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. It explores the experiences of firms in Britain, France, Germany, Japan, China, and the United States as well as those in neutral countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, and Argentina, covering a wide range of industries including financial services, mining, manufacturing, foodstuffs, and shipping. Studying how firms responded to sudden and dramatic change in the geopolitical environment in 1914 offers lessons to the managers of today’s MNEs, since the world economy on the eve of the First World War has many striking parallels with the present.
Aimed at researchers, academics and advanced students in the fields of Business History, International Management and Accounting History; this book goes beyond the extant literature on this topic namely due to the broad range of industries and countries covered. The Impact of the First World War on International Business covers a broad range of geographical areas and topics examining how private firms responded to government policy and have based their contributions mainly on primary sources created by business people.
Part 1: Shifting Globalization: Europe’s Hegemony Challenged
1. Trade after the Deluge: British Commerce, Armageddon, and the Political Economy of Globalization, 1914-1918
2. The 'Impact' of the First World War on Business and Economic Development in Sudan
3. Profiting Despite the Great War: Argentina’s Grain Multinationals
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
6. ‘A Tremendous Panic’: The Global Financial Crisis of 1914
7. Business as (Un)Usual: DuPont, Comptoir des Textiles Artificiels and the Post First World War Internationalization of the Synthetic Products Industry
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
10. The Flows of International Finance after the First World War: The Bank of England and Hungary, 1920–1939
11. Weimar’s Capitalist Spring: A Liberal Exception to Corporate Germany’s Sonderweg
12. The Impact of the First World War on British and French Management Thought and Practice
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 (Jeffrey.Fear@glasgow.ac.uk) and Christina Lubinski (firstname.lastname@example.org)