This book is specifically aimed at addressing a gap in the study of the evolution of corporate governance in Britain. In particular its key theme, the relationship between corporate governance and personal capitalism in British manufacturing in the first half of the twentieth century, provides the means for a systematic and critical examination of the dominant Chandlerian paradigm that the long-running persistence of personal capitalism shaped the governance of British manufacturing firms well into the twentieth century and acted to erode their competitive performance. The book helps to identify those aspects of corporate governance that have undergone change, with some critical observations on the magnitude of change and those aspects which have displayed characteristics of continuity. The empirical spine of this book is set out in a series of case studies which provide the basis for the examination of corporate governance in Britain during the period c. 1900 to 1950. By focusing particularly on the responses of a range of businesses to the turbulent environment of the inter-war years, this volume offers an insight into a much neglected, yet vital, area of business and economic history.
'This book offers excellent examples of source-based business history…' Enterprise and Society '… extremely interesting insights into problems of corporate governance and the travails of shareholders in the first half of the twentieth century, with particularly telling illustrations from the business archives.' Twentieth Century British History