Managerial Capitalism

Book Report/Review
Pages 6 (1506 words)
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For thirty years Alfred Chandler has been transforming business history from a medley of entrepreneurial and company histories into a structured analysis of organizational change. Starting with his 1959 Business History Review article ("The Beginnings of 'Big Business' in American Industry"), Chandler has contended that the giant corporations that dominate capitalist economies today developed as a result of strategic adaptation to external forces--new technologies and new market dimensions.


In Scale and Scope, Chandler refines and broadens this analytical apparatus. To bring "the modem industrial enterprise into being," a "three-pronged investment in manufacturing, marketing, and management" proved essential, to "consolidate production facilities into plants of optimal size, establish the necessary marketing networks, and recruit the managerial organization." Without it,' 'economies of scale and scope in production" would have been unattainable, but with it "cost per unit dropped more quickly as the volume of materials being processed increased," and "economies of joint production or distribution" of more than one single product in one market area were realized. Chandler extends his analysis in another, more significant way. The "competitive managerial capitalism" of the United States is compared with "cooperative managerial capitalism" in Germany and "personal capitalism" in Great Britain. The case studies are the 200 largest industrial firms in the three nations from 1880 to the 1940s. ...
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