1st Edition

The Impact of the First World War on International Business

Edited By Andrew Smith, Kevin Tennent, Simon Mollan Copyright 2017
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.