Business Leadership in the Large Corporation

Business Leadership in the Large Corporation

Business Leadership in the Large Corporation

Business Leadership in the Large Corporation

Excerpt

"Institutional" economists have devoted a large amount of their interest to the study of public or governmental institutions such as fiscal agencies, tariffs, tax systems, regulatory laws, and administrative bureaus or of market structures and practices. These institutional factors external to the firm are of unquestionable importance. But their study should not be pursued to the neglect of what may be called the private institutions of business. These include the company structures, practices, and policies that businessmen have themselves built up and operate within the law set out on statute books and in administrative rulings.

Some five years ago I became aware of the interest that Professor Gordon of the University of California was taking in the structure of the large business corporation in relation to its economic functioning--an interest which went back to his graduate student days at Harvard. This line of research seemed to me so definitely complementary to my own studies in the content of corporate management--particularly price policies--that I undertook to bring him to Brookings, where his time would be so freed from teaching duties that he might complete his analysis of the organization of the large corporation as it affects the role of business leadership.

This work was far from complete when the prior claim of war service took all but fragments of Dr. Gordon's time, and completion of the work was considerably retarded. At the same time, the practical business contacts incident to his job in the War Production Board and its liaisons with other war agencies have given him further opportunities to observe, to ponder, and to discuss the relationships of corporation management with which he is here dealing. The book as now printed has no doubt gained from this longer period of preparation and this broader experience.

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