BiographyMy research interests are mainly in late 19th and 20th century business history. In most of my research I apply a transnational approach and look for the role of business in political, economic and technical transitions. My specialty is the oil industry. The pervasiveness of oil in global history since the 1860s makes the industry and its companies a fantastic lens to study the major transitions of modern history. Riding the ebb and flow of globalization, the oil industry was born in the age of empires, challenged and transformed by decolonization, and today facing the transition from big business to green business. I have published on multinational oil companies in Nazi Germany and the Cold War, regional and transnational history, energy transition and the historiography of the oil industry since 1860. My current projects include the history of oil trading companies and the evolution of the oil market since the 1970s, the history and political economy of tax havens; multinational oil companies and climate change; the history of Equinor (formerly Statoil).
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
International business history, transnational history, history of the oil industry, commodity trading and markets, energy transitions
Published: Apr 05, 2018 by Business History Review
Authors: Marten Boon
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Business, Management and Accounting, Geography , History, Research Methods
Transnational history emerged in the 1990s, questioning national historiographies and creating new research agendas. Business history has not been part of this, but recent calls within the field to engage more visibly and authoritatively with debates on the history of globalization warrant a closer inspection of transnational history. The article argues that transnational history provides opportunities to increase business history's engagement with the history of globalization.
Published: Apr 05, 2018 by Business History
Authors: Marten Boon, Ben Wubs
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Business, Management and Accounting, History
Nationalistic Nazi politics created huge problems for foreign multinational firms in Germany. This article questions to what extent Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) controlled its assets in Nazi Germany and what its room for manoeuvre was. Although RDS lost control over its subsidiary over the course of the 1930s, the local management retained considerable room for manoeuvre well into the war.