Business History around the World at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Business History around the World at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Business History around the World at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Business History around the World at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

This 2003 book offered the first in-depth international survey of contemporary research and debates in business history. Over the two decades leading to its publication, enormous advances had been made in writing the history of business enterprise and business systems. Historians are documenting and analyzing the evolution of a wide range of important companies and systems, their patterns of innovation, production, and distribution, their financial affairs, their political activities, and their social impact. Each essay is written by a prominent authority who provides an assessment of the state and significance of research in his or her area. This volume is a reference work that will be of immense value to historians, economists, management researchers, and others concerned to access the latest insights on the evolution of business throughout the world.

Excerpt

Business history in the broadest sense includes everything about our business past, from the history of individual firms to that of entire business systems. While its boundaries and scope remain the subject of intense debate, business history research has yielded rich insights into the nature and origins of innovation and the wealth of nations. We have, as a result of this research, come to understand the role of business in momentous and sometimes horrendous historical events. Books and articles by business historians have had a profound impact upon the concerns of scholars working in management, history, and a broad range of social sciences. An important goal of this book is to make the enormous empirical wealth generated by business historians available to nonspecialists.

With that in mind, the book is organized in three parts. Part I consists of essays that seek to define the identity and borders of the discipline. It reviews some of the most important theoretical positions, including the so-called alternative approach, and the relationships of the field to economic theory. The contributors come from very different methodological backgrounds, and there is little consensus among them. They are engaged in ongoing debates.

Part II turns to the literature on national and regional cases. It begins with the historic core of modern capitalism in northwestern Europe and the United States. The subsequent essays consider the European . . .

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