival sources and oral testimonies to evaluate the role that training (both internal and external) played in determining the promotion prospects of those employed by Barclays Bank during the post-World War II era. In addition to this, it also looks at the extent to which less formal training and learning practices continued to play a role in the career development process within Barclays. Ultimately, what it suggests is that, whilst moves certainly were made to modernize and formalize the Bank’s staff development program during this period, there continued to be a strong attachment to many of the conservative and paternalist assumptions that had been dominant in the years prior to World War II.
Under pressure to cut costs after World War II, leaders in the U.S. Department of Defense recruited managers from private industry to help them run the Cold War national security state. Management became an area of focused intervention in the Army around 1950, when leaders across the defense establishment began adopting management education programs and research for use in the military. Through the story of the Army Management School, this paper examines how management expertise became a routine and pervasive component in the training of American military officers. After the Vietnam War many military leaders expressed suspicion about ‘managerialism’ and questioned the appropriateness of invoking business management expertise in the armed forces. However, by this time management techniques and concepts had become a firmly rooted part of the Army education system. This article shows that business expertise was widely pursued in the military decades earlier than is usually acknowledged. The history of management education in the Army demonstrates the extent of authority and influence that management expertise held in non-business contexts – an important but understudied dimension of the history of business professionalization.
Palm oil was introduced to Malay(si)a as an alternative to natural rubber, inheriting its cluster organizational structure. In the late 1960s, Malaysia became the world’s largest palm oil exporter. Based on archival material from British colonial institutions and agency houses, this paper focuses on the governance dynamics that drove institutional change within this cluster during decolonization. The analysis presents three main findings: (i) cluster boundaries are defined by continuous tug-of-war style negotiations between public and private actors; (ii) this interaction produces institutional change within the cluster, in the form of cumulative ‘institutional rounds’ – the correction or disruption of existing institutions or the creation of new ones; and (iii) this process leads to a broader inclusion of local actors in the original cluster configuration. The paper challenges the prevalent argument in the literature that minimal, indirect government influence is preferable for cluster development and explores the impact of different political regimes on cluster evolution.
This study examines the life cycle of British Racing Motors Ltd. (BRM), from its early failures, through to the successes of the 1962–1965 period and its subsequent demise, in the light of managerial and organizational change at its parent company, the private family-owned business, Rubery Owen. Using the reports of British consultancy firms, supported by secondary sources, the study examines how factors such as the professionalization of Formula 1, macroeconomic conditions, and changes to tax legislation impinged on the financial position of Rubery Owen and thus on BRM. Financial crises are found to have generated a move from proprietorial capitalism to a more managerialist approach within Rubery Owen, exemplified by the adoption of budgetary control. This, at the end of 1961, resulted in an ultimatum from Rubery Owen’s chairman, Sir Alfred Owen, that BRM should win two grand prix races in 1962 or be wound up. While BRM did more than this, winning both the constructors and drivers’ world championships in 1962, similar sustained success failed to materialize following the issue of a similar ultimatum in early 1969. Financial difficulties in the early 1970s led to further structural change within Rubery Owen, leading to BRM’s demise in 1977.
This article analyses the increasing emphasis on emotions in management ideals by examining the changing qualities of the ideal manager in Finland in the post-Second World War era. We examined 1425 manager position job advertisements in the major Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat between 1949 and 2009. Our results show that emotional requirements were rather uncommon during the post-war era but that they became key characteristics in job advertisements towards the end of the century. Feminine management ideals emerged from the 1960s onwards in line with the changing nature of work, organizational developments and increasing equality of social relations. However, the economic slowdown of the 1970s was followed by a new emphasis on masculine qualities. We argue that the emergence of emotional management reflects the changes in the cultural, social and economic order, in which social codes stressing equality became a rule, and emotional qualities were recognized as tools for increasing productivity.
How do laws change? The paper argues that under certain historical conditions ‘Schumpeterian rule-breaking’ has played a crucial role for understanding such change. If legal change is welcomed by large parts of society but the political system produces a stalemate, individual actors breaking the rules are able to change them at least in the long run. The paper explores the case study of ‘Blue Laws’ in the United States to discuss relevant factors for why these laws were abolished between the 1950s and 1980s. In contrast to established historical narratives it stresses the role of individual retailers. By doing so, the paper more generally proposes an alternative perspective to entrepreneurship and theories of institutional change. First, it departs from the concept of ‘evasive entrepreneurship’ by stressing contingent factors rather than calculative behavior on the part of entrepreneurs thus showing the possibility of legal rule-breaking being less instrumental than assumed. Second, it argues that entrepreneurial actions are an important supplement to ‘framing strategies’ and ‘collective action’ which figure prominently in the literature on institutional change.
Since the mid-1950s the national Italian oil company ENI has relied on Booz Allen and Hamilton for a wide range of organizational reforms, stimulated by its diversification strategy. This paper shows how national culture, corporate identity and entrepreneurship initially led to a conflicting relationship with the consultancy, and then set in motion a process of translation and enrichment of foreign labels that had previously been little more than empty shells.
The development of Human Resources Management in Portugal reveals how national features may prevent or postpone the adoption of mainstream management models. Based on an analysis of the magazines Indústria Portuguesa, edited by the Portuguese Industrial Association, and Pessoal, by the Association of Portuguese Human Resources Technicians and Managers, this paper aims to understand how political events in the period between 1959 and 1986 came to shape a very distinctive configuration of management discourses. Contrary to what happened in more developed countries, the political effort to modernize productive structures, from the end of the 1950s, and the onset of the revolutionary process in 1974, in the wake of the fall of the authoritarian regime, determined the pervasiveness of normative concepts. Only in the mid-1980s, faced with a new political scenario and against the backdrop of a new shape of the labor movement, would Portuguese management lay emphasis on rational procedures.
Top-cited authors
Albert James Mills
  • Saint Mary's University
Michael Rowlinson
  • Queen Mary, University of London
Charles Booth
  • University of the West of England, Bristol
Stephanie Decker
  • University of Birmingham
William Milton Foster
  • University of Alberta