Merchants as business groups: British trading companies in Asia before 1945
UNSPECIFIED. (1998) Merchants as business groups: British trading companies in Asia before 1945. BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW, 72 (3). pp. 367-408. ISSN 0007-6805Full text not available from this repository.
Merchants formed an important component of British foreign direct investment before 1945. Locating in parts of Asia, Latin America and other developing economies, they often diversified into non-trading activities, including the ownership of plantations. This article examines three such British firms active initially in Asia, though with operations also in North America, Europe, and Africa. Often regarded as handicapped by managerial failings, especially from the early twentieth century, the authors cast these firms as more entrepreneurial and possessing greater managerial competencies than has been suggested. The article argues that their business strategies continued to evolve in the interwar years and that, when viewed as business groups, their organizational forms were robust, though considerable diversity in the performance of the three British firms can be observed. This evidence is shown to have implications for wider debates about the competencies of British management as a. whole.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences
|Journal or Publication Title:||BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW|
|Publisher:||HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL|
|Number of Pages:||42|
|Page Range:||pp. 367-408|
Actions (login required)