The Impact of the First World War on International Business: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Impact of the First World War on International Business

1st Edition

Edited by Andrew Smith, Kevin D Tennent, Simon Mollan


224 pages

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Paperback: 9781138340190
pub: 2018-08-06
Hardback: 9781138930032
pub: 2016-11-10
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People throughout the world are now commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War. For historians of international business and finance, it is an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the war on global business activity. The world economy was highly integrated in the early twentieth century thanks to nearly a century of globalisation. In 1913, the economies of the countries that were about to go war seemed inextricably linked. The Impact of the First World War on International Business explores what happened to international business organisations when this integrated global economy was shattered by the outbreak of a major war.

Studying how companies responded to the economic catastrophe of the First World War offers important lessons to policymakers and businesspeople in the present, concerning for instance the impact of great power politics on international business or the thesis that globalization reduces the likelihood of inter-state warfare. This is the first book to focus on the impact of the First World War on international business.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Shifting Globalization: Europe’s Hegemony Challenged

1. Trade after the Deluge: British Commerce, Armageddon, and the Political Economy of Globalization, 1914-1918

Andrew Dilley

2. The 'Impact' of the First World War on Business and Economic Development in Sudan

Simon Mollan

3. Profiting Despite the Great War: Argentina’s Grain Multinationals

Phillip Dehne

Part 2: New Opportunities: Trans-border Innovations in Wartime

4. Swedish Business in the First World War: A Case Study of the Ball Bearings Manufacturer SKF

Eric Golson and Jason Lennard

5. The Great War: Matrix of the International Chamber of Commerce, a Fortunate Business League of Nations 

Clotilde Druelle-Korn

6. ‘A Tremendous Panic’: The Global Financial Crisis of 1914

Richard Roberts

7. Business as (Un)Usual: DuPont, Comptoir des Textiles Artificiels and the Post First World War Internationalization of the Synthetic Products Industry

Jacqueline McGlade

Part 3: Postwar Reconstruction and its Financing

8. American and British Businessmen and Attempts to Reconstruct War-torn Western Europe, 1918-1922

Volker R. Berghahn

9. Mammon Unbound: The International Financial Architecture of Wall Street Banks, 1915-1925

Trevin Stratton

10. The Flows of International Finance after the First World War: The Bank of England and Hungary, 1920–1939

Neil Forbes

11. Weimar’s Capitalist Spring: A Liberal Exception to Corporate Germany’s Sonderweg

Leslie Hannah

12. The Impact of the First World War on British and French Management Thought and Practice

Trevor Boyns

About the Editors

Andrew Smith is Senior Lecturer in International Business at the University of Liverpool Management School, UK.

Simon Mollan is Senior Lecturer in International Business at The York Management School, University of York, UK.

Kevin Tennent is Lecturer in Management at The York Management School, University of York, UK.

About the Series

Routledge International Studies in Business History

Recent years have seen an explosion of research in business history. Business history is now seen variously as a key to understanding a vital aspect of the past, a source of parallels and insights into modern business practice, and a way of understanding the evolution of modern business practice. This series is not limited to any single approach, and explores a wide range of issues and industries.

Authors wishing to submit proposals for publication consideration in the Routledge International Studies in Business History series can contact series editors Jeffrey Fear ( and Christina Lubinski (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General