- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Notes on Contributors
- Foundations of Business Groups: Towards an Integrated Framework
- Business Groups in Historical Perspectives
- Business Groups in Prewar Japan: Historical Formation and Legacy
- Business Networks in Postwar Japan: Whither the <i>Keiretsu</i>?
- Business Groups in South Korea
- Business Groups in Taiwan
- Business Groups in China
- Business Groups in Thailand
- Business Groups in Singapore
- Business Groups in India
- Business Groups in Argentina
- Business Groups in Brazil
- Business Groups in Chile
- Business Groups in Mexico
- Business Groups in Israel
- Business Groups in Turkey
- Business Groups in Russia
- Business Groups in South Africa
- Business Groups in Emerging Markets: Paragons or Parasites?
- The Riddle of the Great Pyramids
- Economic Institutions and the Boundaries of Business Groups
- Business Groups and the State: The Politics of Expansion, Restructuring, and Collapse
- Corporate Governance of Business Groups
- The Kin and the Professional: Top Leadership in Family Business Groups
- Diversification Strategy and Business Groups
- Capability Building in Business Groups
- Technological Innovation and Business Groups
Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the evolutionary dynamics and organizational characteristics of the diversified business groups built up by the UK-based trading companies from their nineteenth-century origins. It examines firms such as Jardine Matheson and Swire, which remain important components of the Asia Pacific economy into the twenty-first century, and other firms such as Inchcape and the United Africa Company, which were once major regional players. A central theme of this article is to examine how the British trading companies faced the challenge of organizing increasingly complex businesses as they diversified. Furthermore, this article examines the strategies of British trading companies from the late eighteenth century into the twenty-first. It also analyzes the ways that trading companies organized their activities as they diversified in terms of geography and product.
Geoffrey Jones is Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School, United States. He is the author and editor of many books and articles on the history of international business, including British Multinational Banking 1830–1990 (Oxford University Press, 1993), Merchants to Multinationals (Oxford University Press, 2000), Multinationals and Global Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2005), Renewing Unilever (Oxford University Press, 2005), and Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is a former President of both the European Business History Association and the Business History Conference of the United States, and is co‐editor of the journal Business History Review. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business.
Asli M. Colpan is Associate Professor and Mizuho Securities Chair in Strategy and International Business at the Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor of the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies at Colombia University. Her research interests include corporate strategy, corporate governance, and especially the evolution of large enterprises in industrial and emerging economies. Her work has been published in Industrial and Corporate Change, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and Asian Business and Management.
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