Globalization and Time: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Globalization and Time

1st Edition

By Luchien Karsten


438 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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The process of globalization has brought about countless changes in societies, communities, regions and economies across the globe. It has been analyzed from many perspectives as a result and much has been written to muddy the waters of our understanding of this important concept. In going back to the real origins of the global economy, this book demonstrates that understanding this phenomenon as a, 'battle against time' will bring a new clarity to the subject.

The process of globalization was accompanied by the mastering of ‘social time’, thereby producing a progressive increase in the speed of business transactions, both in manufacturing and in services. The context is the development of international trade in western societies and the creation of business institutions to drive forward growth. The account takes a ‘long view’, beginning with early European exploration in the B.C. period, and ending with the establishment of multinational enterprises in the 20th century.

Using an impressive range of sources this unique book will be valuable reading for students and academics involved with the study of international business, economic history, business history and politics, among other disciplines.


'Cultural historians have long debated the social consequences of the speeding up of transport and communication, while geographers have analyzed the associated ‘shrinkage’ of space. Economists, political scientists and organization theorists, meanwhile, have analyzed the implications for the coordination and governance of the economy. No-one has yet pulled all the threads together, however, so well as Luchien Karsten. This book is unique in its breadth of coverage, in terms of time, space and the issues addressed. It demonstrates the great value of a multi-disciplinary approach to the analysis of long-term global change in business and the economy.'

Mark Casson, University of Reading, UK

'Karsten’s book provides an excellent explanation of how the control of time and the overcoming of distances over the last centuries provided the foundations for today’s globalized world. With its straight forward style and easy language the book will help management students to understand the underlying historical forces of the globalization process while allowing history students to appreciate its economic driving forces.'

Armin Grünbacher, University of Birmingham, UK

'This is valuable reading, necessary for understanding the historical dynamics of the international economy during the last millennium, in order to achieve a more realistic view of the present globalization.'

Andrea Colli, Bocconi University, Italy

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Co-ordination of Time Part I: Terrestrial Globalization 1. Exploring the Globe 2. The Emergence of Temporalities 3. The Age of Merchant Capitalism Part II: The Industrial Globalization 4. Time in British Industry and Railway Transport 5. Time and Politics 6. Speed in Transport and Industry 7. Time and Motion 8. Time and Emotion 9. The Accelerated Transfer of People and Cargo Part III: Electronic Globalization 10. Information and Communication Revolution 11. The Japanese Miracle and Just in Time 12. Flexitime 13. Time and Cultures 14. Epilogue

About the Author

Luchien Karsten is Professor of International Business and Management at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, as well as visiting professor at many other institutions, including most recently, Newcastle Business School in the UK. His research interests focus on time and management, the transfer of management concepts and the history of changes in multinationals. He is a member of the editorial board of Personnel Review and the South East Asian Journal of Management

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / General