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Papers Presented at the BHC Annual Meeting

ISSN 0849-6825

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College of William and Mary

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College of William and Mary
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Harvard University
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2004 Annual Meeting Abstracts

Rohit T. Aggarwala
Domestic Networks as a Basis for New York City's Rise to Pre-eminence, 1780-1812
Although several historians of New York's rise have found its major causes in international trade, a more important cause may have been the city's lead in domestic trade within the United States in the 1790s. Unlike Philadelphia, whose trade emphasized re-exported Caribbean articles, New York generally exported more American-produced goods. This reflected the fact that Gotham's merchants had invested dramatically in domestic shipping, and replaced much of the British shipping that had dominated Southern trade prior to 1793 but were pulled away by the European war. This domestic focus had two results that shaped New York's nineteenth-century commerce. First, it fostered deep trading connections with Britain, because British importers, unlike their Continental counterparts, sought American goods, not re-exports, from American ports. Second, it positioned New York to become the center of the cotton trade, which emerged in the mid-1790s.
Andrew B. Arnold
Ordering Coal: Labor, Law, and Business in Central Pennsylvania, 1870-1900
My work challenges the pointed exclusion of worker organizations from narratives of Gilded Age business and financial history. In particular, it focuses on the relationship between the East Coast coal industry and the consolidation of the trunk line railroads. At the time, railroad executives saw control over cheap, reliable sources of coal as a major determinant in their strategic thinking. This belief was why they spent decades trying to control the chaotic coal industry. I show how, despite this determined effort, railroad pooling agreements were held hostage to coal miner activism. From the 1870s through the end of the century, coal miners became the tail that wagged the railroad dog. I argue that one cannot understand the history of America's trunk line railroads without understanding its relationship to the history of the coalfields and their workers.
Ross Bassett
Big Iron in Silicon Valley: Silicon Valley IBM-Based Start-Ups, 1967-1975
This paper examines the start-up companies formed in Silicon Valley by defectors from IBM's disk drive and computer development organizations in the Santa Clara Valley from 1967 to 1975. While several of these start-ups, Information Storage Systems and Amdahl, had a measure of success, their ability to grow was severely hampered by the extent to which they conceptualized themselves as offering IBM-compatible, rather than general purpose, products. The networks involved in establishing these new enterprises show few connections with the networks that developed around Fairchild Semiconductor, which were essential to the development of the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. This was most dramatically shown by Trilogy Systems, a second-generation IBM start-up founded by Gene Amdahl, which blew through $250 million without ever establishing a successful product, and in doing so violated every tacit rule of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship. This paper broadens our understanding of what made Silicon Valley work, by showing through a non-sustainable network of innovation, some of the key factors behind the sustainable network that was developed through Fairchild Semiconductor.
Marie-Françoise Berneron-Couvenhes
French Mail Contracts with Private Steamship Companies, 1835-1914

Communication by mail between the "mother" country and overseas colonies was a challenge for many European nations. When the development of steam power in the 1830s empowered a regular maritime postal network, the French government responded differently from other states. At first (1835-1850), the French State established its own steamship companies to operate exclusive routes primarily in the Mediterranean. The scheme lost a great deal of money, primarily because the government ships were prohibited from carrying freight so as not to compete with private companies. Then from 1850 to 1883 the government subsidized private steamship companies with mail contracts to carry mail through the Mediterranean, eastward to the Indies, and across the Atlantic. Compared with Great Britain and the United States, France paid much more for these contract mail routes, and dedicated a higher percentage of the annual postal budget to foreign communications networks. A new contract in 1883 (through 1914) gave the State more control over the contractual arrangements with steamship companies (similar to those with railroad companies) but still cost France more than other major countries. The French government's dedication to maritime postal links reveals the extent to which it considered this network a desirable way of establishing a French presence in foreign countries.
Michael Best, Albert Paquin, and Hao Xie
Discovering Regional Competitive Advantage: Massachusetts High-Tech

In recent times, Massachusetts has surprised many commentators by its ability to continuously reinvent itself as a successful regional economy. In this paper, we seek to penetrate the region's surprising resilience and better understand regional specialization, growth, and decline. We deploy a historical database of high-tech companies designed to conduct regional technology mapping exercises. We seek to advance both theoretical and empirical knowledge of regional competitive advantage along with a related set of concepts. These concepts include Marshallian externalities, regional technological capabilities, "self-sustaining clusters," and regional innovation systems. We previously presented results from an empirical investigation of "self-sustaining" technology "mini-clusters" in a sub-region of Massachusetts. Here we interrogate the database using a set of regional competitive advantage indicators and extend our focus to the State of Massachusetts and, for comparison purposes, California's Silicon Valley.
Denis Bocquet
A Public Company as a Challenger to a Private Monopoly: Providing Water to the Eternal City, 1865-1964

Rome is an exception among European capital cities: the thousand-year-old capital of the Pope's State only became the capital of the Italian national kingdom in 1870 and then grew rapidly. The Eternal City benefited from the infrastructure of the Roman Empire, modernized under the last ruling Popes. Supplying water was not a major technical problem. After 1870, the municipality became a political refuge for Catholics against the Italian central government, seen as sacrilegious for having stolen the city from the Pope. Public service firms were also in the hands of Catholics, who opposed Italian national projects for the new capital. In this paper, I follow the evolution of the relationships among the water supply firm, the urban space, and the local society during decades of struggle for control of public services. In a fast-growing city, with new settlements built year after year, financial, spatial, technical, and social choices were made in response to different stakes: financial profit, political profit, and administrative advantage against a rival administration. There were three major phases in the process expanding the provision of water: first, a private company was in charge; second, local authorities promoted a municipal company against the private company monopoly; and third, debates about municipalization. What was unique in Rome among European capital cities was the way in which different companies were operating in an unequal way. For very specific political, historical, economical, and institutional reasons, in Rome the public company was the challenger, giving historians an unusual situation to study.
Kees Boersma
Creating an Agricultural Research Network: Irradiation of Plants with Artificial Light at Philips Research in the 1930s

This paper tells the story of a networking activity of Philips' researchers in the inter-war period. Holst, the director of Philips Research (in Dutch: Natuurkundig Laboratorium) at the time, became involved in an agricultural research network with partners from the universities, the Dutch government, standardization committees, and growers. Building upon social-network and organization theories, I show that this activity was an opportunity for the Physics Lab researchers to keep in touch with scientific circles. Philips offered money and knowledge to Johannes Roodenburg, a biologist, who initiated the network-activities by starting research programs on artificial lighting of plants. As a result of the economic crisis and disappointing sales results, Holst cut back financial support at the end of the 1930s. It was only after the Second World War that Philips gave agricultural research a renewed impetus, but within a new research-context.
Hubert Bonin
"Blue Angels," "Venture Capital," and "Whales": Networks Financing the Takeoff of the Second Industrial Revolution in France, 1890s-1920s

The emergence of startup companies during the takeoff of the second industrial revolution could have spurred a new framework for the financial market to provide them with cash. Conversely, family capital inherited from existing firms and assets accumulated at merchant banks by interests consolidated during the nineteenth century contributed largely to the "economic revolution." Several industrial corporations that took part in the economic revolution alongside schemes of diversification and/or reconversion towards preceding economies brought in a huge part of this equity. However, new forms of financing added their forces thanks to the investment and deposit banks that mobilized their networks of investors and savers to enlarge the financial markets.
Régis Boulat
"Le bataillon sacré de la productivité" and French Modernization, 1945-1954
The productivity campaign in France has its origins in the Monnet Plan for modernization. Jean Monnet and his staff (Rostislaw Donn, René Magron) recognized in 1946 that the plan must go further than applying measures to rationalize production, and must take into consideration the questions of raising production per man hour, the attitude of workers, their purchasing power, and labor-management relations. Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) officials like James Silberman were thinking along the same lines and urged the French to develop a concrete program. In April 1949, the Monnet Plan established a "Provisional Productivity Committee" headed by Professor Jean Fourastié (1907-1990), a leading French authority on the subject, to map out a long-term program. As the productivity campaign became a formal part of French economic policy, a decree established a permanent National Productivity Committee (NPC), making the minister for Economic Affairs, Robert Buron, chairman, and attached to the NPC a government-subsidized operating agency called AFAP (Association Française pour l'Accroissement de la Productivité). This paper focuses on the few individuals who took to heart the concept of productivity held by the economist Jean Fourastié and managed this French productivity program between 1945 and 1954: for Robert Buron, they constituted the "bataillon sacré de la productivité."
Douglas W. Bristol, Jr.
From Outposts to Enclaves: A Social History of Black Barbers, 1750-1915
This paper tells the story of how black barbers competed against white barbers for white customers and won. Their dominance in the lucrative market serving affluent white customers made them the preeminent black businessmen of the nineteenth century. Their accomplishments also demonstrate that African Americans have a long-standing tradition of business enterprise. Following the American Revolution, black barbers occupied an economic niche by capitalizing on the demand for genteel services and the aversion that white men felt toward menial jobs. Barbering not only provided a livelihood at a time when job opportunities for African Americans diminished, but it also furnished the means for slaves to become free men. During the 1820s and 1830s, African Americans strengthened their position within barbering by inventing first-class barbershops that transformed a mundane personal service into a glamorous ritual. At mid-century, growing numbers of white immigrant barbers challenged African American dominance within the trade. Black barbers defended their outposts by drawing on their community's tradition of mutual aid to preserve artisan customs and to maintain their competitive edge. During the Gilded Age, black barbers reached the pinnacle of their success in the white marketplace; however, as black-owned barbershops grew in size and luxury, proprietorship became elusive, fostering discord between master barbers and journeymen. Even as limited opportunities and the rise of Jim Crow at the beginning of the twentieth century increasingly pushed black barbers out of their outposts, growing black urban enclaves pulled them toward serving African American customers. The story of black barbers helps enlarge African American history to include business and, more significantly, pushes the field to go beyond the study of exceptional individuals. The story of black barbers also underscores the importance of regional differences in African American life. Throughout the nineteenth century, black barbers from the Upper South succeeded in disproportionate numbers and advocated economic self-help, anticipating and later supporting the philosophy of Booker T. Washington.
John K. Brown
Andrew Carnegie & Associates, 1864-1874: A Reevaluation of Individuals, Networks, and Corporate Formation
This paper will examine the investment and management activities of a loosely structured group of investors, Andrew Carnegie & Associates, to reevaluate the relative powers of individuals, joint venturers, and corporations in a period of great expansion in the American industrial economy. Carnegie is certainly a well-known figure in American business history, but this decade of associations and activities represented a crucial pivot in his career—and in the larger economy—and it deserves a fresh look for a number of reasons. At the time they were operating, his joint venturers, J. Edgar Thomson, Thomas A. Scott, and other corporate officers, had a variety of reasons to conceal their participation behind Carnegie's name. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Carnegie's modern biographer emphasizes the canny Scotsman's role in spearheading this group's investments in bridge building, telegraphy, railroads, and a range of manufacturing concerns. But Carnegie appears in quite a different light to Alfred Chandler—as the leading missionary for managerial forms and structures. Thus we must choose between a visionary individualist and a corporate architect. Carnegie, however, pointed to the 1865 formation of the Keystone Bridge Company as the fountainhead of his own rise. This paper will draw from a range of original sources on Keystone, its investors, and its clients to offer a new portrait of Carnegie in transition. The paper arises from my larger study of the Eads Bridge, a record-breaking edifice of three steel-arch spans over the Mississippi River at St. Louis, completed (by subcontractor Keystone Bridge Company) in 1874. The paper addresses these questions: How did Carnegie and his colleagues combine an old networking form, the joint venture, and a new networking form, the corporation, to enhance the generation of wealth/profits—for themselves and for the corporations to which they allied themselves? What benefits arose from this mélange of network forms? What problems or conflicts emerged from their interaction?
James Michael Buckley
Roots, Branches, and Other Forest Networks: The Redwood Lumber Industry in Northern California, 1850-1929
Using primary documentation from California's redwood lumber industry, this paper explores the development of the industry from its origins as a series of external networks of production to a consolidated structure dominated by a few, internally integrated firms. The study uses a cultural geography approach, making use of visual resources, such as fire insurance maps, photographs, and surviving buildings, to reconstruct the physical and social environments of this industry. This paper demonstrates the value of examining cultural production for understanding the dynamics of industrial production, allowing us to see modern business practices through the lens of everyday life in a distinctive locality. Redwood production in the nineteenth century consisted of a number of disaggregated activities spread among a variety of small, undercapitalized firms across an extensive regional geography; excessive competitiveness in the industry led to a series of unsuccessful efforts to organize the market through cartels and associations. In the early twentieth century, consolidation brought the industry's external networks into a few major corporations and, in turn, led to a new cultural landscape of lumber: the formal company town. The built environment serves here as an artifact that provides a deeper understanding of the contingent conditions imposed by economic structures on specific people and places.
Daniela L. Caglioti
Building a Protestant Network: "Ethnic Entrepreneurs" in Nineteenth-Century Italy
This paper explores the behavior of a group of foreign merchants and entrepreneurs who settled in Italy during the nineteenth century, opening branches, building religious communities, importing technologies, machines, patterns of management, and frequently also technicians and workers. These entrepreneurs were resourceful and could draw on considerable capital. They shared a high level of training and culture and they all belonged to Protestant denominations. Focusing on the foreign entrepreneurial community in Naples and Southern Italy, the paper examines the role played by friendship, kinship, origins, education and religion in shaping a network that linked Protestant businessmen throughout Europe. In particular, it shows how this network facilitates international trade by reducing the problem of contract enforcement and also by providing information about trading opportunities and how cooperation, solidarity, and closeness worked together by consolidating and perpetuating the manufacturing firms throughout more than three generations.
Ann Carlos, Larry Neal, and Kirsten Wandschneider
Broker Networks during the South Sea Bubble: The Strength of Weak Ties
We explore the endogenous development of a network of stockbroker-dealers active during the South Sea Bubble of 1720 in London. A group of expert specialists able to make binding commitments with each other in a continuing auction market is a defining characteristic of a modern stock exchange. We find that out of the nearly 7,000 transactions in Bank stock that year, the 15 leading dealers accounted for over 1,000 (1,117 purchases and 997 sales). And of the £5.9 million of shares exchanged, our group of dealers accounted for over £1 million (£1,173,184 purchased and £1,084,278 sold). While each of the active traders had a distinctive clientele corresponding to their respective status and occupation, they were able to keep a stable inventory of stock by dealing with each other. The least active traders tended either to build up or to draw down their holdings. The two leading dealers, by number and amount of transactions, dealt disproportionately with women clients. Almost all the trading by the group of dealers was done with London-based clients. We conclude that the diversity of the most active traders, and the diversity of their respective clienteles, created a weakly tied network within the large and diverse customer base for Bank of England stock. At a time of great uncertainty about price behavior, and the future of the Bank itself, such a network is precisely the kind that provides the most efficient diffusion and use of information, according to network theory. Perhaps the appearance of such a network of traders for the least volatile stock available during the South Sea Bubble helps explain the long-run recovery of the London capital market, in contrast to the experiences in Paris and Amsterdam that year.
Francesca Carnevali
"Crooks, Thieves, and Receivers": Transaction Costs in Nineteenth-Century Birmingham
This paper seeks to open the 'black box' into which industrial districts have been placed, to observe their internal organization, and explore their governance structures. This is done by using a transaction costs perspective, applied to a case study of the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter in the nineteenth century.
Florence Brachet Champsaur
French Fashion during the First World War

The First World War is a critical period for fashion history; it was during these years that fashion moved into the modern era. Fashion was closely linked with extensive involvement of women in the war economy. Out of practical necessity, women became emancipated from nineteenth century fashion. Major changes in everyday life produced major changes in clothes (particularly their construction): the end of the corset, new hemlines, and widespread adoption of the tailored suit. Nevertheless, the scarcity of textile industry supplies for civilian consumption was so influential that we may ask, "how could fashion resist?" In fact, I hypothesize that fashion's strength during the war was in being creative enough to build new trends out of these constraints. The mainstay of dynamic forces carrying out changes in clothes, come what may, is not the only paradox of war fashion. Women's emancipation and the corresponding changes in clothes took place in a traditionally conservative wartime context. This explains the ambiguities surrounding the discourse on dress, the fashion business, and the importance of fashion during the war, making the history of fashion during the First World War as emotional a subject as the relationship between battlefront and home front.
Sophie Chauveau
The Blood Business in Twentieth-Century France
The "blood business" concerns blood collection, transfusion, and the manufacture of blood products, like gamma globulin, blood-clotting proteins, or albumin, that are steady products taken from blood plasma. Research in hematology and immunology and the official organization of blood transfusions contributed to the emergence of a "blood business" in France after World War II. Physicians, scientists, but also manufacturers and high-ranking civil servants set up and organized this business, under the control of the law of July 21, 1952, and the decrees of 1954 that prohibited any profit from the blood business. Nevertheless, for about three decades, a "quite public" organization and some enterprises manufactured blood products. These two circles met and collaborated with different aims: enforcement of the law on blood products, research projects, and assessment of the products. First, we will analyze the organization of blood transfusions after World War II at the national level and at a local level, in Lyon. Then we shall examine how the responsibilities were shared among scientists, physicians, and industrialists for the organization of manufacturing and the development of some innovations. Last, the crisis in the 1970s and 1980s reveals competition between networks, the use of lobbying, and also how the "quite public" organization, the CNTS, failed to imitate the enterprises in their blood business strategies.
Martin Chick
Economists and Energy Policy in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States since 1945
This paper examines the use of marginal approaches to pricing and investment in the electricity industries of France, Britain, and the United States between 1945 and the late 1970s. It traces the different rate at which each country moved toward marginal-cost based tariff structures and discounted investment appraisal and suggests that the speed with which economic theory found practical application was strongly influenced by the differing political and economic circumstances of each economy. The paper examines the flow of ideas between economists, politicians, and industrialists within and between each country.
William R. Childs
European and American Consumer Cooperatives in the 1930s
For a short period during the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered using the national government to support the growth of consumer buying cooperatives. The findings of his commission, The Inquiry on Cooperatives in Europe (1937), and the response to it convinced him not to support cooperatives as a "yardstick" for private retailers to meet. This story presents an opportunity to begin to understand why consumer cooperatives did not emerge in the United States in the way they did in Europe. One finding is economic: Generally, the advanced development of chain stores and other distribution outlets in the United States accomplished many of the same goals as European cooperatives pursued. Small business, which had some influence in Democratic circles, feared the spread of cooperatives. Similarly, labor was less interested in cooperatives than was the case in Europe. Americans reflected some of the elements of European cooperatives, especially women's interest and leadership and consumer education programs, but did so within the broader political economy rather than through local cooperatives tied to regional and national associations, as was done in Europe. The paper attempts to tie in consumer cooperatives to the larger consumer economy that Alan Brinkley and Lizabeth Cohen have described.
Hyungsub Choi
Between Research and Production: Making Transistors at RCA, 1948-1960
The aim of this paper is to re-examine the history of RCA within the context of the Third Industrial Revolution, an ongoing economic transformation since the 1950s characterized by the rise of solid-state electronics and the computer industries and the intensification of organized research and development. The growing importance of science to industry sets this era apart from previous periods. While the introduction of solid-state physics opened up new possibilities in the electronics industry, it also created new problems. One problem was the issue of internal communication, especially between the laboratory and the factory. Constant communication and close working relationships between research scientists and production engineers within a firm were essential for keeping up with the fast pace of change in a Third Industrial Revolution industry. Transistor research and development at RCA in the late 1940s and 1950s is instructive in this regard, because the character of industrial research went through a drastic transformation. The gradual separation of the laboratory from the factory in the mid-1950s ultimately unfolded into RCA's failure to capture the market share it desired.
Albert Churella
External and Internal Networks on the Pennsylvania Railroad: The Philadelphia Improvements

For much of its history, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) worked with the city of Philadelphia to develop the optimal location for a passenger terminal. In the process, the PRR struggled to balance its operating requirements against the convenience of its passengers, yet also conformed to growing civic demands for urban planning. This paper traces a series of railway terminal schemes; some sponsored by the Railroad, others by the City, beginning in 1888. The primary focus is on the Philadelphia Improvements agreement that the two parties negotiated in 1925. This agreement, in which the PRR acquiesced almost completely to the City's demands, led to the creation of a new long-distance passenger facility (30th Street Station) and a new commuter rail terminal (Suburban Station), along with numerous additional structures. More significantly, the Philadelphia Improvements involved the PRR in two types of networks. The first was a broad-based urban network that severely constrained the Railroad's options in Philadelphia, elevating the "City Beautiful" vision of urban planning above the Railroad's operating requirements. The second was a network internal to the PRR, one that allowed executives to transcend departmental fiefdoms and to establish interpersonal connections that would prove extraordinarily valuable in the operation of the Railroad as a whole.
Shannan Clark
The Popular Front in the United States and the Corporate Appropriation of Modernism
During the 1930s, members of the leftist avant-garde in the United States embarked upon a range of ambitious cultural initiatives to promote visual modernism as a means of furthering radical social transformation. To achieve their cultural objectives, as well as to cultivate class consciousness among the designers, commercial artists, copywriters, and the other "hacks" who worked in the mass culture industries, these radicals initiated an unprecedented collaboration with liberals at the sites of mass cultural production. Yet instead of creating conditions conducive to the decline of corporate dominance, the collaborations of the Popular Front unintentionally abetted the assimilation and appropriation of modernist aesthetics by business in order to legitimate corporate capitalism. This essay will examine three aspects of the American Popular Front: the Design Laboratory, which was the first comprehensive school of modernist design in the United States; the Left-led unions of cultural workers, such as the Book and Magazine Guild, the American Advertising Guild, and United American Artists; and trade publications in the graphic arts like Production Management (PM) that were sympathetic to the Popular Front's agenda.
Yves Cohen
Matter Matters to Authority: Some Aspects of Soviet Industrial Management in the 1930s from a Multi-Sited Perspective

Scholars of action and management rarely contemplate the role of matter in creating authority. In this paper, I intend to examine if and how actors use organized matter (tools, machines, plants, order in the space, landscape, and so forth) to contribute to the formation of distributed authority. Paradoxically, in the most intense years of Stalin's rule over Soviet industry, matter did not play its usual role of contributing to the guidance of human action. Because planning proved unable to foresee all the necessary relations, the intricate and intertwining hierarchies were unable to maintain the continuity of the productive flow, which, in turn, could not act as a material basis for authority. So, more than anywhere else, the leaders were "leading with their vocal cords." Institutions put into play to prevent repetitive breakdowns in the flow of production, such as the law, were unable to fulfill the task, and were in turn subject to a loss of authority. Even very technical tools of management, such as dispatching, could not solve basic problems plaguing Soviet industry. Nevertheless, the authority of matter had an effect through the press and information tools—that is, as images. Only war, removing all controls and rigidity, gave leeway to the necessary spontaneous coordination relationships resting on the knowledge of emergency that formed under the harshest elements of Stalin's rule.
Lisa D. Cook
Networks and Innovation: Evidence from African-American Patentees, 1821-2004
This paper introduces a new time-series data set that permits an empirical investigation of the effects of networks on innovation. The data have been constructed from a process of matching African American inventors to U.S. patent data between 1821 and 2000. Exploratory research on this data set reveals three periods during which growth in patenting activity among African Americans relative to the overall patenting population significantly diverges: 1890-1899 (increase), 1900-1919 (decline), and 1983-2000 (decline). The preliminary evidence suggests that, over time, increased levels of innovative activity are associated with increases in the ability to form or participate in three distinct networks: patent, research, and financial and entrepreneurial. Conversely, periods during which these networks are undeveloped or underdeveloped are contemporaneous with lower patenting rates. For example, I find that for most of the 20th century African American inventors have been indepaendent inventors, which is contrary to the trend in the overall population of U.S. patentholders, who are increasingly working in larger patent teams. The sample further shows that African American patentees have a disproportionate number of patents assigned to government entities relative to the overall patent-holding population. These results suggest that networks, as studied in business history, may change the direction, level, and quality of innovative activity. The economic significance of this finding implies that, then and now, network activity may result in nontrivial and persistent declines in inventive activity, the source of improvements in technology that allow sustained increases in per capita income.
Richard Coopey
The Eighteenth-Century West Midland Ironmasters in Their Landscape
This paper considers the relationship between the ironmasters of the Dowton gorge and their surrounding environment. During the eighteenth century Dowton gorge was the site of the densest concentration of water-powered ironworks in Britain. Fully integrated works, such as those at Bringwood furnace and forges, were among the most important suppliers of iron to a range of burgeoning industries. For over a hundred years these works were owned and controlled by members of the Knight family. Key individuals from this family displayed an overt interest in nature and the environment. This paper seeks to connect the two aspects of Downon gorge, at the center of industry and at the center of the landscape. It aims to explore the relationship between exploitation and sustainability of natural resources during a period of transition in iron production markets, methods, and technologies, and to provide a bridge between economic and cultural history in Britain in the eighteenth century.
Álvaro Ferreira da Silva and Ana Cardoso de Matos
The Networked City: Power and Water Utilities in Portugal, 1850s-1920s

This paper explores the evolution of power and water systems in Portugal throughout the period of urban infrastructure modernization. The network characteristics of electricity, gas, and sanitary equipment are emphasized, not only in its economic and technical characteristics, but also in its impact on management, regulation, and initial installation. Regulatory issues and conflicts between private entrepreneurs and public authorities are particularly emphasized. Sometimes they provided the path to municipalization. Otherwise, the outcome of these conflicts enhanced regulatory mechanisms and long-term relationships between public and private institutions. The analysis of agency problems and the theory of contracts are used as the main theoretical devices to explain the outcome of these relationships.
Thomas David, Martin Lüpold, André Mach, and Gerhard Schnyder, with the collaboration of Stéphane Bacciochi
Company Networks in Switzerland: The Formation of the "Fortress of the Alps"
Swiss corporate governance traditionally has been characterized by two main traits: concentration of ownership and high density of interlocking directorates and strong interrelationships between banks and industry. In this contribution, we analyze the emergence of the Swiss model of capitalism during the first half of the twentieth century. The study of this "formative phase" of Swiss corporate governance is made through a network analysis of interlocking directorates of the 120 largest firms in Switzerland in 1910, 1929, and 1938. Our paper highlights two points. First, banks, or more precisely the financial sector (banks, finance companies, investment trusts, and insurance companies), have "central" positions in the Swiss corporate network during this period. The industrial sector is less central in the Swiss business network. Except the machine industry and in particular the electric machine industry, the other leading industrial branches (textile; food and beverage; chemical; watch) do not figure in the ranking of the top ten companies according to degree centrality in 1910, 1929, and 1938. Moreover, a first analysis seems to show that close relations exist between the financial sector and industry. Second, the network has not only a national, but also a regional dimension. Through the analysis of one of these regional clusters (the "Basle network"), it appears that interlocking directorates between firms are reinforced by very close familial ties. This factor is partly responsible for the high concentration of ownership. However, this network is not a peaceful and homogenous one. There are sharp business rivalries within. Finally, this network is not restricted to the Basle region. It seems that these firms are embedded in other clusters: interregional (across the cantonal and national borders—with Alsace) and national and international ones.
Mila Davids
Knowledge-Business Networks in the Netherlands: The Case of Philips
The current debate on the decline of the innovativeness of business and the knowledge infrastructure in the Netherlands asks for a closer look at this relationship. This is the central focus of new research project. To grasp the mutual interaction between developments in the knowledge infrastructure and innovative developments within Dutch companies, analysis of the development of knowledge-business networks is a crucial element in our research program. Therefore this paper will raise a methodological question: "How useful is the approach of knowledge-business networks for studying the relationship between the dynamics of firm-level innovation processes and the knowledge infrastructure?" Our proposition, further, is that it is impossible to understand the development and relevance of external knowledge-business networks without a thorough understanding of the internal networks. We illustrate this with the development of knowledge-business networks within Philips. We focus on networks related to process innovations on consumer electronics: printed wiring in the 1950s and the development of the Modular Chips Mounting system in the 1980s. We did this with two questions in mind: What kind of knowledge-business networks came into being around these process innovations? Were the relationships more internal or external in character and how were they related to each other?
Gustavo A. Del Angel
Networks, Discipline, and Idiosyncratic Risks in Mexican Banks, 1950-1980
Between 1945 and 1982 a network of interlocking directorates formed at the interior of the Mexican banking system. However, little work has been done to explore its implications. This paper proves that the network among bankers served to transfer information and to create a system of monitoring self-discipline within the financial system and hence to reduce idiosyncratic risks. Using social network analysis with a database of the banks' boards, this paper presents computations of the centrality of the network. Degree and Eigenvalue centrality, used as measures for interconnection among banks, are then contrasted with indicators of financial performance for individual banks using a panel regression technique.
Pascal Desabres
Decision Network : Who Decided What in the Building of the Paris Metropolitain, 1898-1920

In this paper, I study decision-making during the building of the Parisian subway. I sought the answers to questions concerning important decisions such as: who was the most important actor, among a trio that included private entrepreneurs, the capital's complex double Administration, and the public works engineers (City employees working closely with the entrepreneurs to build a new mass transportation system in Paris)? Reviewing all the daily documents (such as engineers and Prefect's reports, entrepreneurs' letters, and complaints) helps provide a response to this question. A careful reading allows us to discover how and why the entrepreneurs formed an alliance against the City, and if the polite relations between City and Department men (the administrative territory) were harmful or beneficial. One figure stands out among the engineers: Fulgence Bienvenüe, whose influence went beyond his function as Chief Engineer, even as he defied the rules. I also hope to contribute to the understanding of the use of the notion of network in public works history, for which there is plentiful evidence in the administrative papers, if arranged in a meaningful order.
Tracey Deutsch
Making Change at the Grocery Store: Government, Grocers, and the Problem of Women's Autonomy in the Creation of Chicago's Supermarkets, 1920-1950
What was it about supermarkets that took them out of the realm of the unimaginable and made modern American life unimaginable without them? Between 1920 and 1950, food retailing in the United States was utterly transformed. Small, neighborhood stores gradually gave way to large supermarkets. This project asks why that transformation happened and what it meant for women's authority and for American politics. To make its argument, the dissertation studies the convergence in retail strategies of three kinds of retail grocery firms—chain stores, independently owned smaller stores, and consumer cooperative societies. As these different types of firms confronted an unsettled economic and political landscape, they experimented with a variety of methods for winning support from shoppers and the state. Eventually, each kind of firm found that large-sized stores selling standardized goods in an orderly atmosphere proved best fit for the emerging political economy. These strategies came to epitomize modern supermarkets, and helped make them nodes in the gender relations and politics of twentieth-century American life. The dissertation argues that changes in laws, gender ideology, and women's authority made vital contributions to supermarkets' success. In so doing, it does not discount the importance of consumer demand but suggests the importance of the institutions in which demand is expressed. Ultimately, this project illuminates the central place of stores in consumer societies and their political economies.
Colin Divall
Professional Networks and Industrial Research in a Network Service Business: The London, Midland & Scottish Railway, 1923-1947
The lack of studies of individual firms or particular sectors of industry hampers judgments regarding the effectiveness of British efforts at technical research. This is particularly true of the service sector, where it is reasonable to assume that technical innovation contributed to the enhanced productivity record over much of the last century. As providers of some of the most important kinds of services for consumers and producers alike, transport and distribution, the four mainline railway companies created in 1923 offer a neglected opportunity to examine these points. Although as products of an unusually high degree of government restructuring and regulation they cannot be taken as typical of British industry before 1950, individually and collectively these companies were very important players in the economy. In response to growing road and air competition between the wars, they engaged in extensive incremental technical change, much of it stemming from their own very large engineering facilities. Some, however, had its origins in separate industrial research divisions. The first and largest of these was established by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1933. This paper examines the division's evolution and effectiveness in terms of the workings of the professional and managerial networks that constituted technological communities both within and without the LMS.
Paul Duguid
Action at a Distance: The Creation and Recreation of the Port Supply Chain
This paper takes the supply chain as a particular type of commercial network with distinct features. It explores the emergence of a dedicated supply chain trading wine from the north of Portugal to Britain out of the more general merchant networks of the eighteenth century. It highlights diplomatic, fiscal, and regulatory actions that helped shaped the chain and commit participants to one another, allowing them to coordinate activities over distances of time, space, and culture. It then explores what happened when, in the nineteenth century, the institutional structure supporting the chain collapsed and participants had to find alternative means to protect their commitments. This change exposed complex tensions inherent in such chains, whereby participants found themselves in competition for control with those with whom they also had to cooperate.
Chris Evans and Gören Rydén
From the Baltic to the Atlantic: Merchant Networks and Economic Integration in the Northern Seas in the Eighteenth Century

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the Baltic and the Atlantic, hitherto distinct commercial zones, were drawn closer together, becoming interlinked parts of a British commercial empire. This was the work of British merchants who established networks that extended both east and west, stretching from the Gulf of Finland to the New World. We propose to examine this process through a case study of one exceptionally well-documented economic actor of the time, a Bristol merchant named Graffin Prankard who imported bar iron from Sweden and Russia and marketed rice and other colonial staples in northern Europe in return. This paper will use business archives in Sweden and the United Kingdom to illuminate the connections between entrepreneurial activity, trading networks, changing forms of production, and imperial ambition.
Jeffrey Fear
The Schmalenbach Society and the Dinkelbach School of German Management: Networks of Theory and Practice
Historians of technology have long stressed the importance of networks of knowledge for sustaining national or business innovation. For Germany, this "academic-industrial knowledge network" (Johann Peter Murmann) created positive feedback loops that kept its "national innovation system" and individual business firms on the cutting-edge of technological leadership. Historians have done less well examining networks of knowledge that contributed to the organizational capabilities of firms that allowed them to administer and commercialize these streams of technological innovations. Utilizing private correspondence, business archival material, contemporary management literature, and secondary literature, this paper examines the long-term relationship between the commercial management of the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (VSt) and the University of Cologne, between Heinrich Dinkelbach and Eugen Schmalenbach. Eugen Schmalenbach was Germany's leading theoretician of business economics and accounting. In the 1920s, Büro Dinkelbach introduced cutting-edge management practices partially inspired by Schmalenbach into the operating procedures of the VSt. This virtuous, circular network of people and ideas, the interaction between theory and practice--between the Schmalenbach Society and the Dinkelbach School--created one of the most influential impulses for German business management of the early postwar period. A "school" had evolved around Dinkelbach, which developed into a "genuine training center for future managing directors" for the West German economy.
Melissa Fisher
Enterprising Women: Remaking Gendered Networks on Wall Street in a Global Economy
This paper examines how Wall Street women remake gendered networks. Drawing on research in the Financial Women's Association (FWA) and 85 Broads—two groups of Wall Street women—I address transformations in women's organizational identity in the global economy. The FWA emerged during the Eisenhower Bull Market. FWA women viewed the network as an elite financially focused entity defined by entrepreneurial business principles, rather than a pro-feminist organization oriented toward fighting gendered discrimination in the workplace. But by the 1990s, the vision of a female network, void of a political agenda, became difficult to sustain. Simultaneously, as corporations became less secure institutions, the assumptions of successfully building a life-long career on Wall Street began to disappear. As a result, women's networks are dealing with new issues: calls for diversity in business, a loss of permanent work, and a search for the meaning of success in an increasingly post-corporate world. What is novel, in contemporary women's networks, is the lack of any clear hegemonic logic to their projects. Accordingly, the paper explores how a series of challenges—the feminist movement, the globalization of markets, and the sometimes disappearance of work—have destabilized the ordering principles of women's networks.
Marc Flandreau and Clemens Jobst
The International Monetary System, 1890-1910: A Microeconomic Perspective
Conventional studies of the late nineteenth century international monetary system distinguish between "core" and "peripheral" countries. The main motivation for this dichotomy is heuristic and descriptive. The external adjustment, it is often argued, worked differently depending on the group to which countries belonged: adjustment was smooth in the core, but painful in the periphery, which displayed a cohort of crises. The general presumption is that these problems were rooted in macroeconomic defects, including inadequate monetary, fiscal, and budgetary policies, economic backwardness, inconvertible currency regimes, and so forth. In this article, we challenge this view. We argue that the difference between core and peripheral nations had microeconomic foundations. The currencies of peripheral countries, we argue, had shallow foreign markets, while those of core countries enjoyed a wide circulation. Moreover, broad international circulation of domestic currencies does not seem to have been correlated with good macroeconomic performance. Rather, it was related with the classic factors of search theoretic models of the emergence of international currencies: the share of a given country in global trade and the inventory costs of holding its currency are almost the only variables that correlate well with that currency's popularity.
Patrice Flichy
The Imaginary Internet: How Utopian Fantasy Shaped the Making of a New Information Infrastructure

An entire society is busy shifting into a new technical domain. The Internet has become the heart of information processing and telecommunications in business and at home. In this paper, I explore the reasons behind the engagement of all these social actors. I argue that the many utopias or ideologies accompanying the conception and diffusion of the Internet are among the key elements in explaining the mobilization of both computer specialists and the public. These ideologies are used to legitimize the new technique, to attract and integrate new users, to provide a framework for use of the innovation. They also afford a set of justifications that enable designers and users alike to explain their engagement in the digital world. The imaginaire is at the center of design and use of the Internet. Based on an in-depth analysis of writings by U.S. experts in various disciplines, and in the specialized and popular press, I present the technical imaginaire of the designers and promoters of the Internet. I show how these innovators used information technology to transform their technical dreams and projects into reality.
Gabriel Galvez-Behar
Technical Networks at Schneider

Although knowledge may be considered a public good, it is not a free one. Technical information is often seen as an immaterial good, but it is supported by material objects such as professional papers, exhibitions, and patents. My hypothesis is that all the objects and actors supporting technical knowledge comprise a technical information network. I look at the Schneider Company, a large French firm, to understand how it fit into such a network at the beginning of the twentieth century. Schneider employed engineers who paid attention to technological developments, had patent agents charged with providing information, and created an organization of innovation through new laboratories. The firm controlled this technical information network because all these agents interacted within a social network. Schneider's innovation system reflects, in some ways, the evolution of French innovation generally.
Cheryl R. Ganz
"Cooperative Progress" at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair
In 1833 Chicago had been a tiny backwoods settlement on the western frontier. Ten decades later, it was the fourth largest city in the world. To celebrate the city's remarkable rise, civic leaders and businessmen decided to host a world's fair. Amazingly, in the midst of the Great Depression, this celebration championed corporate capitalism—the very culprit that many Americans blamed for their economic woes. The fair celebrated the advances of science and its application to consumer goods. Unlike earlier world's fairs, this international venue de-emphasized the creativity of individual entrepreneurs by replacing competitive exhibits in thematic halls with noncompetitive and corporate-sponsored pavilions. This paper presents four case studies on exhibit planning to demonstrate how fair organizers promoted cooperation in corporate exhibits, arguing that the failure of these efforts then provided big business with the opportunity to control their exhibit environments and public image through technological showmanship. The origins of this cooperative initiative may be traced to World War I in France.
Tiffany Gill
Civic Beauty: Beauty Culturists and the Politics of African American Female Entrepreneurship, 1900-1965
While the social importance of beauty culture has been examined in recent works, most of these studies have emphasized the role of beauty preparations on women's social identities. The political and economic importance of beauticians in the African American activist tradition has, for the most part, been overlooked. This dissertation argues that the beauty industry played a crucial role in the creation of a modern black female identity, raising larger questions concerning the role of beauty, business, and politics in the lives of African American women. Greatly informed by recent historiography on women and business, as well as by the growing literature on African American entrepreneurship, I explore the seminal role beauty culturists played in progressive era reform movements, radical and socialist politics, New Deal labor legislation, and bus desegregation and voter registration drives. The beauty industry, often vilified as a means of repressing women's possibilities, must be understood as providing one of the most important avenues for black women to agitate for social change.
Eric Godelier and Catherine Malaval
From Disdain to Strategic Business: Natural Gas Networking in TOTAL: Or How a Large Oil Company Learned a New Business (1953-2000)
If nowadays natural gas appears to be a modern source of energy, this has not always been the case. At the beginning, gas was considered a source of problems by engineers and a scrap by top managers of French oil companies. TOTAL, one of the bigest French oil company, profoundly changed its analysis of the gas business and presents a very good example of a business and strategy evolution. After several economic "coup" in France (Saint-Marcet, Lacq) or in Algeria (Hassi R'Mel), gas became a important business during the 1970s. Changes in technology (deep drilling and boring methods, liquefaction, gas tankers) enabled to decrease prices and/or find new gas reserves. Nevertheless, the lengh of gas projects, their complexity, and a low average profitabilty rate in comparison with oil, obliged the gas managers to develop sophisticated strategy of empowerment and networking within the board of directors and top management of their companies. The first official gas departments were created in the early 1970s, both in Elf and CFP. Experienced managers in their mid carriers were recruited or appointed then. They have made all their professionnal lives in this branch. Their difficulty was to find to what part of the structure attached the gas direction: top management, exploitation/production or trading/marketing. During this fifty-year history, the choice has evolved. The history of TOTAL gas department is a good exemple of how, in a Chandlerian point of view, a big coproration has succeeded in building new organizational competencies.
Barbara Hahn
Manufacturing Planters: The Tobacco Business in the Antebellum South
Where did the tobacco industry come from? In the absence of significant data, and rather than assume a textile model of industrialization, this paper explores the practices of tobacco manufacturing and the commercial networks that served it as these developed over the course of the nineteenth century. Cultivating, curing, marketing, manufacturing, transport, storage, packaging, and distribution often consisted of identical activities. Until the Civil War, distinctions among primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of the industry remained fluid and negotiable. The level at which an article sold helped characterize the activity that produced it. During the war, federal revenue laws defined manufacturing by taxing its products, fostering the monopolistic tendencies of the industry by increasing the transaction costs of small firms and reducing intersectoral competition.
Thomas Haigh
Technology versus Technocracy in the Progressive Office in the United States, 1917-1931
My paper examines the relationship of new technologies to the reorganization of clerical work in large, service-sector offices in the early twentieth century. It focuses on the relationship of the then-booming office machine industry with the newly established scientific office management movement. This movement, centered on the National Office Management Association and its founder William Henry Leffingwell, sought to elevate the office manager to a top-level position, while asserting control over administrative matters by reorganizing clerical work according to the doctrines of Taylorism. They claimed technical expertise to justify wresting responsibility over important areas of management from general managers. In practice, and contrary to the impression given by previous work on this topic, the installation of office technology was far more often a substitute for the fundamental reorganization of office work demanded by the systematizers than a sign that this had been completed. Few firms granted high status to office managers, and few implemented the key principles of scientific office management. New technology was an alternative and public way of demonstrating efficiency, particularly when overseen by a sales team trained to mimic business consultants.
David Hancock
The Trouble with Networks: Managing the Scots' Early Modern Madeira Trade
The eighteenth-century Atlantic economy was built through the extension of trade networks; historians of early modern business have spent the better part of the past forty years demonstrating that fact. But the treatments so far are one-sided, emphasizing important enterprisers and the successful ventures. Networks are presented as if to have had one was to ensure success. Such was not the case. This paper looks at the neglected part of the story—the problems networks raised for members, difficulties that in many cases led to networks failing. It first sketches the original meanings of "network" and its contemporary complements "correspondent" and "connection." It then reconstitutes the Scots Madeira wine exporters who created centers of extended networks of customers, suppliers, and agents around the Atlantic during the eighteenth century. Finally, it examines the problems the networks created for their members, as a counterbalance to the problems they solved when they functioned well. The personal, multi-dimensional, non-hierarchical, and voluntary nature of networks made them the organizational mode of choice in a largely pre-industrial, pre-corporate world. But they also created often terminal management challenges. By balancing the two, historians may add detail and substance to our understanding of the eighteenth-century business expansion that transformed many parts of the Atlantic World, and derive a richer, more realistic understanding of the emergence, structural change, and evolution of the trans-imperial Atlantic market economy.
Per H. Hansen
The Construction of a Brand: The Case of Danish Design, 1930-1970
In this paper I argue that Danish modern furniture was branded as Danish Design in the postwar period and that this was part of the explanation for its huge success in terms of sales and exports. Another important reason, which I attempt to analyze in the paper, was the foundation of a network of architects, producers, intellectuals, and organizations with relation to the furniture industry. The success of Danish furniture was based not only on economic parameters but also on social, cultural, and aesthetic circumstances as well. The basis was functionalism, and the network of functionalists formed the basis for the propaganda that developed into a narrative that supported the construction of Danish Design as a brand.
Robert Dalton Harris, Jr.
The Three Postal Networks of the United States in the 1830s

The reorganization of the United States Post Office Department in 1836 changed postal topography, and included a design for the local accumulation of the mail as well as for the dispatch of the principal mails among the hubs. From Congressional documentation, I have compiled the "New York State Postal Route Gazetteer" and an index by post office of all mail service among 1500 offices in New York State in 1837. The design of a local postal network emerges in every detail (including a "power law" relation between local revenues and the frequency of the mails). A principle for the self-organization of intensive postal development also emerges to complement the overall design of the system. Over time, transportation miles, not mail frequency, dominated the scale-free behavior of the system as a whole. The interaction of these incommensurate networks was understood to constitute a zone of perfect freedom for the entrepreneur.
Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor
The Ties That Buy: Shopping Networks of the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World
Scholars studying the spread of material goods in North America during the eighteenth century have focused on growing retail distribution connections and emphasized the role of the merchant and shopkeeper in educating customers about genteel choices. In most cases, they have overlooked a vital conduit for goods and consumer information in this period: the men and women who shopped for clothing, housewares, books, food, and medicine on behalf of others. The packages they assembled and the accompanying letters traveled along intercolonial and later interstate shopping networks that enabled people to provide for needs and desires not satisfied by local offerings. Using the concept of a "network" to analyze relationships among shoppers and between shoppers and sellers, this paper proposes a new definition of shopping for eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century America that comprehends shopping as a simultaneously economic and social practice, particularly for women. While scholars have highlighted consumer choice as the transforming experience of a market that offered more goods and greater variety, the ubiquity of intermediaries and the importance of shopping networks illustrate the paradox of consumer choice in the context of collaborative shopping.
Nicolas Hatzfeld
The Recasting of the Factory by Its Networks: Two Transformations of the Peugeot Car Plant at Sochaux (1948-1998)
In the ordinary way, the factory is seen as a building that houses machinery, raw materials, supplies, and finally the people engaged in productive activity. Historians, however, have shown the inadequacy of this approximation. As Michelle Perrot defines it, "The specificity of the factory is its integration by technology." In this paper, the focus will be on the car factory, more particularly on the Peugeot factory at Sochaux. During the second half of the twentieth century, the Sochaux plant experienced a spectacular growth, and then a fall. These two periods correspond to two different dynamics of technological integration. The first corresponds to the construction of a coordinated network of mechanized flows connecting the old shops and integrating the different stages of production. The second was also marked by a reorganization. While production fell in the shops, the development of an information technology network led to the coordination of production extending beyond the physical plant, beyond the enterprise itself. The factory escaped from the factory, in a fundamental change of scale. These changes of definition lead one first to think about an ever-greater socialization of work, and also to reconsider the relationship between the factory and the business.
William J. Hausman and John L. Neufeld
The Economics of Electricity Networks and the Evolution of the U.S. Electric Utility Industry, 1882-1935

The widespread and costly electricity blackout in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States and Ontario, Canada in August 2003 highlighted the imperfectly constructed North American electricity transmission network. In this paper, we examine aspects of the development of the U.S. electricity transmission network from the formative years of the industry to 1935. We first discuss the economics of electricity networks, focusing on two salient characteristics, their great economic value, and their problematic control. We then discuss several historical episodes describing the ascendancy of alternating current over direct current, the rise of the holding company, the "Superpower" and "Giant Power" proposals of the 1920s, and the passage of the Public Utility Holding Company Act in 1935 where these two characteristics interacted to shape the structure of the industry, often by stimulating government action.
Christine Haynes
Cooperating for Free Trade: The Publishing Industry in Nineteenth-Century France
In the historiography on business in France, even more than elsewhere, businessmen have been characterized as individualistic and averse to association. This assumption is belied, however, by the case of the publishing industry in nineteenth-century France. In my paper, I will use this case to suggest that the establishment of a market in a given industry depends heavily upon networking between businessmen, as well as between businessmen and men of state. Drawing on research in government and trade archives, this paper will trace how publishers in France used networks with each other and with members of successive governments to free their trade from state regulation over the course of the nineteenth century. Focusing especially on the case of the publisher Louis Hachette, who as president of the main trade association in publishing (the Cercle de la Librairie) in the early 1860s spearheaded the campaign for de-regulation of the industry, it will argue that "free trade" often hinges on cooperation.
Susanne Hilger
Corporate Networks in the European Data Processing Industries in the Early 1970s: The Case of UNIDATA, 1973-1975
Economic network research deals with the character, causes, and consequences of such organizations, which are based on contractual arrangements and can be seen as "managed economic systems." In the following, we define "network" as a loose kind of cooperation or a decentrally regulated cooperative arrangement of autonomous participants, as opposed to ‘formal' corporate organizations such as combines. Why do they occur? What are the reasons for their implementation and which consequences do they cause on an organizational and economic level? This will be the main subject of the paper. The paper focuses on the example of UNIDATA. Founded in 1973 by Siemens, Philips, and the French Compagnie International pour l'Informatique (CII), UNIDATA can be seen as an early example of a transnational corporate network in the emerging European data processing industries. It was not a merger but a joint venture of legally independent partners. With a view toward the Common European Market, cooperation was pushed by the national governments, particularly that of the German Federal Republic and France. Yet, it had already failed by 1975 because of differing political points of view and deviating economic targets within the individual companies. Using unpublished material from corporate and public records, the paper deals with the intentions, competitive preconditions, policies, and strategies of the companies as well as of the national governments that led to this European network and which in the end caused its failure. In doing so, the paper intends to contribute to the current discussions on the network concept in economic and business history.
Matthew Hilton
Cooperation and Organized Consumerism in Great Britain, 1900-2000
This paper examines the history of the British consumer co-operative movement from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing particularly on the relationship between co-operation and broader politicizations of the consumer. It explores the nature of consumer co-operative thought and how this has located the co-operative society within a model of consumer citizenship. It assesses the extent to which this influenced and situated itself within other expressions of the consumer interest, be it through state-sponsored consumer councils or the growth of private, comparative-testing consumer organizations, notably the Consumers' Association in the post-Second World War period. The clearest division in the history of co-operation and consumer politics relates to the type of goods being discussed. Broadly, the co-operative movement grew as a retail enterprise through the provision of basic necessities in the first half of the twentieth century. At this point, co-operation held a close if fraught relationship with other bodies representing consumer interest, particularly in the trade union movement and the Labour Party (though this is not to say that working-class consumer interests were given a voice in official institutional settings). The second broad category of goods are those associated with the affluent economy from the 1950s. At this point, other consumer organizations emerged that offered a new type of consumer politics based on information, advice, and rational decision-making, as an expanding middle-class negotiated its way through an increasingly technological marketplace. While the Consumers' Association deliberately distanced itself from the Co-operative movement, co-operators themselves increasingly had less to say in an age of affluence rather than necessity. Other historians have charted and explained the decline of co-operation, though its inability to articulate a politics of affluent consumption also played a role in its arguably increasing irrelevance to the period 1950 to 1990. In recent years, however, the growth of ethical consumerism has revitalized co-operation and the movement has been at the forefront of this new consumer trend/politicization.
David Hochfelder and Blaine McCormick
A Conservative Innovator: Thomas Edison as International Entrepreneur
We use Edison's efforts to establish electrical power and lighting businesses in England and France in the 1880s to problematize Alfred Chandler's famous dictum that structure follows strategy. Edison's strategy for his international operations had three broad elements. First, Edison regarded technical excellence as paramount to his financial success. His marshalling of an international scientific network and his lavish displays at expositions served to validate the technological superiority of his electrical lighting system. Second, by his own admission Edison wanted to "make money to keep on inventing." As a result, he used most of his profits to finance innovation in new areas rather than to capitalize ongoing endeavors. Third, Edison preferred a governance system in which he could retain personal control of overseas operations through trusted associates, rather than a governance system based on impersonal contractual means. Because of his strategy, Edison was able to develop and commercialize his electrical lighting system, but he was unable to build lasting corporate structures. We conclude by using the example of Edison to discuss more generally the relationship among innovation, commercialization, and firm structure in the late nineteenth century.
Thomas P. Hughes
Firms, Networks, and Systems: Coping with Complexity
Because of Alfred D. Chandler Jr.'s widely influential books and articles, historians of management and of business have often taken the firm, especially the manufacturing firm, as their unit of analysis. Before considering his and their approach, however, we should acknowledge that there are other approaches to management and business history that take into consideration the management of networked systems. After discussing an approach that focuses on the firm, I shall consider other approaches to business and management history that take into account networked electric utilities and multi-firm, networked systems.
Ian Hunter
Strength in Numbers: The Case for Networks in Colonial Innovation, 1880-1900
This paper will examine the way in which innovation assisted New Zealand's search for economic viability in the late nineteenth century. Pastoralism was central to the development of New Zealand's colonial economy. By the early 1880s, however, the pressures of falling international commodity prices, coupled with a rapidly increasing population, demanded a broader and more diverse economic base. Innovation provided part of this solution. This was particularly manifest in the export trade, where networks of entrepreneurially minded individuals pursued both product and process innovations. Technological advances in frozen-meat production and dairy processing opened up new markets. Complementary goods and services were also stimulated in areas such as engineering and shipping. Using a case analysis of these industries, I will argue that the force behind such innovation was primarily the entrepreneur, who characteristically acted in tandem with networks of like-minded individuals, rather than the large-scale established firm or government. These entrepreneurial networks provided capital, talent, and trade contacts that aided the expansion of these new initiatives. As a result, this type of organizational structure and operation played a significant role in colonial business development.
Charles Jacobson
Expecting the Unexpected: Networks, Markets, and the Failure of Electric Utility Restructuring in California

In this paper, I place California's disastrous recent experiences with market-oriented restructuring of its electric utility industry in the context of broader historical and economic themes. The history is in some respects an ironic one. Whereas advocates of electric utility regulation during the early twentieth century distrusted the market and believed government intervention necessary to prevent monopolistic abuses, the architects of California's electric utility restructuring idealized market forces. Yet, California's electric utility restructuring constituted a far more radical intervention into industry structure than did earlier state and federal regulatory initiatives. I conclude that we can gain insights into the failure of the California restructuring experiment by examining incentives faced by vertically as compared to non-vertically integrated electric utility firms and by considering problems that changing conditions, and measurement and monitoring issues, presented to both regulators and market participants.
Lisa Jacobson
Selling the Gospel of Wine: California Wine Marketing and Lobbying in the 1930s
In the wake of Prohibition's repeal, California vintners anticipated satisfying frenzied consumer demand, but instead confronted lingering suspicions about alcohol's respectability as well as persistent black markets for wine. Poor winemaking techniques further stymied the industry. This paper examines the crucial role played by the state and the Wine Institute, a trade association representing California vintners, in both promoting wine consumption and legitimizing a morally suspect industry in the 1930s. In contrast to the explicitly antistatist thrust of most public relations work in the 1930s, the California wine industry saw the government as an essential ally in its quest to rehabilitate its public image. Wine promoters and wine lobbyists invoked economic nationalism and wine's ethos of moderation to win crucial regulatory concessions and to enlist the state's aid in compelling fractious grape growers and wine producers to contribute to collective advertising. Their ultimate success in winning a New Deal for wine and launching a national wine advertising campaign in 1939 highlighted how the power of culture and the power of the state helped to legitimize a controversial industry at a crucial moment.
John A. James and David F. Weiman
From Drafts to Checks: Correspondent Banking Networks and the Transformation of the U.S. Payments System, 1850-1914
By the 1850s checks commonly mediated local business transactions within large commercial centers. Despite significant economies in transaction and liquidity costs from their widespread use, checks would not become a national payments instrument until the 1890s. This lag of 40-50 years derives from the greater risk of checks as a payment instrument, which in turn demanded their rapid settlement. For local transactions, banks solved this problem by forming clearinghouses, a centralized network for clearing and settlement. Until the founding of the Federal Reserve, however, this model could not be adapted to non-local, especially interregional, transactions. The obvious question, then, is what supported the diffusion of checks beyond the metropolitan region at the turn of the century. Our answer is the transformation of correspondent banks in money centers from note redemption agents to pivotal nodes in the clearing and settlement of intra- and interregional draft and later check transactions. Like the Fed's Gold Settlement Fund, New York correspondents constituted the linchpin of this emerging national payments system. Our empirical analysis depicts the systemic spatial-economic order of correspondent banking. Using quantitative and qualitative evidence, we first document the long lag in the diffusion of checks as an interregional payments instrument. With Comptroller of the Currency data, we then delineate the hierarchy of correspondent centers with New York at the apex. Finally, to track changes in the cost and risk of making long-distance payments in deposits relative to paper currency, we analyze regional domestic exchange markets where local banks bought and sold excess reserve balances in New York. In conclusion we present data from the New York Clearing House gauging the relative effectiveness of the pre-Fed check payments system, including the role of New York correspondents as dealers in the domestic exchange.
Michael Jo
The "Pink Slip Strike," the Sentinels of the Republic, and the Evolving Defense of Private Enterprise, 1922-1940
In February 1935, a new law making information on personal income tax returns available to the public threw the United States into an uproar over "government by inquisition." The success of the "Pink Slip Strike," the movement against this law led by the conservative organization Sentinels of the Republic, promised an incipient political movement against President Roosevelt's New Deal. Placing the Pink Slip Strike in the context of the Sentinels' political activism from the nineteen twenties through the forties reveals important transformations in the political ideology and strategies of business conservatives. It shows an embrace of mass political mobilization and a newly popularized discourse of defending private enterprise in the thirties. These shifts help to define the role of business interests in the evolution of modern conservatism and the Republican Party.
Ronnie Johnston
Business Networks in the Workshop of the British Empire: The West of Scotland, 1870-1920
The Clydeside region of central Scotland has a long tradition of internationally renowned technological excellence, and for a while was a microcosm of the British economy. Here, despite the demise of heavy engineering over the last twenty years, the expression ‘Clyde-built' survives as a declaration of craft skill and civic pride. Most of the heavy industries of this region in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were heavily dependent on volatile capital goods markets, although there was much more to this region than coal mining, heavy engineering and shipbuilding. In this paper I illustrate the importance of trade networks to Clydeside's success, focusing on the period from 1870 to 1920. Two main types of capitalist networking are examined: that carried on at the economic level and that at the social level—although I argue that the distinctions between these categories are blurred. This paper utilizes a wide range of primary source material from the Clydeside region, including employers' association records, trade journals, and Chamber of Commerce minutes and other unpublished primary source evidence. Such evidence from a diverse range of industries—including coalmining, the building trade, engineering, baking and confectionary—suggests that Adam Smith's comment that "people of the same trade seldom meet together but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices," holds very true for this industrial region.
David Kirsch and Dalit Baranoff
Preserving the Business Records of the Dot Coms: "Open Source History" and the Challenge of Digital Archives
This paper examines how the growth of electronic records, their increasing importance in daily business operations, and their routine destruction as a matter of policy will affect the business history of the future. In particular, we look at how historians might encounter the evidentiary record of the first important business events of the electronic era, the rise and fall of Internet technology companies during the Dot Com Era. To help address the issues confronting would-be historians, the authors have created a dedicated digital archive to capture potentially historic business records. The paper reviews the motivations for creating the archive, outlines its general goals, and reviews the essential challenges that have been encountered. First, we present the logic justifying the need to document the Dot Com Era as an important moment in business history. Second, we introduce the notion of the "Archival Donut," wherein convergent factors are leading to the destruction of important documents at the center of the business history of the Dot Com Era. Third, we examine why the evidentiary record of the Dot Com Era is at particular risk of destruction. Fourth, we propose "Open Source History"—the development of collective historical narrative through the participation of living historical agents as a constructive reaction to the danger posed by the loss and destruction of essential records. Finally, we advance preliminary conclusions about the implications of the digital revolution for the future business history of the Dot Com Era.
Jean-François Klein
Business and Politics under the Third Republic: The Network of Lyon Silk Merchants in Colonial Tonkin
A concrete illustration of the possibilities of scholarship using the network paradigm is the ties woven by the silk merchants and men of finance of Lyon with the colonial administration of Tonkin. These ties were to transform this newly acquired French possession into a launching pad towards the markets of the neighboring Southern China. I start by explaining briefly how Ulysse Pila and Edouard Aynard, two liberal republicans of the Centre Gauche, would put to use not only their business ties but also their financial, political and family ones in order to attain their goals. More specifically, I discuss the political and financial pact they sealed with the Opportunist Paul Bert, newly named Resident supérieur of Annam-Tonkin, who needed capital to better develop the new French possession. Through this example, one can better see how a group of businessmen from Lyon elaborated a strategy to better control all commerce and industry in Tonkin. How did Aynard and Pila, in the context of the Depression and severe British competition, manage to mobilise traders, bankers, and manufacturers and interest them in a country in which nobody believed. Their agreement with Paul Bert reflects on a regional level, the alliance that was taking place on a national level between the Moderates of the Centre Gauche and the partisans of Léon Gambetta and of Jules Ferry. This, in turn, would form the base of what was to be known a decade later as the Colonial Party. This singular example illustrates the ties between the economical and political powers in what Jean Garrigues has named "The Republic of Businessmen." It also allows me to illustrate what I have defined as a "linocracy," in other words, the power of networks. It is in the flexibility and the possibility of regrouping individuals who share a common vision that networks find their strength. This force allowed those of Lyon to integrate their project of regional equipment (in Tonkin) in a vaster vision: the conquest of the Chinese market, a market that resulted from the globalisation of business and industry.
Yoichi Kobayakawa, William Lazonick, Tsuneo Suzuki, and Kazuo Wada
Business Networks in Japanese Industry in the Late Meiji Era
At the beginning of the Meiji Era (1868-1912), Japan had virtually no modern industry. By the end of the period, it had already become an innovator in industries as diverse as shipbuilding and cotton textiles. Central to this transformation were the formation and growth of large numbers of industrial enterprises that, initially borrowing technology from abroad, subsequently improved on these technologies at home. The "indigenous innovation" process depended on the collective capabilities of well-educated and well-trained employees who occupied a wide range of administrative and technical positions in these industrial enterprises. What types of people undertook the investment strategies that drove this industrial transformation, and how did they finance the process? We ask whether and to what extent there was an identifiable group of people who interacted in the formation and growth of industrial firms, and if so who these people were, where they were based, and what were their backgrounds. Based on the National Directory of Corporate Executives, published annually from 1894, three of the authors of this paper have developed extensive databases for 1898 and 1907 of the directors of Japanese companies. This paper presents some preliminary findings; it also evaluates the way in which two other scholars have recently made use of the 1898 database for analyzing the governance of industrial firms in the Meiji Era. We reiterate our argument that there is a need for research that focuses on the types of people who controlled firm strategy, the sources from which they secured committed finance, and the implications of the interaction of strategic control and financial commitment for firm organization and performance.
James P. Kraft
Networks of Power in Las Vegas, 1975-1985
This paper traces the efforts of the Nevada Resort Association (NRA) to undermine labor solidarity in Las Vegas in the 1970s and 1980s, a time when the city was still emerging as a major tourist destination. Through the collective bargaining process, the NRA drove a wedge between different groups of workers in the city and thus gained more control over the course of industrial development. The key to undermining solidarity was the ability of employers to stagger the expiration dates of labor contracts and strengthen "no-strike" clauses in contracts. As historians of industrial relations have often pointed out, workers did not sit by passively as employers undermined their power and rights. This campaign against labor resulted in two major strikes, both of which took a heavy toll on the local economy. The paper not only sheds light on labor relations in a tourist-based economy, but also illustrates how "networks of power" shape a modern industrial environment. Considering how these various groups of employers and workers interacted with one another has broadened my own understanding of how and why industrial environments change over time. My paper is based on a host of primary sources, including correspondence between the NRA and unions in Las Vegas as well as oral interviews. It also draws on newspapers, legal documents, and papers of the National Labor Relations Board. The paper adds to a large and growing body of scholarship arguing that the fields of business and labor history cannot be understood in isolation from one another.
Abayomi Kristilolu
Shell-BP and the British Government in the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970
A hostile operating environment has often led to various forms of networking in the oil industry. Between 5 July 1967 and 15 January 1970 civil war made normal business activities difficult in Nigeria, especially those conducted within the vicinity of fighting. The most important business trapped within the theatre of war in the Nigerian crisis was the oil industry, which was dominated at this time by a largely British-owned firm, Shell-BP. At the same time, the Nigerian civil war posed significant diplomatic, political, strategic, and economic challenges to the British government, which was the colonial ruler of Nigeria until midnight of 30 September 1960. Factors that agitated the British government in the Nigerian crisis included the threat to stability in a friendly, newly independent Commonwealth country, the centrifugal force that a successful ethnic secession in Nigeria might unleash in other multiethnic countries of Africa, and the threat to British economic interests in Nigeria. Of the three concerns, the economic was the most profound for the British government, and the most crucial segment of British economic interest in Nigeria at this time lay in the oil sector, where two-thirds of an estimated £300 to £450 million British investment in Nigeria was located, largely in the hands of Shell-BP. Extra-Nigerian developments compounded the anxieties of the British authorities with regards to oil. A month before the outbreak of fighting in Nigeria, the crisis in the Middle East on account of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war had negatively affected a significant proportion of oil supply to the British economy. Shell-BP and the British government had a number of common oil-related goals in the Nigerian civil war: maintaining oil production and export, safeguarding oil production infrastructure, and retaining the share, profit, and influence of British firms in Nigeria. This coincidence of interest deepened a pre-existing contact between British company and state officials both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom. The collaboration resulting from this interaction and its significance for bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Nigeria is the focus of this paper.
Pamela W. Laird
How Discrimination Works: Strangers, Networks, and Opportunities
Networking typically restricts business opportunities. Insiders can repel, even abuse, outsiders for the converse of all the reasons people cooperate within networks: distrust, misunderstanding, discomfort, conflicting goals, arrogance, and control over scarce resources, including information. When exclusionary discrimination lost its legal and moral standing in America during the civil rights and feminist movements, strangers invaded entry-level positions. Before long, however, they discovered a "glass ceiling." Most assaults on this barrier to promotion have sought to break through it from below. Yet, nobody rises above that ceiling without pull from network insiders. When gatekeepers cannot perceive outsiders as possessing "potential," they do not pull them up into their own ranks. Network-based dynamics have always dominated both recruitment and promotion in small businesses. In bureaucratic corporations, they continue to control promotions to higher levels, where objective personnel criteria do not apply. Thus, discrimination functions not only by pushing candidates away but also by failing to pull in and up those who are outsiders to gatekeepers' networks.
Naomi Lamoreaux, Margaret C. Levenstein, and Kenneth Sokoloff
Financing Invention during the Second Industrial Revolution: Cleveland Ohio, 1870-1920
This paper draws on three distinct sources of information (patent assignments, lending records of local banks, and papers of individual businesses engaged in technological change) to examine the networks of inventors and investors who fostered technological change during Cleveland, Ohio's remarkable ascendance as a manufacturing center during the Second Industrial Revolution. It has been conventionally argued that there was a decline in the importance of independent inventors and an increase in the importance of research and development labs in large corporations. Our research shows that, while there was indeed a decline in independent inventing, the rest of the story is more complicated. In new industries associated with Second Industrial Revolution, inventors were disproportionately principals (owners or part-owners) in firms. Though in many cases these "entrepreneur-inventors" also had an employment relation with the firm, their incentives, and presumably their working environment, were quite different from individuals whose sole or primary compensation was salary, not dividends and capital gains. We document this argument with a detailed analysis of the growth of the electrical industry in Cleveland. As firms realized that success required staying on the technological cutting edge, some firms turned to the formalization of R&D, but that was mainly a later development with more complex consequences for the nature of technological change, its organization, and its finance.
Bruno Latour
Gabriel Tarde's Network Theory of Firms and Markets: A Primer for Business Historians One Hundred Years Later
Exactly one hundred years ago, Gabriel Tarde died and his sociology of economics disappeared under the weight of the sociologists of the social. In his Psychology of Economics (1902), however, Tarde had developed the most up-to-date and radically new theory of firms, innovations, markets, quality, finance, taste, and consumption ever proposed in sociology and anthropology of economics. His argument is based on his radical theory of networks, of which actor-network theory is simply a derivation. The resurrection of this book seems a perfect topic for thiscConference, not only because it offers a look at an old theory but also because it brings to the fore a mystery of history: how could we have ignored intellectual resources that could have been so decisive in the rethinking of business history?
Claire Lemercier
Business Networks in Nineteenth-Century Paris
The paper is based on a study of institutions dealing with the Parisian economy in the nineteenth century (Chamber of Commerce, Tribunal de commerce, Municipal Council, and councils of the Banque de France). Most of their members were at the same time businessmen. Having studied their personal careers and ties and their influence on the economic policy, I will define different forms of networks and look for evidence of their effects. The main aims of the paper are to assess the changing weight of private ties on individual careers, and to elaborate on the notion of institutional networks: what may shared membership allow? what do institutions exchange? The emphasis will be put on information exchanges. By questioning the clichés of business controlling politics, family controlling business etc., this paper aims at building bridges between business history, social history, and institutional history.
Juliette Levy
Networks of Credit, Networks of Influence: Notaries and the Mérida Credit Market, 1850-1899
Recent work on French financial markets in the eighteenth and nineteenth century attests to the fact that notaries served as financial intermediates and supported the expansion of the Parisian credit markets in the absence of banks. Mexican notaries also became important connective links in the credit market, and during Yucatan's late nineteenth century agricultural boom, notaries supported the development of a thriving mortgage market. However, the same institution that in Paris helped expand the reach of credit, in Yucatan further concentrated the networks through which credit flowed. This paper analyzes the professional life of one of these notaries, Jose Anacleto Patrón Zavalegui, using primarily his notarial records. Over the course of the late nineteenth century, Patrón Zavalegui became a key financial intermediary in Mérida's mortgage market, and a closer look at his life elucidates some of the networks that supported the self-reinforcing nature of concentration and inequality in Yucatan.
Susan Ingalls Lewis
Beyond "Enterprising Women": The Importance of Networks for Female Microentrepreneurs in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Albany, New York
This paper will offer evidence on interpersonal networks that supported female microentrepreneurs in Albany, New York, between 1840 and 1885. Based on credit reports for more than 750 businesswomen identified in the R.G. Dun & Co. ledgers for the city of Albany (linked with data from the census and city directories), my discussion will examine patterns of interdependence that dominated the careers—and lives—of mid-nineteenth-century businesswomen. The vast majority of these female proprietors were members of multiple intersecting, interactive, and interdependent networks—networks made up of family, friends, neighbors, suppliers, customers, and creditors, both male and female. Such networks provided labor, managerial expertise, capital investment, commercial space, credit and loans, personal endorsements, goods, and services, ultimately translating into profits. Yet familial, community, and business networks also operated in ways that limited businesswomens's options and success, as when women were tainted by the notoriety of "tricky" relatives, or when credit examiners recommended that female proprietors receive no credit "away from home." After exploring the importance of local networks to female microentrepreneurs, the paper will also consider the contributions of small businesswomen to the multiple networks within which they were ensconced.
Claude Lützelschwab
Networks and the Dynamics of Enterprise. The Example of the Compagnie genevoise des Colonies suisses de Sétif, 1853-1956
The Compagnie genevoise des Colonies suisses de Sétif was a colonization company established in Algeria in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was founded after the French state and the future managers of the company reached an agreement on the settlement of Swiss immigrants in ten colonization villages that the company would have to build. In return, the future managers were to receive a large concession of land. But the project's initiators, patricians of Geneva, first had to convince the French authorities that they were serious partners, find enough subscribers, and attract the future inhabitants of the Swiss colonies of Sétif. In order to achieve these three objectives, it was important that various ties existed between the protagonists that would give them shared values and allow for shared projects. My thesis is that rationality of investment and the financial outcome of the enterprise were not the most important factors allowing the Genevan businessmen to carry out their task. The primary condition for their success were the "dynamics of networks," based on trust and on the capacity to mobilize resources.
Fionn MacKillop
The Influence of the Los Angeles "Oligarchy" on the Governance of the Municipal Water Department, 1902-1930: A Business Like Any Other or a Public Service?

The municipalization of the water service in Los Angeles (LA) in 1902 was the result of a (mostly implicit) compromise between the city's political, social, and economic elites. The economic elite (the "oligarchy") accepted municipalizing the water service, and helped Progressive politicians and citizens put an end to the private LA City Water Co., a corporation whose obsession with financial profitability led to under-investment and the construction of a network relatively modest in scope and efficiency. The "oligarchy" accepted municipalization on the condition that the water service remain self-sustainable with respect to investments and operating costs. Moreover, the oligarchy benefited hugely from public investments, such as land speculation in desert made habitable by giant water infrastructures. Profit-making was part of the reason why the business class accepted infringement of the dogma of LA free enterprise. Progressives, faithful to the motto of one of the movement leaders, President Theodore Roosevelt, aimed to achieve "the greatest good for the greatest number," to disperse water service as much as possible, and foster widespread access. They had a social and even a moral agenda and were trying to increase LA's political influence in Southern California. From the start these conflicting views of what the municipal system should be and how it should operate, exerted influence on both the governance of the company and water network planning in LA.
Nuno Luís Madureira
Asymmetry and Discrimination in the Electricity Network: Portugal, 1920-1947
This paper addresses the configuration of relationships among firms, municipalities, and the central state in the first phase of evolution of the electricity network in Portugal (1920-1947). The context of backwardness in development, bipolar urbanization, technological compatibility between systems and market fragility (expressed in low per capita consumption), which marked the history of electricity distribution in Portugal, led to a situation in which the introduction of electricity networks reinforced the dissimilarity of regions and individuals in Portuguese society, accentuating the gap between the coastal and the inland regions, between north and south, between more urbanized districts and more rural districts. By confirming these differences, the implementation of networks had a discriminatory effect, increasing the distances in the positioning of consumers and non-consumers, increasing homogeneity within regions and heterogeneity between regions. Seen from this standpoint, by creating a wide gap and highlighting the differences in the social habits of populations, the implementation of the electricity network itself became a barrier to the subsequent spread of the use of electricity.
David L. Mason
The Ties that Bind: Mutual Building and Loans and the Problem of Agency, 1880-1920

I examine how immigrants used ethnic building and loans (B&Ls) to establish personal networks and overcome the problem of asymmetrical information flows in home finance. American B&Ls were cooperative institutions whose main purpose was to encourage home ownership by promoting thrift and mutual cooperation among its members. First appearing in 1831, B&Ls were very popular with ethnic Americans by the end of the century, in part because they worked to build confidence and trust among their members through the use of formal and informal personal networks. These networks appeared in part because ethnic B&Ls were neighborhood associations that held meetings and printed documents in the native language of the immigrant members. Similarly, as mutual organizations, the members had a direct voice in selecting and overseeing management. While these networks increased the degree of agency for thrift members, managers also used them to help evaluate credit risks; in fact, the character of a potential borrower was an important criterion in the loan approval process.
Jean-Philippe Mazaud
From Network to Hierarchy: Hachette, 1944-1980"
This article focuses on the history of Hachette, the leading publishing house in France, from the 1930s to the 1970s. It tries to use the hypothesis to understand the evolving patterns of relations in which Hachette was embedded. I suggest that the publishing firms' behavior that secured the successes of the paperback business were embedded in commercial relations between peer entrepreneurs in the profession. The business of book publishing has changed since corporate hierarchies were introduced in the management of the publishing group at the end of the 1960s. Studying the case of the "Livre de Poche" brand, the paperback brand that Hachette launched in 1953, I make clear the role of decisive links between publishers and Hachette management. Perhaps the most important link is that the first were funded by the second, as they were giving some of the titles in their own catalogue to the "Livre de Poche" series. I suggest that these external links created specific organizational capabilities. In the 1970s these capabilities wereignored by the corporate managers whose work relied on formal rules that turned out to be in conflict with "old-fashioned" trading.
Maria McGrath
"That's Capitalism, Not a Co-op": Countercultural Idealism and Business Realism in 1970s U.S. Food Co-ops

In the 1970s, dissenting young Americans bolting from what was perceived to be the unhealthy, "toxic" content of 1950s and 1960s corporate-controlled commercial foods, found refuge and like-minded community in food co-ops, or "food conspiracies." As experiments in participatory democracy, anti-capitalist countercultural business, and centers for alternative foods consumption, co-ops acted as protean clearinghouses for multiple political and cultural concerns. Members could join in hopes of creating a non-traditional business model, to support craft food production, to sustain organic farming, for the believed health benefits of unprocessed foods, or to take part in a communal project. This ideological inclusiveness attended to members' multifarious countercultural agendas, but eventually led to internal conflict as the everyday exigencies of running a business butted up against the turmoil fostered by anti-hierarchical, volunteer structures. In this paper, I examine two issues that presented the greatest challenge for food cooperatives: the implementation of co-op governance and management systems, and the politics of food. Despite these struggles, from the 1970s forward U.S. food co-ops have remained a flexible forum within which the progressive middle-class can practice conscientious consumption, alternative business, and purposeful communalism.
Elisabetta Merlo and Francesca Polese
The Role of Networks in the Emergence of Milan as the Capital of the Italian Fashion Industry
One of the most remarkable attributes of the advanced capitalist economies after the 1970s is the rising importance of industries producing commodities with rich cultural or symbolic resonance. Examples include the motion picture industry in Hollywood, the publishing industry in London, and the fashion industry in Milan, which is the focus of this paper. The first part of our paper analyzes the historical premises of the emergence of Milan as the capital of the Italian fashion industry. We find its roots earlier than other historians, in the long-established tradition (both economic and cultural) that the country boasted in textiles and other branches of the clothing industry. The paper looks at Milan as the heart of a complex network linking three main actors: the market, the firms, and the distribution channels. We argue that it is the high degree of development of all three of these actors that shed light on the development of the Italian fashion industry in Milan. The second part of the paper deals with the adjustment to new market conditions that emerged during the 1950s and 1960s, when the cultural and economic bonds with the United States became closer and more intense than before. We argue that in response the urban cluster evolved in a new kind of network: the "fashion system"—the coordination of industrial activities with the distribution, institutional, and promotional ones.
Alain P. Michel
Allo! Renault Speaking: Building a Telephone Network within a Growing Factory
As it grew, the Renault automobile factory in Boulogne-Billancourt (France) developed an internal telephone network that evolved according to the company's needs. First it will show the usefulness of an inquiry on the exact implantation of this technological device. The company archives retain a collection of implantation drawings which inform us on the distribution and flow of telephone communication within the firm. The second point concerns the hierarchical structure that can be deduced from these installations. Regularly, Renault edited new phone directories that held understand the functioning of this local network. Their classification proceeds from the perception of what a factory should be. Thus, my last point is related to the social and cultural aspect of communication. The company tried--through the images--to rationalize the use of the telephone. This attempt is significant of the management's difficulties to control what was being done with its communication device.
Michael Miller
European Port Networks in the Twentieth Century
Ports were nodal points in networks, and their activities and comparative success must be comprehended in this light. This paper focuses on three sets of network relationships that were instrumental in determining the fate of modern ports: networks with hinterlands, networks with forelands, and the networks that joined user businesses and port authorities. The comparison concerns seven of the eight major ports of Western Europe in the twentieth century: Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, London, Liverpool, Le Havre, and Marseille. In each case, the strength, weakness, or withering of networks help explain why certain ports (Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Antwerp) were enduring successes, why others (Le Havre and Marseille) began to fade, comparatively, by the early part of the century, and why still other ports (London and Liverpool) enjoyed great success, but then crashing falls from front rank positions, particularly following containerization.
Ioanna Pepelasis Minoglou and Stavros Ioannides
Market-Embedded Clans in Theory and History: Greek Diaspora Trading Companies in the Nineteenth Century

Ever since publication of Oliver Williamson's Markets and Hier-archies in 1975, the market and the hierarchical firm have been thought of as constituting two poles of a continuum of organizational forms. In 1980, William G. Ouchi put forth the concept of the clan as a potential alternative to markets and hierarchies for organizing transactions. Subsequent work has employed the clan concept almost exclusively in the context of organizations, that is, as a substitute for hierarchy. An analysis of how a functioning clan, the members of which transact with each other and with non-members across a market interface, affects the organizational forms they adopt is missing. We attempt to fill this void by analyzing, first, the clan concept and especially market-embedded, rather than organization-embedded clans. Second, we show that the members of a market-embedded clan will tend to establish shallower and more volatile organizations than is standard practice among non-members. Third, we analyze a historical example, nineteenth century Greek Diaspora Trading Companies that were less hierarchical organizations than their Western counterparts. We explain this difference through our observation that a group of merchants from the island of Chios with clan characteristics stood at the core of the Greek Diaspora.
Stephen L. Morgan
Professional Associations and the Diffusion of New Management Ideas in Shanghai, 1920-1930s: A Research Agenda

In this paper, I examine the role business, professional, and academic networks played in diffusing new management ideas, such as scientific management, in China during the inter-war years. At the core of these associations were Chinese who had returned from overseas studies to take positions in academia, business, and government. There was much overlap in the association memberships and crossing between industry, government, and academic employment. While institutional theorists, business historians, and others have studied the role of professional associations in the growth and diffusion of modern management, there has been little work on "modern" professional bodies in China, in particular the "network linkages" or "interlocks" among the associations and their memberships that facilitated the transfer and diffusion of managerial ‘know-how' across borders. Data are primarily archival and other Chinese sources. This paper is part of a larger project on the development of management ideas and business organization in China.
Petra Moser
Do Patents Facilitate Knowledge Spillovers? Evidence from the Geography of Innovations at the Crystal Palace
The two primary goals of patent laws are to encourage innovation and to diffuse the knowledge that results from it. Using data on innovations at nineteenth-century world fairs, I find that patent laws may fail to raise levels of innovation if inventors rely on alternative means to protect intellectual property, and that instead of raising the number of innovations, the introduction of patent laws may change the focus of innovative activity. This paper uses differences in patenting rates across industries to examine whether patent laws fulfill the second function that is assigned to them; it asks whether patents help to diffuse advances in technical knowledge, that is, whether patents help to facilitate knowledge spillovers. Preliminary findings based on the location of 5,028 British exhibits at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851 suggest that nineteenth-century patent laws did help to facilitate the diffusion of new ideas. Innovations in industries with high patenting rates were geographically dispersed, while innovations in industries with low patenting rates were geographically concentrated.
Marina Moskowitz
A Hybrid Economy: Seed Sellers in Nineteenth-Century America
The seed trade of the nineteenth century occupied a grey area between agricultural and industrial economies and cultures. The seed trade, the spaces in which it was situated, and the markets it cultivated along with its commodities, all bridge the binary oppositions that historians sometimes trace in the nineteenth-century economy: agriculture/industry, rural/urban, and even manual/technical. The trade held this hybrid status in part, obviously, because of the nature of the commodity itself: seeds had to be sown, tended, and left to "go to seed," which in this context was a phrase of productivity rather than its opposite. But the seed trade was also based to a large degree on a series of networks that straddled agrarian and industrial settings. Because it was, in the words of one seed company, a "physical impossibility" for one firm to grow all the seeds sold in any given year, networks of small farmers, who grew specifically for seed, arose across the country. Networks were also crucial in the realm of marketing and sales. Over time, as individual business expanded beyond geographic localities—and the seed trade was a pioneer in mail-order distribution—there was an increasing reliance on print as the mechanism on which networks were based. This paper will examine the ways in which the seed trade relied upon networks of both producers and consumers, and how it was related to both agricultural and industrial pursuits.
Aldo Musacchio and Ian Read
Did Well-Connected Directors Add Value? Network Centrality and Investor Valuation in Brazil and Mexico, 1905-1909
What is the role of networks of interlocking boards of directors under different institutional settings? This paper explores that question in Brazil and Mexico in 1909. The first hypothesis tested is that in countries with institutions that protected investors and with courts that enforced contracts, corporations did not need to have close relationships with bankers in the form of interlocking directorates. In countries where institutions did not help to facilitate the disclosure of corporate information and where contracts were not necessarily enforced by the courts, interlocking boards of directors worked as a commitment mechanism between banks and corporate borrowers. The second hypothesis tested is that in countries where the enforcement of contracts is done by courts and where corporate information is publicly disclosed, we would not find significant informational advantages for network positioning, especially by banks,.whereas in countries with poor enforcement of contracts and with poor disclosure rules, we would expect to find informational advantages for central actors in the network of corporate interlocks, in particular banks. Thus, the paper shows that in Brazil, a country with institutions that protected investors and courts that enforced contracts, relationships with bankers were not as important as in Mexico, where contract enforcement and disclosure rules made informal arrangements more important to generate credible commitments and where network position did give some banks advantages reflected in some performance indicators.
Alex Nalbach
The Grand Telegraphic Alliance: The Global Telegraphic News Agency Cartel, 1870-1914
Contemporaries and historians long marveled at the unprecedented opinion-shaping power of the four international wire news services of the nineteenth century: the Associated Press of New York, Reuters of London, the Agence Havas of Paris, and the Wolff Telegraphic Bureau of Berlin. In many respects, the awe was justified. Their cheap rates, rapid delivery, and comprehensive coverage were difficult for any rival, at home or abroad, to match. As a result, the services came to enjoy quasi-monopolies over the telegraphic dispatches in nearly all newspapers, not only within their national territories, but also within overseas empires, independent continents like South America, and even other Great Powers like Russia or Japan. These monopolies often inspired fears that news, and the public opinions shaped by it, could be manipulated on a breathtaking scale. Indeed, the agencies peddled this influence to business interests and statesmen. But in many respects, the very networks that allowed the wire services their strengths—speedy state-owned telegraph facilities; cheap stringers, part-timers, and non-journalists as sources; and comprehensive news exchange agreements with other news-brokers—made it difficult for them to gather or distribute news in the service of any particular agenda. The need for cheap, comprehensive, and fast service explains both the source of wire services' power, and the limits of their ability to "control" the flow of news.
Pap Ndiaye
Practices and Discourses of Racial Discrimination in the American Life Insurance Industry
My paper focuses on the ways the US life insurance industry constructed intellectual representations of mortality in the United States. More specifically, I try to show how the concept of mortality as understood by actuaries came to be closely associated with race, and how practices of discrimination came to be standard in the life insurance industry. Starting in the late nineteenth century, life insurance actuaries and statisticians became self-proclaimed experts on racial issues. These experts sought to legitimize the discriminatory business policies of their firms, but they also pretended to make universal, that is scientific claims about race, in order to reach some kind of broad intellectual and social legitimacy. The purpose of my paper is to analyze the discourses and practices of discrimination in the US life insurance industry. My claim is that death, as objectified by life insurance, came to be a defining notion in the development of modern ideologies about race. Mortality and length expectancy came to be intrinsic characteristics associated with racial categories, which had deep consequences for the way in which institutions, including public health and medicine, would perceive social groups in the twentieth century.
Gunnar Nerheim
Competition and Cooperation in the Norwegian Offshore Oil Industry
When multinational oil companies began oil exploration on the continental shelf offshore Norway after 1965, all necessary skills and technologies were imported. The main agents in the technology transfer were the multinational oil companies and their subcontractors. In the same way that Spindletop changed Texas after 1901, the Ekofisk discovery in late 1969 changed the course of Norwegian history. Control of politics at all levels was the key to Texan dominance of the state's emerging petroleum industry. Texans accepted capital from outsiders, but strictly on their own terms. The same strategy was used by Norway in the 1970s. In 1971 the Norwegian Parliament hammered out ten political commandments for offshore oil, later effectively translated into pathbreaking decisions. By 1980 the offshore industry had become the leading sector in the Norwegian economy. Networking became an important survival strategy for long-term players in the Norwegian offshore industry. This paper will focus on competition and cooperation between foreign multinational oil companies and Norwegian oil companies on the one hand, and between Norwegian oil companies on the other. In addition, the wide range of oil contractor and service companies that live in the wake of and interact strongly with the oil companies will be analyzed. The Norwegian case will shed new light on the role of networks within and between companies in the international offshore industry more generally.
Lucy Newton
Networks in Finance: Directors, Shareholders, and Borrowers in English and Welsh Joint Stock Banks, 1826-1860
In 1826 legislation was passed that permitted the formation of joint-stock banks in England and Wales. This paper focuses on these new financial institutions, which played an important role in the development of more formalized English capital and credit markets. The paper describes how these banks, formed between 1826 and 1844, were local organizations in terms of their shareholders, management, and customers. As such they made extensive use of networks in establishing their businesses—developing their lending bases, but also selling their shares to individuals who would be of benefit to the institution and secure its capital base. The new joint-stock banks had to face fierce competition from their private counterparts and some resistance from business communities that were suspicious of the new form of financial institution. The involvement of bank managements and proprietors in local business networks highlights how the joint-stock banks managed to establish their businesses in a sometimes hostile environment. The work draws upon an extensive database of bank shareholders, customers, and managements in England and Wales collected from the archives of the four major UK clearing banks and provides a detailed analysis of the networks utilized in establishing the new joint-stock banks.
Marc Nikitin, Yannick Lemarchand, and Henri Zimnovitch
International Accounting Congresses in the Twentieth Century: Networks and Organizations
Over thirty international congresses of accountants were held in the twentieth century. We tried first to inventory and classify them. Before World War II, accountants were grouped among two international networks, with very few links between them. On one side was a group headed by the United States, with Great Britain, Holland, and other countries of northern Europe; on the other side was a group of countries using Latin-based languages who were members of the Brussels-based Association Internationale de Comptabilité (AIC), affiliated with the Société des Nations. After the Second World War, the network built among latin countries was progressively replaced by a European organization of accountants. In 1973, the creation of the IASC meant an important turning point, as it was the birth of the first really international permanent organization. International congresses did not disappear, but progressively became big fairs that took place every five years. Those congresses confirmed the domination of the English-speaking world in accounting, and became a real merger of the previous separate streams. Whereas pre-1977 congresses were organized by networks of individuals, the setting up of those after 1977 was consigned to the IFAC, a network of accounting organizations.
Sara Nocentini
Building the Network: Raw Materials Shortages and the Western Bloc at the Beginning of the Cold War, 1948-1951

The object of this paper is to show how the distribution of strategic materials among the Western Bloc countries from the beginning of 1948 until the end of 1951 was turned from potential competitiveness into an opportunity to strengthen alliances. I first describe the procedure adopted by the United States for controlling their exports to the Western European countries during the period preceding the Korean War, pointing out the key role played by the Marshall Plan "network." Next, I focus on U.S. mobilization for the Korean War and the changes it introduced in procedures for distributing strategic materials. I give particular attention to the establishment of the International Materials Conference, an enlarged network, which was an important tool not only to deal with the trade-off between rearmament and economic growth, but also to obtain the support needed for its implementation.
Hiroyuki Okamuro
Evolution of the Supplier Network in the German Automotive Industry from the Prewar to the Postwar Period: A Comparative Perspective with the Japanese Experience

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of the manufacturer-supplier relationship in the German automotive industry from the 1920s to the 1960s and to examine the continuity between the prewar and the postwar periods from a comparative perspective with the Japanese experience. Using original documents mainly from the DaimlerChrysler Archive and focusing on Daimler-Benz, I found that the postwar relationship in Germany is quite different from that in the prewar period. While an arm's-length relationship was dominant in the prewar period, the postwar relationship is more stable and characterized by intensive mutual commitment. An important turning point in the evolution of the supplier network can be found in the wartime economy. However, more direct reasons for the postwar changes include the new economic environment and experiences during the postwar period. As a whole, the evolution of the supplier relationship in Germany shows remarkable similarities to that in Japan. However, the formation of the stable and cooperative relationship in Japan was more directly influenced by the new conditions in the postwar period, especially at the beginning of motorization.
Julia Ott
The "Free and Open" "People's Market": Public Relations at the New York Stock Exchange, 1913-1929

In 1913, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stumbled into public relations to counteract threats of regulation in "the public interest." Transforming criticism into a legitimizing ideology, publicists conceptualized the stock market as a direct democracy, where investors' trading choices on member-regulated exchanges funded and legitimated corporate capitalism. While the NYSE accepted a public role rhetorically, it labored to ensure that no regulatory oversight would enforce public accountability. Its Committee on Library initially pursued a reactive strategy, including publication, image control, on-site library, press management, bucket shop elimination, and behind-the-scenes political pressure. World War One Liberty Loan and investor-protection campaigns taught Exchange publicists the value of pre-emption and cooperation, which culminated in the development of Better Business Bureau investor sections. External competition and internal rivalries precipitated strategic shifts in the 1920s. Public outcry after member Allan A. Ryan's corner in Stutz Motor Co. provided the final catalyst. After 1921, the NYSE's new Committee on Publicity transformed defensive publicity into pro-active public relations, adding visits and hosting, speaking tours, movies, and academic programs. From 1913 to the Crash of 1929, publicists defined the NYSE as the "free and open" "people's market" first to build a community of political sympathizers, then to expand NYSE members' retail markets.
Thomas Passananti
Did Financial Globalization Retard Mexico's Banking Development? What a Study of Credit Networks Suggests
Prior to the Porfiriato (1876-1911) elaborate but thin international networks, based on kin, client, and ethnic affiliations promoted credit mediation in nineteenth-century Mexico, provided Mexican administrations with small but timely resources, and tied Mexico to the Atlantic commercial world. Nevertheless these networks also kept the credit market divided, small, and informal. These social networks were also deeply politicized, constraining public finance and destabilizing national politics. During the first wave of globalization in the early Porfiriato, these networks were profoundly altered. A key financial innovation of globalization was the birth of formal credit institutions. In part, this institutionalization was a result of efforts by European-North American bankers to extend their reach. However in the case of Mexico institutionalization was also the result of an internal, domestic backlash to foreign efforts. Responding to this foreign threat, local networks quickly dissolved their differences and created a rival “national” bank. Thus financial globalization unwittingly accelerated the growth of banking in Mexico. These two rivals competed vigorously for several years, until a financial crisis forced a fusion. The paper concludes that institutionalization did not resolve conflicts between rival informal networks, but rather contained (in both senses of the word) them, as witnessed by persistent internal bank conflicts over banking policies and strategies.
Robin Pearson and David Richardson
Networks, Institutional Innovation, and Atlantic Trade before 1800
This paper focuses on the relationships among networking, institutional innovation, Atlantic commerce, and economic change in Britain during the early stages of industrialization. There has been increasing interest in the role of networking in British transatlantic trade and in the development of British industry in the eighteenth century, but most studies have focused on single-interest networks based on firm, family, or kinship systems for constructing trust, often within geographically restricted areas. Building on our recent article (Economic History Review, 2001) and the debate that it provoked (ibid., 2003), the aim of this paper is to move beyond such types of networking activity and to explore how single-interest or geographically restricted networks evolved by means of institutional innovation into wider interlocking systems of associational activity characterized by increased flexibility, permeability, and impersonal relations. To illustrate how this evolution occurred and what its wider implications were, the paper will draw on evidence of financial innovation in the British slave trade from the 1730s onward that not only prompted adjustments in the commercial networking arrangements underpinning this activity but also gave rise to unprecedented expansion of its scale between 1750 and 1800. The paper will go on to explore the implications of our analysis of changes in the British slave trade for our understanding of how the transition from more to less personalized systems of trust helped to shape patterns of economic change in Britain during the Industrial Revolution.
Gabriella M. Petrick
Closing the Dill: Building a Network of Quality at the H. J. Heinz Company, 1890-1920
Although the H.J. Heinz Company is well known for it ketchup and condiment production, the company has been largely ignored as an innovator in developing business networks. By providing high-grade products, the Heinz name became synonymous with quality. I argue that Heinz became a household name by the 1920s because it convinced housewives through their network salesmen and product demonstrators that its products, although more expensive, were not only safe and pure, but tasted better than those of their competitors. Through the company newspaper, sales manuals, and sales meetings, the company sought to create a loyal work force in the founder's image to proselytize H. J. Heinz's vision of quality food to middle-class housewives across the United States. One innovative way Heinz convinced the public that their products tasted better than other brands was by sampling. Salesmen opened cans and jars of Heinz baked beans and pickles for grocers, so they could taste the difference between Heinz products and the competition. Female demonstrators sampled pickles and preserves in the halls of world expositions, state fairs, and trade shows from the 1870s. Heinz salesmen also set up in-store demonstrations to convince a grocer's patrons about Heinz quality. Having received a formal invitation from the H.J. Heinz Company, the grocer's "best" customers tasted Heinz products at the hands of a knowledgeable "pickle girl." Through demonstrations, the Heinz Company was no longer a distant, unknown corporation, but a friendly female face serving tasty morsels at the local grocers. Salesmen and product demonstrators also formed relationships with grocers promising higher profits and personal service, such as stocking shelves, retiring outdated products, and cleaning the pickle barrel. Heinz did not create pickles and ketchup for the masses. Before World War I, Heinz produced their pure foods for the middle class and attempted to build customer loyalty through their product and their representatives. Heinz products were expensive compared to their competitors. They often cost double locally produced brands making Heinz products too expensive for regular consumption by the working class. Heinz focused their efforts on the families they thought could afford their products. Heinz salesmen accomplished this through store selection and personal relationships. Heinz's success was based on consumers' perception that Heinz was not only safe and pure, but also met their standards for taste.
Andrew Popp
"An indissoluble mutual destiny": The North Staffordshire Potteries and the Limits of Regional Trade Associationalism
This paper explores the proposition that industrial districts encourage and depend upon the development of extra-firm institutions and associations that act to temper competition and foster co-operation. The second half of the nineteenth century saw a series of attempts to establish such associations in the North Staffordshire Potteries. Each in turn failed. A number of questions suggest themselves: Why do some districts foster successful associations where others don't? What constitutes success and failure? How are we to interpret the decisions made by individual proprietors and entrepreneurs with regard to their participation in associations? And ultimately, how are we to understand the interplay of agency and structure within industrial districts? Simply, what choices were made, why, and to what effect? It will be argued that the limits to associationalism in the North Staffordshire Potteries were related to the fundamental problem of developing unity in the face of the ‘individual assumptions' prevailing in the business community of the district. The failure of these institutions demonstrates the difficulty of creating cohesion in a highly competitive industrial district, and is a reminder that the concept of the industrial district is as yet vague on the conditions under which a balance between competition and co-operation will be struck. Agency, choice, identity, and action and their interaction with context, structure, and contingency emerge as key issues.
Tyler Priest and Joseph Pratt
The History of Offshore Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico
This paper is an overview of business strategy and technology in the Gulf of Mexico offshore petroleum industry from its origins in the 1930s through recent developments in deepwater. The story the petroleum industry and the business press tell about offshore oil highlights the ability of entrepreneurial engineering to overcome challenges and liberate extractive enterprise from the limits imposed by the material world. However, we must rigorously examine and contextualize this story, rather than merely celebrate it. Our fascination with technological achievement should not obscure other material factors in the industry's longevity, uneven dynamism, and future. The Gulf of Mexico petroleum province has presented unique challenges and opportunities. Interactions among technology, capital, geology, and the political structure of access in the Gulf of Mexico have generated a functionally and regionally complex extractive industry with a history of resolving the contraction between economies of scale and diseconomies of space, defying critics who have predicted its boom-and-bust demise. Nevertheless, as the Gulf matures, the limits on its potential become more apparent, even with the recent revival of activity in deepwater.
Sébastien Richez
From the Transport to the Delivery of Mail: The Transformation of the French Postal Network in the Nineteenth Century

The nineteenth century constituted a period of extensive structural evolution for the French Post Office. Until 1830, "postal service" denoted exclusively the transport of mail and people. Through a "rural postal service" law in 1830, the French Post Office extended its field of operations to include the collection and delivery of mail throughout the country, taking responsibility for the mail service from beginning to end. The most important transformation occurred in the adaptation of the human and administrative networks of the postal service: the role of rural postal worker was created; the post offices, whose numbers greatly increased, were spread throughout the country, set up in proximity to the post houses that had been established earlier. Nearly twenty years before the introduction of the postage stamp, the "rural postal service" put France on a road to early modernity.
Janet Rose
Networks of Style: Aesthetics as Manifesto in the Business of Elitist and Radical Culture
Contemporary business culture is an image-focused, aesthetics-driven culture invested in orchestrating and capitalizing on consumer desire for particular kinds of style. Considering business enterprises such as those that market and legislate aesthetic and taste cultures offer insight into the intersections of culture and business. For scholars interested in how businesses begin and grow, it is important to consider the implications of style as the surface and structure of enterprise. This paper offers a perspective on how style networks create and direct business and cultural formations. It looks at the growing tendency within contemporary business practices to take shape, market, and identify as enterprises of style. From the elitist culture of art galleries to the radical style of body modification, style matters in ways that ask new questions of traditional models of business analysis. This paper considers the implications of style as organizing principle within specific business and consumer cultures.
Sean Safford
Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown: Civic Infrastructure and Mobilization in Economic Crises
This paper seeks to understand how the structure of civic relationships shapes trajectories of economic change through an examination of two well-matched Rust Belt cities: Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Youngstown, Ohio. Despite sharing very similar economic histories, Allentown and Youngstown have nevertheless taken dramatically different post-industrial paths since the 1970s. The paper analyses how the intersection of economic and civic social networks shape the strategic choice and possibilities for mobilization of key organizational actors in response to two historical junctures that were critical in shaping the cities' economic trajectories. The analysis shows that differences in the way that civic and economic relationships intersected facilitated collective action in one and impeded it in the other. However, in contrast to much of the literature on "social capital," the results suggest the downsides of network density, particularly in times of acute economic crisis. Rather, it is more important that the structure of social relationships facilitate interaction and mobilization across social, political, and economic divisions.
Elizabeth Sage
Disciplinary Practice and the Practice of Discipline, or Political Economy and Paternalism in Nineteenth-Century France

In this paper, I examine the network between nineteenth-century French industrialists practicing paternalist discipline and nineteenth-century French political economists engaged in institutionalizing their own academic discipline. I also examine the relationship between (industrial) discipline during the nineteenth century (how industrialists responded to the labor problems facing them and how the managerial practices they erected "disciplined" workers) and the (academic) discipline of political economy, which purported to study the practices and achievements of industrial discipline. I explore the connection between political economists' obsession with their own discipline and French industrialists' use of a particular form of industrial paternalist "discipline," and how and why French industrialists came to be embroiled in political economists' efforts at disciplinary formation and boundary protection.
Mohamed Sassi
Evolution of the Structure of the French Oil Economy between the Wars: Toward a French Holding Company

During the interwar period, the French Government was able to take the necessary measures to install an integrated structure for its oil industry. On the eve of World War II, the Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP) had an organizational structure that could compete with the Anglo-Saxon "trusts." The characteristic of the French oil industry was its ability to go beyond a "logic of cartels" toward a model of mixed economy across the "logic of consortia." In this paper, I illuminate the French method of breaking into big business in a sector as competitive and strategic as oil. Based on technocracy, the French adopted all potentially successful organizational methods, whether French or imported. I also discuss new elements of the French companies' capacity in the interwar period to equip themselves with industrial structures different from (but comparable to) the American ones.
Benjamin Schwantes
Iron Horses Versus Lightning Wires: The Managerial Response to Telegraphy and Telephony on America's Railroads, 1844-1920
Contrary to Alfred Chandler's assertion that "the railroad and the telegraph marched across the continent in unison" during the nineteenth century, this study presents a far more complex and nuanced perspective on the interplay between railroads and telecommunications technologies in the United States. Railroad officials and managers resisted embracing the telegraph as a necessary tool for overseeing railroad operations. Instead of gradually fading away, managerial resistance, even on technologically progressive railroads like the Erie and the Pennsylvania, continued until decades after the Civil War. The proceedings of the Telegraph Committee of the Pennsylvania Railroad offer an illuminating case study of how one railroad's managers responded to technological change in the final years of the nineteenth century. The Telegraph Committee's organizational response to telegraphy, and later to telephony, rationalized the Pennsylvania Railroad's disorganized telecommunications system. Through research and experimentation, the Committee gradually overcame the Pennsylvania's institutional resistance to systematizing communications technologies and in the process set an example for the managers of less technologically progressive railroad companies.
Simone Selva
State and Economy in Italy before the Economic Miracle: Economic Policy and International Constraints from the Reconstruction through the Pre-Boom Years

In this study, I examine upstate-market relationships throughout the formative pre-boom 1950s by drawing on government materials and parliamentary papers. I explore the making of industrial policy in this decade through two steps: an overview of industrial policy during the reconstruction period based on the most recent research on those years, and an in-depth analysis of the 1950s government intervention with a closer look at the making of the Ministry for state shareholdings and the reorganization of at-large state shareholdings through the Christian Democracy political debate. My aim is to highlight both continuity and change in industrial policy in light of politicians' consensus policies.
Helen Sheumaker
Helping Hands: Secondhand Shopping and Benevolent Networks of Exchange
The Social Service League of Lawrence, Kansas, started a Thrift Store during the Depression. The Thrift Store represents local community networks of intellectual, social, and religious peers. At the same time, a network of material exchanges developed in which goods transferred from the wealthy to those less fortunate. This paper will examine the historical development of the store itself using the store's own records and artifacts, newsletters and newspaper accounts, and other primary sources. In addition, the characteristics of secondhand goods as retail offerings will be examined. The Social Service Thrift Store is an example of how businesses, especially informal and eccentric small-scale retail outlets, served to connect individuals within a community socially and economically.
James Simpson
Phylloxera, Price Volatility, and Institutional Innovation in France's Domestic Wine Markets, 1870-1911
A series of large demonstration in France's Midi in 1907 culminated in over half a million people protesting in Montpellier against low prices and the sale of artificial wines. At the same time in Bordeaux many of the leading quality wine producers were obliged to sell their future harvests at fixed prices to merchants, while growers of ordinary wines lobbied local and national governments to be included in the new regional "Bordeaux" appellation. Finally, in 1911 troops were needed in the Champagne region to stop the destruction of wines that had been brought to Reims and Epernay for making into "champagne." This paper argues that the cause of these very different events was the instability in wine markets produced by the disease phylloxera. As this caused domestic shortages, some growers and merchants turned to alternative supplies that they were reluctant to surrender when production recovered and wine prices fell sharply from the late nineteenth century. Growers sought government intervention to reduce supplies for domestic consumption, to help police the sector against the sale of artificial wines, and to facilitate the ability of consumers to distinguish between "ordinary" and "quality" wines more easily. By contrast, those merchants who had established markets based on low prices fiercely opposed the measures.
Terry Snyder
Hidden Treasures: Research Opportunities in the United States for Business Historians
This presentation gives an overview of research opportunities for business history in the United States. Special focus is given to major repositories with particular emphasis on the Baker Library and the Hagley Museum and Library.
Edie Sparks
Terms of Endearment: Informal Borrowing Networks among Northern California Businesswomen, 1870-1920

In 1898, Martha Herriman, proprietor of a millinery business in San Jose, California, declared bankruptcy in federal district court, listing five people from whom she had borrowed a total of $976. While all of the lenders held promissory notes for their loans, only two secured endorsements and only two charged her interest. Such lenient terms were typical of the loans northern California businesswomen contracted between 1870 and 1920. The vast majority turned to personal acquaintances for their loans rather than institutions or professional moneylenders, borrowing money free of charge, often with no set rules for repayment. A diverse array of colleagues, customers, and suppliers offered female proprietors the "terms of endearment" they sought, sometimes extending the loans even when they themselves owed money to the borrowers. Such convoluted relationships equally involved male and female lenders. However, women found female lenders were more likely than males to revert to practical financial terms rather than endearing ones, charging interest and pursuing defaulters in court. A sample of federal bankruptcy court records is the basis for this evaluation of the informal borrowing networks of northern California businesswomen between 1870 and 1920.
Judith Stein
From Keynesianism to Market Fundamentalism: The 1970s in the United States
Both the 1960s and the 1980s have left strong imprints on the popular imagination. The first, the decade of the social movements, the second the years of Ronald Reagan. Insofar as the 1970s has an historical image, it is of its popular culture disco, garish clothes, the therapeutic culture of TM and Esalen, etc. However, academics find that what is most significant is the end of postwar affluence, what the historian E. J. Hobsbawm has called "the golden age of capitalism," 1945-73. The demise of the Bretton Woods fixed currency regime, caused by the relative decline of American economic power, and the ending of cheap oil, in the wake of the quadrupling of oil prices in 1973 and 1974 were system-shaking events. They quickly ended the 1960s talk that capitalist questions had been resolved and that economic wisdom had ended the business cycle. Yet altering political discourse was neither immediate, nor simple. By examining the response of key political, economic, and social groups to the economic changes of the 1970s, I propose to explain why the Keynesian recipes for progress in the "golden age" were discarded and replaced by market fundamentalism. This question has not been systematically tackled in the literature. Journalists, progressive Democrats, and "New Democrats" subscribe to the argument made by Tom and Mary Edsall (Chain Reaction) that racial tensions and/or white backlash did in Keynesian solutions, which opened the way for Reagan's victory and the new market ideology. I argue that it was Jimmy Carter's economic policies that produced the opportunity for market ideology to triumph. The 1980 election was a negative judgment. Conversion took place afterwards. This conclusion speaks to the way economic ideas triumph. The paper is based upon records of Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, the Trilateral Commission, and the business press, the papers of the AFL-CIO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League, and other significant oppositional groups.
Jon Stobart
Friends and Family: Personal and Business Networks of Eighteenth-Century English Merchants
This paper examines the personal and business networks of merchants in eighteenth-century northwest England. Drawing on network theory, I focus on the ways in which merchants knew and interacted with one another, did business together, and were embedded into their local and wider communities. Detailed analysis of probate records, corporation minutes, business accounts, and letter books reveals that eighteenth-century merchants forged intensely personal links with business contacts. To do this, they drew on family and friends, were actively engaged in civic life, and became enmeshed in complex credit arrangements with suppliers and customers. These familial, communal, and monetary links were cemented by regular correspondence in person or by letter. Central to the effective integration of these networks were key intermediaries: messengers that "do the work of keeping networks connected." These are usually thought of as individuals, but can also be conceived in terms of urban institutions: corporations, exchanges, guilds and so on, which served to draw together networks within and between towns through their membership, but also through the links and reputation they afforded. In this way, it is possible to argue that the specific (urban) context was central in shaping personal and business networks.
Dilip Subramanian
The Impact of India's Economic Reforms on State-Owned Enterprises: A Company-Level Case Study of Indian Telephone Industries, Ltd.
An exploration of managerial strategies in the context of radical changes in the business environment is the principle theme of this paper. A state-owned enterprise engaged in the manufacture of telecommunications equipment, Indian Telephone Industries Ltd. lost its four-decade long monopoly access to the domestic market following the economic reforms initiated by India in 1991. The paper will argue that far from instilling greater efficiency in public-sector companies, liberalization on the contrary has resulted only in weakening them. Totally unprepared and ill equipped to withstand the rigors of competition, ITI has come under severe financial strain. Burdened with obsolete technology and an oversized work force, the company's ability to stage a recovery has been further handicapped by continued government control. Management's response to the crisis has embraced the full range of measures from cost cutting to adoption of new technologies to corporate reorganization. Despite these efforts, ITI's long-term prospects for survival remain uncertain.
Richard Sylla and Robert E. Wright
Networks and History's Generalizations: Comparing the Financial Systems of Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States

If it is correct to generalize that, historically, Germany and Japan have had bank-oriented or bank-dominated financial systems, while Great Britain and the United States have had more market-oriented financial systems, then different network structures may have characterized these pairs' financial systems. We explore that possibility, along with a few possible reasons that might account for such differing network characteristics. We also consider if viewing modern financial systems as networks and examining their network externalities might support some scholars' contentions that economic growth, both historically and in recent decades, was somewhat dependent on well-functioning financial systems and may even have been finance led.
Gregory L. Thompson
The Multi-Destination Transit Movement in the Western United States and Canada, 1970-2000
From the 1960s into the 1990s urban transit systems in Edmonton, Vancouver (British Columbia), San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland underwent major transformation from providing almost exclusively a central business district (CBD) focus to a more diffuse focus where users could get to many different destinations. The paper is a history of how the route transformations took place. It traces the spread of a common idea in Canada and then its further spread to San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland. The paper is based on more than forty taped interviews with those responsible both for the route restructuring ideas and their implementation, and with those responsible for the decisions to build rail transit. It pays particular attention to connections between individuals at different points in time. It distinguishes between decisions to implement rail lines in the urban areas from decisions to change the route structure. The former typically involved regional power brokers; the latter typically involved 1960s-era activists with revolutionary zeal. It also is based on newspaper accounts and on technical reports written during the period. This paper is a work in progress, and it is part of a larger work that also is in progress.
Ross Thomson
From the Old to the New: The Social Basis of Innovation in the Antebellum United States

Between 1830 and 1865, a series of major innovations arose that reshaped the nineteenth-century American economy. These innovations cannot readily be explained by the dynamics of existing industries or firms because they created industries and were developed largely by new firms. In a comparative study of the railroad, the telegraph, the reaper, and the sewing machine, I advance an institutional argument for the origins and development of innovations. Each innovation fundamentally depended on knowledge communicated through machinery sector institutions, the pure and applied scientific community, and institutions surrounding invention. As each developed, it formed its own institutions (including firms, occupations, and relations with government and scientists) that shaped the innovation's development. Innovations followed different paths because they involved different kinds of knowledge, evolved out of different institutions, and built networks with different ties to science, machinery sectors, and users. That so many distinct innovations arose attests to the importance of economy-wide machinery, and scientific and inventive institutions. Patent records, census manuscripts, biographical dictionaries, contemporary documents, and case studies provide evidence for these contentions.
Linda Tjia Yin Nor
Explaining Railway Reform in Twentieth-Century China
After decades of reform, China has been on the threshold of reforming its highly regularized infrastructure and public utilities sectors. Among this last batch of restructuring, railway reform was one of the most challenging tasks because of its long-standing and deep-seated structural problems. Research on railway reform is abundant, in particular in the field of transport policy studies. Most of these studies are aimed at looking for the optimal model of railway operation, and thus the best way to reform the old system. Such a must-do reform schema easily catches policy makers' attention. But this alone fails to explain the discrepancies in reform experience. Bridging the Socialist reform literature and the transport policy studies, my research into China's railway reform documents and explains empirical railway reform in China between 1978 and 2003. I emphasize the intricate relationship among the central and ministerial leaderships, the local railway enterprises and cadres, as well as the external environment such as government regulations and market competitions. A thorough historical review suggests that the above-mentioned elements together, rather than the efficiency-driven imperative alone, are attributable to both the choice of different top-down reform policies and the unfolding of unintended property rights arrangements. First, I review the orthodox transport studies and the best model of railway reform they advocate. Second, I document the historical development of railway reform in China, and the bargaining between ministerial leadership and local railway cadres, with a view to singling out the shifting and sometimes puzzling reform policies. Lastly, I illustrate, by the case study of China's Railway Express Company, that political entrepreneurship among railway cadres gave rise to unintended and yet innovative property rights arrangements.
Janice Traflet
Networks of Scandal: The Problem of Image Contamination at the New York Stock Exchange
When Dick Grasso's exorbitant compensation package recently came to light, the governance of the NYSE quickly became the subject of intense scrutiny. The pay scandal damaged public trust in the Exchange management, and, by extension, the financial community as a whole. Admittedly, certain scandal-stained member firms and listed companies (like Enron and Tyco) already had lost the confidence of many investors. Now, however, the Grasso episode suggested that scandal was pervasive and perhaps institutionalized. The NYSE executive board\'s mismanagement thus tainted the public's image of the larger Exchange community. The problem of image contamination, not new to the Exchange, works in both directions. The reputation of the NYSE, like any association, is only as strong as its members, and the reverse also holds true. My paper explores how the network between the NYSE executive branch and member firms malfunctioned during three scandal-laden periods (the 1930s, the 1970s, and today). Not surprisingly, each of these periods witnessed a major restructuring of the Exchange's executive board operations. By using the concept of "networks" to analyze the relationship between the NYSE executive board and the broader financial community, I hope to enrich popular understanding of the Exchange's meaning and functions.
Gail D. Triner
Property Rights, Kinship Groups, and Business Partnership in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Brazil: The Case of the St. John d'el Rey Mining Company, 1834-1960

The case of the British St. John d'el Rey Mining Company in Brazil during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries illustrates the dynamics of kinship groups, firm structure, and property rights. Mining's capital-intensity, high-risk, and long-term time horizon make it ideal for exploring the conjunction of property rights and business structure. Nineteenth and twentieth century challenges to St. John d'el Rey's land transactions demonstrate the legal and economic factors impeding the evolution of business structure. Contrary to previous research, property rights were over-specified rather than under-specified and provisions for rights were mutually inconsistent. Very precise colonial era laws protected fixed capital investment, making dissolving partnerships legally problematic. Inheritance laws mandated partition of personal estates among heirs. Heirs of sellers from whom the company bought land posthumously claimed both land and a share of the company's revenues (essentially partnership rights). Although the St. John d'el Rey Mining Company survived until the second half of the twentieth century, its experience demonstrates the disadvantages for businesses trying to rely on partnerships extending beyond small networks united by kinship bonds.
William Van Norman
Foreign Investment and the Decline of Agricultural Diversification in Early Nineteenth-Century Cuba
This paper calls into question the existing historiography of agricultural development in Cuba during the nineteenth century and its story of sugar monoculture, failed colonial policies, and foreign intervention and acquisition. The work argues for a new focus that accounts for the diverse development that occurred during the early decades of the century and shows how it was rooted in elite family networks. Concurrent to the plantation boom was an ever-growing wave of immigration that reveals the presence of foreigners throughout the period. Initially, family alliances were able to create links with newcomers that allowed existing power brokers to maintain control over the island's economy. By mid-century the family networks that originally facilitated development began to break down under continued pressures and were unable to manage the explosive growth that led to a system dominated by sugar cane. As this shift occurred, outside investors gained increasing control over the frontier and ultimately over the economy of the island.
Pierre Vernus
Regulating the Activity of a Business Community: Employers' Organizations in the Lyon Silk Industry (1860s-1939)

The Lyon silk industry depended on the existence of institutions and organizations aiming to regulate competition among firms, to reduce transaction costs, and to secure trust. Among those institutions, employers' associations adapted local rules, norms, or practices during the second half of the nineteenth century when the Lyon silk industry faced important structural changes. Moreover, they supplied their members with commercial information allowing them to reduce information asymmetries, provided legal and fiscal advice, and contributed to collective promotion of Lyon silkwares. As pressure groups, they tried to influence the shifts in the national legal framework within which the enterprises worked. Lastly, the diversification of the supply of raw materials, the increasing amount of trade, and the alteration of the consumption markets led to the construction of international trade networks and employers' associations whose aim was to influence customs regulations and to elaborate international norms and practices.
Domenic Vitiello
An "organized attempt": William Sellers and Philadelphia's Research and Development Complex, 1864-1900
Industrialists in nineteenth-century Philadelphia built a complex of institutions that together shaped research and product development, education, and public policies that gave their region a legitimate claim to the title “workshop of the world.” Networks of firms, technical societies, trade associations, social reform groups, and university departments united manufacturing, mercantile, and financial capitalists as well as government officials in promoting their mutual interests in national and international markets. This paper follows the city's leading machine builder, William Sellers, and his colleagues through a variety of institutional forums in which they cultivated social capital and connections to support the goals of industrial capital.
Catherine Vuillermot
The Schneider Network during the Presidency of Charles Schneider, 1942-1960

Charles Schneider began his career working for the Gaumont Film Company. In his forties, when he took over Schneider and Co., he inherited a multinational group formed over several decades. At Charles' death, his life's work was summed up by the following phrase: "produce, rationalize, export." He was a true organizer, influenced by the American model, constantly rationalizing and restructuring. In 1949, Schneider and Co. became a holding company controlling most of the new company's securities. In order to avoid having the state as his only customer, and to successfully compete with CECA (European Coal and Steel Community), Schneider chose to reinforce his efforts to establish business abroad. He glided gently into his new role, which presented him with an established human network. He adapted the group to its time using the human and financial networks his father created. He kept the family bank and the family shareholding. Networks, at least for Charles Schneider, proved to provide a stable environment.
R. Daniel Wadhwani
Citizen Savers: Family Economy, Financial Institutions, and Public Policy in the Nineteenth-Century Northeast
In the United States in the early nineteenth century, few ordinary Americans used formal financial institutions for saving and borrowing. By the early twentieth century, most American households had access to and relied on a wide array of government-stabilized financial institutions to mitigate personal risks and pursue personal opportunities in the industrial economy. Focusing on the northeastern US, this dissertation examines the ideas, policies, laws, and institutions that underlay this expansion in access to opportunities for personal saving and borrowing and explores how it reshaped the family economy. It concentrates in particular on a group of savings institutions—savings banks, building and loan associations, and the postal savings system—that were specifically established and regulated to serve the personal financial needs of people of modest means. The dissertation argues that the development of these formal opportunities for personal finance grew out of a coherent and novel set of ideas and policies designed to promote saving and discourage dependence among ordinary citizens. Promoted and stabilized by state governments and courts, savings institutions became an integral part of the personal economic strategies of a growing portion of the population and laid the foundations for the emergence of modern financial institutions and markets for personal finance in the early twentieth century.
Jocelyn Wills
Networking from the Inside-Out: Socializing with "The Boys" from the Office
My presentation explores the ways in which nineteenth-century office workers employed business networks to make social connections. Focusing on Michael J. Boyle and his lower middle-class friends who worked for a dry goods firm during the 1880s, my inquiry reveals that salaried employees often cultivated friendships among co-workers and employers not only to "get ahead" in business, but also to gain access to social clubs, people they "wanted to know," and women they hoped to court. As more affluent friends introduced Boyle and other strivers into larger social networks, they learned both the rituals associated with male consumption and the etiquette required for social mobility and middle-class respectability. Although Boyle indulged himself in fantasies about climbing the "figurative ladder" of economic "success," and "aired" his "plans" for achieving financial independence, his actions expose the fact that he was much more interested in spending than in saving his hard-earned money. When he approached his employers about salary increases, he did so not to prop up his bank account, but rather to have more disposable income to dine at fancy restaurants with "the boys" from the office, to purchase wedding gifts and "various other incidentals," and to order "lilacs from Chicago" for the upper middle-class women he hoped to win over. Several of his friends shared these propensities, consistently choosing the "enjoyments of the festive scene" over business success. As a result, the world Boyle and his friends inhabited can enhance our understanding of business history in several important ways, including the role of formal and informal marketing networks, and the ways in which Americans created intricate webs to expand opportunities for both sellers and buyers.
John Wilson
Networking in the "Creative" Industries: A Longitudinal and Contemporary Analysis of the East Midlands Region
One of the fastest growing sectors of the British economy over the last decade has been the ‘creative' industries. Covering a wide range of interests, from the performing arts through to architecture and digital media, the creative industries have recently been subjected to considerable analysis by governmental bodies at both the national and regional levels. In particular, as well as the studies conducted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, localized studies have been commissioned as a means of improving the flow of information provided to policy-makers when they consider appropriate plans for such a dynamic sector. One of these studies is based at the Nottingham University Business School, where extensive research has been undertaken into the music and digital media industries. Officially entitled "Creative cluster formation: longitudinal and contemporary perspectives on the East Midlands," this project has attracted widespread support from a range of educational, political, and arts-related bodies. While the principal aim of this project is to assess the ways in which creative industry clusters have evolved over the last fifty years, applying a life-cycle model to detect the key stages in this process, the research has produced extensive insights into how firms across the two micro-studies (of music and digital media) interact. The vast majority of the firms included in our research are small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's), leading to the inevitable problems associated with a lack of either resources or time to work on anything other than immediate business issues. At the same time, given the geographical proximity of most of these SME's, a significant proportion of which operate either out of or close to Nottingham's Lace Market area, there is constant personal interaction and dialogue. Our research has consequently focused on the durability of these intra-sectoral links, assessing both the long-term and contemporary perspectives that arise from our work on cluster development. As networking is clearly vital to the way in which these micro-sectors operate, this work provides some fascinating insights into the importance of networking to SME's that often rely substantially on the information gleaned from personal contact. At the same time, there has been a growing demand for assistance from local, regional, and national bodies, whether political or quasi-political, indicating that the established networks have failed to provide all the resources necessary to effective cluster development.
Claire Zalc
Immigrant Small Businesses and Immigrant Small Entrepreneurs in the Paris Region (1919-1939)
Small immigrant entrepreneurs in the Paris region between the 1919 and 1939 wars hardly fit the usual profile of "immigrant workers." Shunning foreign labor recruitment networks, they basically defined themselves by their independent status. To define the status of these immigrants one is led to assess their social standing according to their progress. This paper asserts the prevalence of time and of migration patterns in the paths leading to independence. Foreign petty traders differentiated among themselves between "pioneer" and "established" traders. Their activities were dependent on spouse, siblings, and household structures as well as on community of origin, and also relied on the relationships established within immigration circles (neighbors and friends). Their inroads within the Paris urban area were shaped by the groups to which they belonged. This mechanism seized up during the 1930s, however, and the resultant crisis had statutory as well as socioeconomic effects.
Olivier Zunz
The Politicization of Philanthropy
To understand the difficult encounter between philanthropy and politics, which amounted to a clash between civil society and government in the 1960s, one needs to conceive of philanthropic foundations as integral to civil society and as politically neutral organizations. In this paper, I want to argue that a politically neutral civil society cannot really exist. I want to find in the history of philanthropy some clues as to why a scientific approach, built for political and social investigations in the first part of the twentieth century, collapsed in the second.

             © 2006 Business History Conference