Management and Business in Britain and France: The Age of the Corporate Economy

Management and Business in Britain and France: The Age of the Corporate Economy

Management and Business in Britain and France: The Age of the Corporate Economy

Management and Business in Britain and France: The Age of the Corporate Economy

Synopsis

For generations, the uneasy relationship between Britain and France has captured the popular and scholarly imagination. Comparative studies between the two countries abound, from political systems to eating habits: so far they have not extended to business history. There is now growing interest in comparative business systems, practices, and performance. In these areas comparison with America, Germany, or Japan have taken precedence. This volume, with contributions from leading British and French experts, explores comparative developments and trends in the two countries which for so long were the guiding lights of Europe and the world. In particular it looks at three main dimensions - the family firm; education and training; and mergers and company structure. With a mixture of case-studies, sectoral analysis, and wider-ranging comparison, the book will be a useful addition to an understanding of the evolution of business organization, competitivness, and performance.

Excerpt

This volume owed its origin to the editors' belief that it was timely to encourage comparative work among scholars in Britain and France. To that end preliminary plans were drawn up in 1991. Then a meeting, supported by the Maison des sciences de l'homme and the Economic and Social Research Council, was held at the Université de Paris iv Sorbonne in February 1992. It was attended by Professors Louis Bergeron, Franqois Caron, François Crouzet, Patrick Fridenson, and Maurice Lévy-Leboyer, for France, and Dr Youssef Cassis, Dr Terry Gourvish, and Mrs Sonia Copeland, for the uk. the group drew up a provisional programme under the theme 'Management in the Age of the Corporate Economy, 1850-1990'. Three elements were isolated for special attention: the family firm, a controversial but surviving feature in both countries; education and training, at the centre of the debate in both countries on economic performance; and mergers and survivals, a central issue in business organization. the conference was duly organized by the Business History Unit at the London School of Economics on 17-19 September 1992. After substantial revisions to the twelve papers presented at the conference, the volume was assembled in the course of 1993-4. While it was agreed that the different state of business history in the two countries often hindered a truly comparative approach it was hoped that this volume of case-studies would encourage future work in the field. a second conference, to be held in France in October 1995, will address the theme 'Les Stratégies de commercialisation et de marketing'.

The editors would like to thank the many people who helped them in their endeavours. They are particularly grateful to Etsuo Abe, Theo Barker, Dominique Barjot, François Caron, Roy Church, Leslie Hannah, Akira Kudo, Maurice Lévy-Leboyer, Reiko Okayama, Geoffrey Owen, Yves Lequin, Steven Tolliday, and the others who attended the conference and enhanced the quality of the debate. Maurice Aymard kindly encouraged the project at the start, as did Pierre de Longuemar of the Banque Paribas. Sonia Copeland, the Unit's administrative assistant, organized the conference with her customary charm and efficiency. the retyping and translation of manuscripts was carried out promptly and with good humour by Veronica Comyn, Janice Harrison, Ann Hartman, Katie Short, and Alex Wardle. the editors would also like to express their gratitude to the funding organizations which generously supported the conference, namely the Fondation Credit Lyonnais, the . . .

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