Business History: Complexities and Comparisons, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Business History

Complexities and Comparisons, 1st Edition

By Franco Amatori, Andrea Colli


272 pages | 53 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-05-25
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This major new textbook on business history brings together the expertise of two internationally renowned authors to provide a thorough overview of the developments in business – from just before the industrial revolution right up to the present day.

Business History is global in scope and looks at the major players – Europe, the US and Japan – as well as emerging economies, such as China and India. Focusing mainly on ‘big business‘, Amatori and Colli critically analyze ‘the firm‘ and its interaction with the evolution of economic, technological and political systems at the micro and macro levels.

This up-to-date textbook is an exceptional resource for students on economic and business history courses, as well as for practitioners interested in broadening their understanding of business.


'An ambitious analysis, adding significantly to the business history literature. Business History should feature on every undergraduate and postgraduate reading list for modules covering this subject, as well as many business and management modules.' - John Wilson (University of Liverpool, UK) in Business History

‘One of the outstanding features of the book is its ambitious comparative perspective. It can be used as textbook, although it is much more than that. I enthusiastically recommend the book both to scholars and to advanced students, interested in business history, economic development and strategic decision-making.’ - Jordi Catalan, in Revista de Historia Industrial Vol. 49 (2012)

Table of Contents

Part 1: Relevant Issues 1. Introduction 2. Business History and Theories of the Firm 3. Entrepreneurship Part 2: The Company Between the Pre-Industrial Era and the First Industrial Revolution 4. Pre-Industrial Manufacturing 5. Enterprises and Entrepreneurs of the First Industrial Revolution 6. Technology, Society and the Factory System Part 3: The Birth and Consolidation of Big Business 7. Infrastructures 8. Technology and Organization 9. National Patterns Part 4: State and Market in the Period between the Two World Wars 10. The Multi-Divisional Corporation and Managerial Capitalism 11. Europe between the Two Wars: Convergence and Divergence with the U.S. 12. At the Origins of the Japanese Miracle: Entrepreneurship, the State and Business Groups Part 5: From the Post-War Years to the Fall of the Wall: The Age of 'Shrinking' Space 13. From World War II to the Third Industrial Revolution 14. American Hegemony and its Aftermath 15. The Soviet Union: The Antagonist 16. Japan: The Challenger 17. Hybrid Europe 18. Different Strategies for 'Catching Up': South Korea and Argentina 19. Multinationals: Quid Novi? Part 6: The Globalization of Today 20. New Forms of Enterprise 21. The 'Roaring Nineties': America is Back 22. Slowing Down: Japan and Europe 23. New Protagonists: China and India 24. A Last Look

About the Authors

Franco Amatori is Professor of Economic History and is also head of the Institute of Economic History, at Bocconi University, Italy. He specialized in business history during his time at Harvard Business School, USA and has written extensively on Italian and international business history.

Andrea Colli is Associate Professor in Economic History at Bocconi University, Italy. He has published several books in fields such as: the structure and evolution of SMEs, as well as the role of family firms in modern economic growth. In 2008 he was awarded the Harold Williamson prize for the most promising mid-career business historian by the Business History Conference.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate & Business History