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Papers Presented at the BHC Annual Meeting

ISSN 1941-7349

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College of William and Mary

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College of William and Mary
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2009 Annual Meeting Abstracts

Neveen Abdelrehim, Josephine Maltby, and Steven Toms
Oil Nationalization and Managerial Response: The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 1951
The paper re-examines evidence surrounding the events leading up to and immediately following the nationalization of the Anglo Iranian Oil Company's assets in May 1951. Iranian justifications for this action were based on accusations of unfairness in the distribution of profits from oil production and anti-Iranian discrimination in the AIOC's employment policies. To provide further evidence concerning these claims, a financial analysis is conducted to assess the division of profits from the oil industry between the AIOC and the British and Iranian governments. Evidence on anti-Iranian discrimination is also re-examined. A textual analysis of the Chairman's Statement to Shareholders is conducted and the validity of the Statement is reappraised with reference to historical evidence. The analysis shows that the AIOC management did a good job of maintaining shareholder confidence at a time of crisis for the company. However, the version of events presented to the shareholders did not reflect other historical evidence of AIOC's behavior. The company's treatment of Iran was unfair in terms of profit-sharing, and the firm's Iranian employees were treated as colonial subjects rather than genuine stakeholders.
Michele Alacevich
The Rise and Fall of the World Bank's Economic Department: Economic Research at the World Bank in the Early 1950s
This paper contributes to two promising, but under-researched topics: the role of economists in international institutions, and the importance of organizational change in historical perspective. Today, economists have the lion's share at the World Bank, but during the 1950s they were increasingly marginalized. In the early 1950s the Economic Department promoted high-level research, contributed high-level insights on development assistance and the Bank's role in it, and provided substantial input to the design of Bank's loan policies. Economists and engineers participated with equal standing in the decision-making process. This caused frequent frictions when exploring loan formulas to foster the economic growth of borrowing countries. The paper will describe the contribution of the Economic Department to the early activities of the World Bank, and the progressive irreconcilability between economists and top management. During the 1952 reorganization, a strategic decision was made to de-emphasize economic research, and instead opt for a loan strategy that would privilege specific infrastructural projects. This enabled the Bank to become a point of reference for infrastructural investments in less developed countries; however, it also narrowed the Bank's ability to develop broad and multifaceted analyses of development processes. This caused the Bank to lag behind when, in the 1960s, development economics was evolving into a broad, all-encompassing discipline and practice.
Fermín Allende
Poor Thomas Buddenbrook! Family Business in Literature
According to the so-called Buddenbrooks syndrome, substantial differences can arise in managing and running a family business across generations. The first generation of proprietors supposedly possesses the pioneering character, striving for money and creating a successful business. The second generation, it is alleged, exerts itself in strengthening the firm and increasing its recognition and social prestige. The third generation sometimes lacks dedication to the management of the family business, preferring leisure and non-productive activities. In fact, German Nobel Prize-winner Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks itself shows that this usual understanding of the Buddenbrooks syndrome is incorrect. Fiction provides an excellent way to analyze family business. It is possible to establish a classification of different models based on significant features of family firms in literature, as I attempt to do in this essay.
Luis Alonso Álvarez
International Competitiveness and Technological Innovation in the Fashion Market: The Case of Inditex Holding, 1988-2007
The Spanish firm Inditex, specially known for its brand Zara, has been listed among the three bigger corporations of the fashion industry in the world market. It held the second position in profits after the Swedish Hennes & Moritz, and the third one in sales levels after the North American Gap or H & M itself. During the last known fiscal year, Inditex exported 60.2 percent of its output, although the bigger part of its sales (40.6 percent) were focused in the European Union, excluding the domestic market. This paper analyzes how the technological innovation improved by the firm contributed to a higher level of flexibility in its production and distribution processes and therefore helped to improve its international competitiveness. In the first part the identification of the best competitive advantage of the firm, flexibility and just-in-time policies, are treated. Associated with these we find knowledge of consumer preferences, vertical integration from design to the commercialization of final outputs, offer segmentation in several international brands, and heterodox customer fidelization through sophisticated marketing techniques. This last one includes specially the establishment of the so-called social audits among its suppliers, mainly in developing countries but also in developed ones, which monitor the fulfilment of a series of rights regarding workers and customers. In the second part of the work, main technological innovations promoted by the firm are identified. These allowed the firm to improve competitive advantage and promoted it among the leading ones in the fashion business in the world market. Among the main innovations those associated with Information and Communications Technology (ICT or IT) must be emphasized. In this case, commercial and financial information transfers provide the firm with real-time knowledge of its financial highlights. Innovations in the fields of logistics and robotics are also analyzed. Except for the last one, which implies a high investment, the rest of the innovations are paradoxically associated with huge cost savings.
Francesco Ammannati
Florentine Woolen Manufacture in the Sixteenth Century: Crisis and New Entrepreneurial Strategies [Paper]
In this essay, I re-examine Florentine woolen textile manufacture with a focus on the types and quantities of cloth produced. Although classic historiography notes several fluctuations in the quantity and value of the sector's output during the sixteenth century, my approach to the archival sources shows a continuous decline. In a time of crisis, the Arte della Lana partnerships introduced new textiles between the end of the fifteenth and the sixteenth century. These were high-quality cloths, able to bear the rising costs of raw materials and skilled labor. The partnerships also intervened by reducing the costs of managing unskilled labor, using the services of fattori (labor masters) charged with supplying labor and remuneration for unskilled workers (ciompi) who performed the first phases of wool processing. These changes influenced the partnerships' bookkeeping methods; comparisons of account books from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries reveal downsizing of the accounting system.
Steen Andersen
Between Imperative and Risk: The Case of Christiani & Nielsen's Market Entry in Norway, 1941-1945
While companies from small neutral states are frequently more vulnerable to the risks of doing business with or under dictatorial regimes than are companies from great powers, they are not helpless. The case of the Danish construction company Christiani & Nielsen in the period 1941-1945 shows that Scandinavian companies were not just passive elements in a bigger political game but were capable, to a certain degree, of promoting their own interests. This paper reveals that the political imperative is not only a matter of political risk but also of political opportunity. The history of Christiani & Nielsen offers a useful case of the political risks and fiscal opportunities faced by multinationals working in dictatorial settings. This article concludes that, in a choice between a forestalling strategy and an absorption strategy, the latter offers a better way of managing such risks and of minimizing exposure. This becomes especially clear in a comparison with Swedish companies.
Rebecca Arnold
The Fashion Group: Women and Business in 1930s New York
Established in 1931, the Fashion Group set out to professionalize women's role within the fashion industry and to assert fashion's importance within the wider cultural, social, and economic sphere. Its membership comprised a collective of executive women from a wide cross-section of the New York fashion world. Its meetings reflected the industry's concerns, from its reactions to the Depression to debates on merchandising in department stores. The Group's founder members wanted fashion, and women's role as creators and disseminators of fashion ideas, to be given greater validity. The Group sought to become not only a forum, but also a disseminatory apparatus, aiming to sharpen business practice in terms of the micro and the macro, from assisting young women just embarking on a fashion career, to improving America's fashion industry domestically and internationally. This paper will examine the early years of the Fashion Group's development. It will argue that the Fashion Group provided an arena in which women could assert their significance within the fashion industry. This was an important achievement given the negative attitudes still expressed in contemporary media about women's status and abilities within the business world.
Jaakko Autio
Finnish Design, Functionality, and Ease: Brand Management in the Finnish Household Product Industry from the 1960s to the 1980s
This paper examines the role of brand management in four Finnish companies producing glass and ceramics for households. During the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, these companies faced increasing international competition due to the opening of the economy. Thus, the role of branding—or at the time visualizing of the products—became increasingly important. This paper presents a new insight into the role of brand behavior based mainly on three empirical data sets: archival material on strategic decision making of the companies, marketing material of these companies, and business linkages and co-operation between Finnish household product companies. Methodology and concepts of my study rise in interaction between empirical observation and the existing literature of brand management and design management. The brand management is not always clearly formulated in the company discourse; thus it is important to mirror the data with the practice. New findings from the household product industry show that innovations in brand management arise not only from the new managerial doctrines introduced in the 1970s, but also from the company heritage and symbolic values of design. Also, the importance of economic changes is fundamental. International competition and through that, decreasing share of the domestic market, forced the companies to sharpen their profile.
Gerben Bakker
Trading Facts: Arrow's Fundamental Paradox and the Emergence of Global News Networks, 1750-1900
Novelty has been the key selling point of news agencies or organizations that came into existence from the late Middle Ages. The tangible product was insignificant (paper) or absent (visual telegraph). What mattered was the information that it contained: the newer the information, the more valuable it was. News agencies thus carried two aspects of fashion goods industries to the extreme: novelty, and an intangible value that was many times the value of the product's physical constituents. The nineteenth century saw the advent of news agencies that became well-coordinated global organizations with large networks of correspondents, such as Reuters, Havas, Wolff-Continental and Associated Press. Essential features of these agencies were substantial fixed and sunk set-up costs, high fixed operating costs, a marginal cost of supplying news to an additional customer of virtually zero, and the quasi-public good character of information, which had implications for the organizational form, marketing, and pricing. To solve Arrow's fundamental paradox of information, agencies adopted subscriptions, because this made the marginal price of news zero. The news networks were operated by unique organizations whose evolution interacted with new technologies. The paper investigates how the news agencies emerged, how they co-evolved with infrastructure firms, what business models they pioneered, and how they became encapsulated in an oligopolistic industry structure in the course of the nineteenth century.
Rafael Castro Balaguer
The "Vending Machines": French Hypermarkets in Spain since the 1960s
The paper seeks to categorize and explain the patterns of internationalization of big retailing companies in the very long run, drawing the path of one of the most successful sectors in French international business: grocery retailing. The main focus of the research is the Carrefour Group and the starting hypothesis assesses that the arrival and success of French hypermarkets in Spain is due to a set of circumstances: the fact that Spain (where the research includes the stories of PRYCA and Continente) was a neighboring country and a preferential destination for French tourists is, probably, the first reason. We cannot forget the relaxed legislation in the country and the election of good local partners. This work is a case of study on the international investment in a sector with a lack of research in historical perspective: it is the history of a business with a gradual growth, from pioneering investments, and that seems to fit with the theoretical framework developed by several authors of the School of Uppsala in the 1970s.
Michela Barbot
Gilding the Italian Design: The Compasso d'Oro Award as Institutional Support to the Design System, 1954-2008
Despite its indisputable fame, the "Made in Italy" style—whose design is notoriously an important feature—does not correspond to a strongly regulated quality brand. In the last decades, this gap has been filled by the creation of a set of public and private institutions shaping and defining what "Made in Italy" is. One of the most prestigious of these institutional devices is the Compasso d'Oro Award, established in 1954 by La Rinascente department store and then managed by the Italian Designers Association. Since its birth, an Executive Committee composed by designers, architects, entrepreneurs, and academic scholars ran the Compasso d'Oro and contributed to its organization, creating a strong connection between design and industry. In most of thirty editions from 1954 to 2008, the Compasso d'Oro selected 24,000 items and awarded more then 2,000 products and enterprises. The wide range of actors and activities involved in the award makes it an interesting observatory to analyze the design system's evolution in Italy in the last sixty years. In this paper, we will observe this evolution in two ways: by a quantitative analysis of items, enterprises, and designers honored by the prize, and by a qualitative analysis of the criteria of its attribution set up by the Jury from 1954 to the present. Through this combined investigation, we will show that in the course of time the Compasso d'Oro and other organizations (such as Triennale and Salone del Mobile) have built a "conventional set" of informal rules able to specify and enforce the Italian Design's image and reputation despite the lack of the "Made in Italy" system's regulation by public authorities.
Dominique Barjot
The Americanization of the European Cement Industry: LaFarge in Comparative Perspective, from Fashion to a Structural Change
In 2009, the European cement industry dominated the North American market. European cement groups (Lafarge, Holcim, Heidelberg Cement, Italcementi, Buzzi Unicem, and Vicat) became well established in the United States and Canada following strong Americanization during the 1940s and 1950s. The French Lafarge Group, established to overcome decolonization in North Africa, was organized in France as a tentative effort to diversify. The method worked in America for Swiss and Belgian competitors as well. With Lafarge's success in British Columbia, the trend became a durable practice. After technological advances during the mid-1960s, the Group adopted the American organizational model. Under strong leadership, Lafarge became head first of the American, and then of the world, cement industry after rapid internal growth and merger absorptions with Canada Cement (1960s), Portland Cement and the Coppée group (1970s), Redland, and then Blue Circle at the turn of the twenty-first century.
M. Lynn Barnes
"Gee! I Wish I Were a Man": The Christy Girl Joins the Navy
When the United States of America entered World War I, several changes in national policy and popular sentiment occurred. General attitudes of isolation and a no-war policy shifted to the immediate need to recruit troops. The Society of Illustrators answered the Committee of Public Information's request to produce war effort artwork. Poster art, a perfect public relations medium, announced the urgent requirement for recruits. The fashion silhouette that developed in tandem with the Suffragette Movement was the tailored suit. Its silhouette reflected the movement of women into the male world of voting, sports, business, and the military. The Yeoman(F) rank was created and the fashionable tailored suit was the inspiration for her standard-issue uniform. World War I, poster art, military enlistment, the Suffragette Movement and the business of fashion mesh together in the poster art of Howard Chandler Christy. The infamous Christy Girl sports the standard issue naval uniform for men, not the Yeoman(F) uniform. Christy's deliberate effort to recruit sailors resulted in the cross-dressing of his poster girl. Enlistment records demonstrate that fashion advertising of this form was a successful recruiting mechanism for men.
Bernard Bátiz-Lazo and J. Carles Maixé-Altés
Managing Technological Change by Committee: Origins and Deployment of Data Processing Networks in Spanish and British Savings Banks, c. 1960-1988
This article explores how savings banks managed the process of computerization through ad hoc management committees articulated under the aegis of national associations (with an emphasis on developments in Spain). The combination of cash payments (and low penetration of checks) in the Spanish retail sector together with increasing administrative costs acted as incentives for Spanish savings banks embracing applications of computer technology (and specifically data processing infrastructure) to articulate viable solutions for cost reductions, offer alternative payment systems to cash, and facilitate greater diversification of their business portfolio within retail banking. A running comparison is made with similar developments in Britain. Computerization committees had little impact among the trustee savings banks. This was a result of a combination of a poor corporate strategy and a number of external events (including regulatory constraints limiting their business portfolio as well as amalgamation into a single entity). By the mid-1970s it was evident that the trustee savings banks had lost a significant share of the total deposits in sterling made by UK residents. Meanwhile, collective investments in computer technology were instrumental for Spanish savings banks to successfully contest the domestic retail bank market.
Ariel Beaujot
Xavier Jouvin: Fashioning the Glove, Fashioning the Female Hand
While doing his rounds in Grenoble, France, a young medical student, Xavier Jouvin, began the curious task of measuring the dimensions of his patients' hands. After determining that hands could be classified into 320 different sizes, in 1834 Jouvin patented a series of tempered steel blades in the shape of each possible hand. In nineteenth-century Europe gloves were used as a tool to maintain the perfectly shaped, tiny, white hand coveted by the middle-class woman. In this period hands were thought to be a physical manifestation of a woman's class and racial status; the size, shape, and color of women's hands were observed as an indication of her standing as laboring or leisured and white native or colonial other. By beginning with the apparently simple invention of a glove punch we are able to observe how an object can affect gender and class in profound ways.
Eldon Bernstein and Fred Carstensen
An American Success Story: Keep It Simple—The Wiffle Ball®, Inc.
In an industry where the average toy has a life cycle measured in months, Wiffle® ball has thrived for more than fifty years. The Mullany family, creators and long-time managers of Wiffle®, explain their strategy: Keep it simple. The Mullanys have stressed this approach, together with an uncompromising dedication to high quality, low prices, and putting the customer first. While prices of most products and services have increased several hundred percent since the first balls came to market in 1953, priced at 39 cents, suggested retail for the baseball size Wiffle® had risen only to $1.39 by 2008. The Mullanys avoid complications in operations, management, finance, and marketing. The company achieved and maintains a strong competitive advantage living by a credo of not taking advantage of their suppliers or their customers. They also refuse to have customers take advantage of them: those who demand special concessions do not continue to be customers.
Marco Bertilorenzi
The "Aluminium-Rush": International Cartels and the Birth of the Japanese Aluminium Industry, 1926-1939
The paper examines the relations between international aluminium cartels and the Japanese market. International cartelization had two main phases: the first one from 1926 to 1930, in which the European Cartel competed against the sole American producer to acquire additional quotas of international trade, and the second one from 1931 to 1939 in which the two groups reached peace by the settlement of a "world" cartel. Japan was the main competitive market for occidental firms during international competition and it was the first market in which Americans and Europeans were able to reach a compromise that pushed toward the world cartel of 1931. This cartel controlled formally 97 percent of world production, and it is often considered one of the most effective cartels of the 1930s. The success of the cartel was at the same time the first step toward an independent production in Japan, which became a producer in 1934, after some attempts during 1931-1933. The Japanese "aluminium rush," however, was not the sole result of an excessive capacity of control accomplished by the cartel: financial and monetary crisis, autarkic policy, military programs, strategic issues, and a general trend toward warfare pushed the Japanese government and the main zaibatsus into the aluminium affair, substituting progressively for imports. This paper wants to explore relations between international cartels, international trade, government policy, and the general economics of the 1930s, trying to contribute to the general debate on cartels about their effectiveness, their causes, and consequences.
Barbara Bettoni
Fashionable Accessories: Tradition and Innovation in Button Manufacturing in Northern Italy, Seventeenth to Eighteenth Century
As a result of new methods tried first in France and England, European production of buttons began its gradual transition to industrial forms in the second half of the seventeenth century. These creations were in demand in Italian markets, and the importation of foreign buttons was steadily rising. Many consumers found an alternative to precious buttons in English- and French-style metal buttons. In this essay, I analyze these innovations in the context of northern Italy and discuss their interaction with more traditional products, strictly regulated by corporative systems often connected to the goldsmith's art. This process was parallel to, and contemporary with, the spread in Italy of the early production of bijouterie (fake and plated jewels). I focus on the concession of privileges by political powers in order to stimulate innovation, counterbalancing the rules imposed by the corporative system. The cases discussed concern the manufacture of Venetian glass buttons, in which the innovative processes were mostly developed within the corporative system, and metal button production in Turin, Milan, and Bergamo, more strongly influenced by the importation of new techniques.
Veronica Binda
The Transition from European Periphery to Mediterranean Core: The Largest Spanish Corporations and the Responses to Economic Integration, 1980-2005
During the last decades of the twentieth century, Spain has been characterized by an age of significant political and economic change due to an intense transformation of both domestic and international contexts. The aim of this paper is to investigate the transformation of the ownership, strategies, and structure of the largest companies in Spain during this turbulent time period. The empirical evidence proves that, even if the strategies and structures of big business in Spain converged to those of US and other European firms, some factors made and still make the largest corporations in Spain unique. This diversity could be explained considering on one side the economic and political history of this industrial late-comer country and on the other side the identity of big business in Spain. During the last decades of the twentieth century the largest corporations in Spain had been in fact in particular services companies and subsidiaries of foreign multinationals.
Carl Magnus Bjuggren, Hans Sjögren, and Dan Johannson
Family Business, Employment, and GDP
We analyze the proportion and importance of family business in the total economy of Sweden. Our analysis adds to the literature by including all listed firms and by investigating a longer time period. The main contribution is to extend the analysis to include all firms in the economy using census data. Family businesses represent half of the listed firms and three-quarters of all firms. They account for one-fourth of total employment and a bit less of GDP. Our estimates are too low, because, for instance, firms owned by emigrated Swedish entrepreneurs are not identified as a family business.
Dan Bogart and John Majewski
Two Roads to the Transportation Revolution: Early Corporations in the U.K. and the United States
The United Kingdom and the United States were world leaders in transport development by the mid-nineteenth century. We compare the evolution of transportation organizations in the United Kingdom and the United States with a focus on the differences in their chartering regimes. We show that U.S. state governments incorporated far more transportation companies per persons at far lower fees than did the U.K. Parliament. Our initial investigation suggests that low population densities in the United States, which limited the profits of many transportation companies, encouraged U.S. states to minimize the costs of incorporation. The greater degree of development in the U.K.—including much higher population densities—allowed companies to pay substantial profits, but also led to more interest groups that might oppose projects. Parliament charged higher chartering fees, which covered the higher costs of producing political consensus. Fees may have also represented rents for Parliament and its members. A greater degree of democracy in the United States and a more decentralized political environment may have contributed to the differences in chartering regimes, but we view the economic dynamics as more important.
Maria Bonadio
Synthetic Fibers and the "Clothing Revolution": Art, "Haute-Couture," and Popular Culture in Fashion Advertising in Brazil in the 1960s
In 1958 Rhodia Textiles (the Brazilian branch of the French company Rhône-Poulenc) acquired the patents for and initiated the production, in Brazil, of fabrics and synthetic fibers. In order to promote in the domestic market the products which would be manufactured from these fibers, the company promoted a policy of advertising based in the production of fashion editorials, published in the main Brazilian magazines between 1960 and 1970. This paper is to analyze the first campaign of Rhodia Textile, published in 1960, in the biggest Brazilian general-interest magazine at that moment, O Cruzeiro. This campaign consisted of reports about the passage of the Rhodia fashion shows in France, where the motto was the international quality of fashion produced in the country. More than to advertise products, the purpose of that campaign was "to promote the consumption like a lifestyle," expressing the sense of belonging to a global society and to the industrialized world through the consumption of clothing produced in Brazil. Another subject that I analyze is the frequent association of the Rhodia brands to haute-couture, Brazilian art, and coffee (the most known Brazilian product abroad then) as to infuse them with legitimacy and give them a character of modernity.
Hubert Bonin
Fashion Trends in Banking Business Models since the 1850s
Evolution in economic trends (third industrial revolution, globalization) and in the money and banking industry has apparently converged. Is the universal banking model merely a fashion trend, a renewed attempt to promote past fashions apparently rejected by banking and banking history? Or is universal banking the key to economic power, so important that there is a "cost of rejecting universal banking"? Our intent is to refresh memories of fashion trends regarding the universal banking model and to determine why, at moments in economic history, the model was praised as a force for accelerating the course and scope of growth. These trends, well known among banking historians, include: Saint-Simonian schemes in the mid-nineteenth century and the Crédit mobilier idea; the German model of the Hausbank or mixed banking model; the rejection of universal and mixed banking models; the rebuilding of a universal banking model from the 1960s through the 1980s; and the issue of universal banking during the 1990s and 2000s.
Loubna Bouamane and Ralph Maurer
Un-Learning Institutions: Louisiana Contractors' Response to the Post-Katrina Relaxation of Set-Aside Programs
This paper examines how building construction contracting firms (contractors) in Louisiana reacted and adjusted to the halt in Affirmative Action programs in the field of public contracting following hurricane Katrina. We conceptualize the previous ability to thrive under these programs as a set of institutional capabilities that had to be "un-learned" in the face of the radically open contracting environment post-Katrina. Our data consist of archival sources and first-hand ethnographic interviews with the owners of contracting firms across the state of Louisiana. Our findings provide insight into whether and how small businesses adjust to institutional changes caused by large exogenous shocks. We argue that, in practice, these Affirmative Action programs became a set of institutional constraints that small contracting firms had to negotiate in order to procure government contracts outside of open bidding. Successful firms developed the capabilities to document and demonstrate need, navigate state bureaucracies, and develop the social network ties necessary to procure set-aside contracts. Hurricane Katrina, however, destabilized this institutional arrangement as the federal government advised the state of Louisiana to drop any type of quota or set-aside in order to focus on rebuilding New Orleans. The these programs were halted and, as a direct result, millions of dollars in contracts were awarded to out-of-state and foreign corporations that had previously had trouble penetrating the Gulf State contracting market. The impact of this redistribution of capital and the manner in which small businesses grappled with it provides a compelling picture of the natural, but perhaps unintended, consequences of disaster management policies.
Bram Bouwens and Joost Dankers
Competition on the Catwalk: Coordination and Concentration in Dutch Business: The Sequence of Collusive Practices, 1900-2000
Collusive practices attract much attention from the public, the press, and governments, especially when the interests of consumers are at stake. In the perception of society the varieties of collusion are surrounded by an air of secretiveness and the excessive earnings of managers. Collusion among businessmen is, however, as old as the hills. Since the late nineteenth century a wide variety of collusive practices occurred, ranging from business interest associations and cartels, to full mergers and acquisitions. Literature on corporatism, institutional economics, industrial organization, and also business history pays a lot of attention to the various types of collusion and concentration. However, much less is known about the development in use and perception of each of these collusive practices and the interaction among various forms of cooperation among businessmen. What is the coherence and relation between the activities of business interest associations, the existence of cartels and the occurrence of mergers and acquisitions? Can we distinguish a sequence of collusive practices and how do these different forms of collusion interact? This paper explores this somewhat neglected issue and looks at both the economic and institutional dynamics of collusion. It focuses on the long-term development and fashions in the concentration process that shaped market structures. We distinguish three different forms of collusion: business interest associations, cartels, and mergers, and acquisitions. They representdifferent degrees of concentration, but in our opinion they should not be seen as separate phenomena.
Andrew A. D. Bozanic
Fashioning the Sounds of Hawaii: Roy Smeck and the Business of Hawaiian-Style Guitars
Interest in native Hawaiian musical traditions, an outgrowth of Hawaii's 1898 annexation, created a demand for commercial recordings of the island sound and inspired guitarists to learn to play in the Hawaiian style. Beginning in the late 1910s, guitar manufacturers diversified their product lines to include Hawaiian-style instruments and signature models named for celebrity musicians of the day in response to the growing number of Hawaiian-style players. This paper will trace the impact of the Hawaiian sound on the acoustic guitar business through the lens of one particular performer, the "Wizard of the Strings," Roy Smeck. A Vaudeville musician and later star of radio and film, Smeck was a virtuoso at playing the ukulele and Hawaiian guitar. In 1934, Smeck endorsed one of the first signature models of guitars, enabling the Gibson Company to distinguish its instruments from the competition by adding the cultural value associated with Smeck's popularity. These Hawaiian guitars represented the evolution from interchangeable Spanish/Hawaiian guitars to a line of uniquely constructed instruments specially adapted to play in the Hawaiian style. The changes brought about by the Hawaiian craze, including the advent of the Hawaiian-style guitar, had a profound and lasting impact on acoustic guitar makers and players.
Shauna Brail and Deborah Leslie
Fashioning an Antidote to Fast Fashion: Can Toronto's Fashion Designers Compete?
The fashion industry has undergone a well-documented shift in both business practices and production styles over the past several decades. These shifts include the globalization of production systems and the emergence of a new mode of fashion production called "fast fashion." City-specific strategies for addressing these new challenges have emerged in fashion's world cities such as London, and we investigate whether this is also the case in second-tier fashion cities such as Toronto, Canada. Our research findings are based on interviews with fifty-seven representatives of Toronto's fashion industry. Strategies pursued by Toronto's fashion sector include a focus on own-brand designer boutiques emphasizing local small-batch, high-quality production, specialized wholesaling activities, and the expansion of design activities beyond their core focus. Our results suggest that despite the shifts toward globalization and fast fashion, the Toronto fashion industry has implemented a series of locally focused strategies that enable competition in the global fashion environment
Camilla Brautaset and Stig Tenold
Lost in Calculation? Norwegian Merchant Shipping in Asia, 1870-1914
With the rise of global history since the 1990s, there has also been an increasing number of studies of encounters between the East and the West, particularly the encounters of the nineteenth century. Within the disciplines of economic and business history, a considerable part of the response to and within global history has been directed toward the opening up of Asian markets to foreign trade. However, only marginal attention has been paid to the exchange of services within the same context. This paper addresses this issue by exploring the Norwegian merchant fleet's engagement in the Asian markets for seaborne transport from the opening of the Suez Canal until the outbreak of World War I. Our point of departure is a broad set of contemporary quantitative and qualitative sources offering in-depth information on the engagement of Norwegian vessels in the international economy. The quantitative approach is based on two purpose-built databases, both based on contemporary, systematic collections of shipping statistics. The first database comprises an extensive data set collected by officials of Statistics Norway, offering key information on Norwegian vessels that were registered upon arrival or departure in Asian ports. The second database is established on the basis of registrations of Norwegian vessels' movements in Asia during ten-year intervals, covering the years 1882, 1892, 1902, and 1912, as published in the Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index.
Elspeth H. Brown
Modeling Blackness in Civil Rights America
This paper explores the history of black modeling agencies in the early civil rights era, 1946-1960. Whereas historians have conceptualized market segmentation as a development instigated by mainstream merchandisers seeking new consumer markets, this paper argues that black marketing professionals invented the "Negro market" in order to render blacks visible as a consumer demographic and, therefore, to participate in the promises of postwar consumer citizenship. The use of black models in advertising directed toward black consumers emerged as a key aspect of this consumer citizenship. I historicize early civil rights era modeling with a brief snapshot of Negro modeling work before the founding of the agencies in 1946. Then, I focus on the New York City-based Brandford Agency, which prioritized the development of a market for commercial rather than fashion models, due to the impenetrability of New York's fashion color line. I will offer an argument about how the Negro modeling agencies developed a counter-archive of commercial imagery that borrowed from discourses of both bourgeois respectability and mid-century glamour to define a commercial space for the display of the black female body that used the market to sidestep the older stereotypes of the asexual mammy on the one hand, and the hypersexual jezebel on the other.
Kyle Bruce
Democracy or Seduction? The Demonization of Scientific Management and the Deification of Human Relations
The emergence of the Human Relations "School" of management (HRS) in interwar America was less a distinct break with Taylorism or Scientific Management (SM) than it was a right-wing and decidedly undemocratic outgrowth. That many of Taylor's disciples preceded Elton Mayo in analyzing "the human factor in industry" is well established in the history of management thought. Likewise, that the Taylorists actively sought to promote greater worker participation in the management process and a greater rapprochement with organized labor in the interwar period is also well documented. Yet the conventional wisdom in oranization studies is that HRS was the intellectual progeny of Mayo and his associates in the Hawthorne Studies and that their concern with human problems in industry was both a reaction against, and solution for, the shortcomings of SM. The fundamental question this paper seeks to answer is why the history has been written in this way and how it could be that the participatory nature of the Taylorist movement came to be written out of typical accounts. We seek to understand how and why the meta-narrative regarding SM and HRS became the received wisdom and who stood to gain from this establishment of managerial orthodoxy. We seek to understand why it was that Mayo and HRS were deified, whereas Taylor and SM were demonized in the 1930s and beyond. Our central argument is that HRS presented conservative business leaders such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with a more subtle yet powerful means of resolving conflict and exercising authority in the workplace, one that focused on individuals, their productivity, and on firm performance rather than on collective dealing with employees, and so was more attractive to business leaders of the time than the more democratic approach of progressive figures in the SM movement.
Marcelo Bucheli
Multinational Corporations, Business Groups, and Economic Nationalism: Standard Oil (New Jersey), Royal Dutch-Shell, and Energy Politics in Chile, 1913-2005
This paper analyzes the long-term strategies of multinational oil corporations in the face of economic nationalism in a late industrializing country with powerful business groups. By studying the case of Chile (1913-2005), I show that the oil multinationals controlled 100 percent of the Chilean market until forced by the government to accept a domestic private company (COPEC) in the cartel. In the long term, this arrangement proved to be beneficial for the multinationals. COPEC's involvement with the Chilean business groups provided the multinationals with protection against government hostile actions and gave legitimacy to the cartel. These benefits ended when Chile abandoned its import substitution industrialization strategy in the 1970s.
Jørgen Burchardt
Introduction of New Management Concepts: When Scientific Management Came to Europe
F.W. Taylor's ideas about Scientific Management had in fact only limited impact on management practice before 1920. Worldwide, the system was successfully implemented in maybe only five or six organizations. In Denmark an early introduction of the system took place at a plant over a ten-year period from 1905 to 1915. However, a change of top management led to parts of the system being abandoned. It seems that the failing breakthrough of Scientific Management in its first period was not caused by resistance from the labor unions. To the contrary, the resistance came from conservative top managers who often put the brakes on the introduction of new management systems. New management methods will not automatically emerge as a consequence of structural, technological, or competitive necessity. The implementation was often carried through by personal enthusiasm. It was this excitement in itself that became influential, and not the specifics of the new methods, as most parts of those were developed by others already in the preceding century. The most important was the charisma of Taylor originally based by his introduction of high speed steel in 1900 for an almost political or religious movement with an emphasis on the iron business.
Benedita Câmara
The Institutional Control of Innovation: The Case of Embroidery in Madeira
Historiography has discussed problems of articulation between the collective institutional systems and the monitoring of the flow of information exchanges between private entities. The problem of a handicraft sector (embroidery) in a regional economy (Madeira) will be used to analyze the creation of a collective institution (1935) aimed at generating innovation at the level of the product. Within the framework of a collective regional brand, one group gained the ability to negotiate among its members the innovations to be introduced and the capacity to prevent any deviations. In terms of creativity, the institutional formula adopted was unsuccessful, since it did not manage to benefit the group of private entities.
Paola Varacca Capello and Davide Ravasi
The Variety and the Evolution of Business Models and Organizational Forms in the Italian Fashion Industry
Thousands of Italian companies are involved in vertical chains involving textiles and apparel and shoes and leather goods, respectively. These industries have varied business and company models, partly linked to their fragmentation in product categories, prices, customers, channels, and styles. In both domestic and global markets, international competition and the evolution of customers forced those companies to redesign strategies and organizational structures to maintain and reinforce the success attained in the 1980s. We describe the variables of greatest importance in explaining diversity: core businesses and segments, brand portfolio, degree of vertical integration and expertise, internationalization, design, ownership, and growth. We use these variables to analyze strategic models for the twenty-two most important (by revenue) Italian fashion groups and discuss their evolution. Identifying strategic models in fashion/luxury is not easy; competing companies/groups differ in many ways, including differences related to country of origin, even in a continuously globalizing industry.
Jordi Catalan and Ramon Ramon Muñoz
The Origins of "Made in Spain" Fashion: Hub-Firm Clusters and Industrial Districts in Textiles, Clothing, and Shoemaking since the Golden Age
Firms dealing with "made in Spain" fashion products have increasingly been penetrating foreign markets during the last two decades or so. This paper focuses on the origins of this process by exploring the Spanish export districts for textiles, clothing, and shoemaking during the 1980s, just before the most important "made in Spain" fashion firms began internationalizing. Using a new database, it concludes that by that time a remarkable number of districts with competitive advantages in these fashion products were hierarchical. This probably allowed them to combine the advantages derived from external economies with those connected to firms' capabilities. The same combination is likely to lie behind the international success of some of the main "made in Spain" fashion firms, although not all of them originated in export districts. In this respect, this paper also suggests that since the early 1990s export industrial districts transformed. Their hierarchical nature seems to have strengthened. This was probably due to a combination of deregulation policies and the diffusion of TICs, which reinforced the advantages of firms' capabilities in marketing and distribution, whereas the competitive advantage of districts experienced a relative decline.
Florence Brachet Champsaur
Aux Galeries Lafayette and the Couture Industry, 1893-1952
From a fashion history standpoint, the relationship between Aux Galeries Lafayette and the fashion industry is an ambivalent one. Founded in 1893, at the time of the "dictatorship" of Haute Couture over fashion, the Parisian department store rapidly developed the commercial and industrial means to take advantage of the "désir de mode" created by the fashion houses and communicated to the public by the rise of specialized magazines. While their international competitors were allowed to buy models or patterns from French fashion designers and sell them on to their customers, Parisian department stores were barred from this commercial system. With their very close proximity to the consumer, the Parisian department stores, relying on sales of feminine ready-to-wear garments and at the same time appropriating the symbols of Haute Couture, were in a position to take advantage of the obsolescence deliberately imposed by the most prominent fashion houses. As evidence of its involvement in the business of fashion, the firm also invested in fashion houses. In 1922, Théophile Bader, founder of Aux Galeries Lafayette, became a partner in the newly formed Vionnet & Cie, one of the most important Couture houses in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. Study of this collaboration, which came to a sudden end in 1940 when Madeleine Vionnet's fashion house went into liquidation, is revelatory of the relationship between high fashion and French department stores.
Christy Chapin
Meeting the 1950s Consumer Ideal in Health Care
The story of how private health interests allied to defeat president Harry Truman's proposal for federally financed universal care is well known. Additionally, scholars have demonstrated how conservatives and private health interests promoted the superiority of voluntary or private insurance in order to thwart such government programs. In this article, I advance these findings by demonstrating how politics and culture interacted to shape market institutions around a specific model of "private" health insurance that empowered insurance companies to become not only the primary financiers, but also the main supervisors and coordinators of health care.
William R. Childs
Pragmatic Federalism and Regulation in the Twentieth Century
Business historians have ignored too much the intersection of federalism and economic structures in the evolution of regulation in the United States throughout the twentieth century. The complex interaction between the structure of industries and the federal conflicts their growth created followed from nineteenth-century origins. Americans struggled to respond to the unwanted consequences of industrialism and did so by devising a new institution, the regulatory commission, and accommodating state and national economic interests. In a general state-to-federal pattern, Americans devised a regulatory state based on cooperative "pragmatic federalism" in the transportation, power, telecommunications, banking, and securities industries. This system appeared to break down by the 1960s. A period of deregulation, which continues in the early twenty-first century, followed, but exhibited no discernable pattern; there was no reverse "national-to-state" trend underlying deregulation. Sometimes the states led the way; other times Congress did. Attempts to match state deregulation with national deregulation—or preemption—were not always successful; indeed, localism asserted its power when the structure of the industry heavily impacted state economies. The intersection of federalism and industry structures remained dynamic in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century regulatory state.
Albert Churella
The Clothes Make the Women: Skirts, Pants, and Railway Labor during World War II
Fashion—in the form of a seemingly insignificant distinction between wearing skirts or pants—was critical to women railway workers' efforts to attain union representation. Prior to World War II, "fashion," in the form of deeply entrenched gender norms, excluded women from railway operations. On the Pennsylvania Railroad, wartime labor shortages provided women access to the masculine world of railroad work. Although men and women shared comparable occupations, they did not share comparable clothes. The women trainmen's uniforms reflected the fashion standards of the age, reinforcing femininity at the expense of safety. The debate between women workers who preferred skirts and those who sought to wear pants concerned far more than a minor wardrobe choice. Rather, it symbolized working-class women's desire for more remunerative employment and their middle-class counterparts who favored gender equality. That conflict proved crucial to women's success in obtaining membership in heretofore all-male railway labor unions.
Peter A. Coclanis
Everything Also I Want: Another Look at Consumer Culture in Contemporary Singapore
Both popular and scholarly literatures often depict the wealthy city-state of Singapore as an ultra-materialistic country whose population is comprised largely of avid consumers whose favorite (if not only) pastime is shopping, particularly at high-end stores. In this paper, I use some new insights from consumer economics, as well as available empirical data, to analyze consumer behavior in Singapore closely to ground it more firmly in the structures informing the city-state's economy.
Jim Cohen
Ownership of Railway Stock in France and the United States, 1840-1940: The Mystery of Missing Data and Why That Matters
Alfred Neymarck and Olivier Moreau-Néret published data in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century indicating that France was a "financial democracy" because ownership of stock and bonds, including railway securities, was broadly distributed throughout the population. Thus, one important reason that successive French governments loaned money to insolvent private railways may have been to protect the savings of small investors. However, the fact that institutional investors also owned large blocks of rail stock, which allowed them to control railway management, leads me to question the financial democracy argument. Because Neymarck and Moreau-Néret do not reference their primary sources, I have been unable to re-analyze their data. I hypothesize that they chose this course because their data came from government sources widely accepted as valid in public and scholarly discourse—a proposition I will test by searching government archives.
Howard Cox and Simon Mowatt
Creating Images of Fashion: Consumer Magazines and American Competition in Britain, 1910-1940
In this essay, we explore the development of consumer fashion magazines in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. Leading British magazine publishers, led by Alfred Harmsworth's Amalgamated Press, successfully exploited the low-price weekly magazine aimed at homemakers, using the newly developed, capital-intensive printing technology. American firms, such as Condé Nast and Hearst's National Magazine Company successfully introduced high-quality, high-price fortnightly and monthly titles such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Despite a tradition of producing high-quality fashion magazines during the nineteenth century, British publishers' titles during the early twentieth century did not compete directly with those from American firms. Thus, the competing market-positioning strategies partitioned the fashion magazine market, rather than simply segmenting it. The British editorial style emphasized domesticity, while the American publishers cultivated aspirational consumerism. These approaches were fundamental in shaping the images of fashion presented to British women until the mid-twentieth century.
Patricia A. Cunningham
Branding in the 1930s: The Case of B.V.D.
In 1929 the Atlas Underwear Company in Piqua, Ohio, merged with the iconic B.V.D. Company and soon promoted not just union suits, but from 1930 until 1941, fashionable swimwear. They sold underwear to Sears Roebuck Co. and J.C. Penney, and B.V.D. swimwear to the finest shops: Saks Fifth Avenue and Henri Bendel. This paper provides a case study in early twentieth-century branding, and insight into how one manufacturer developed beneficial relationships among itself, its retailers, and ultimately its consumers. Although early twentieth-century promotion focused largely on simple informational advertising, B.V.D. went far beyond this usual approach. They purposefully branded their products using educational materials about product quality geared toward both retailers and consumers, and took care to create aesthetically appealing packaging. They provided retailers with point of sale visuals and copy for joint ads. B.V.D. sought Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller as a designer and had him carry out crowd-pleasing B.V.D. Swim Club promotions at beaches across America. Weissmuller's later MGM connections provided access to Hollywood and allowed B.V.D. to draw on other film stars for promotional activities and the cachet of Hollywood as well.
Elizabeth Currie
Taking on the Fashion Business: The Rising Fortunes of the Mercer in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Florence
Mercers enjoyed a pivotal role within the Florentine clothing trade. Their increasing prominence can be connected with a series of developments in textile production and dress fashions, including the growing availability of medium-quality silks, and the popularity of elaborate forms of applied haberdashery and dress accessories. Through consumer records, such as account books and bills of payment, it is possible to trace a striking range of goods and services provided by mercers running large-scale businesses. Literary descriptions of mercers' wares underline an already well-established emphasis on variety, choice, and novelty in fashion retail. The flexibility of mercers' activities was unusual at a time when clothing retail and production was, at least in principle, strictly controlled by guild regulations and sumptuary legislation. As artisans, merchants, and middle-men, mercers supplied textiles and haberdashery, as well as bespoke and ready-made dress accessories. Their expanding role influenced the working practices of other members of the clothing trade. It also had repercussions for the way Florentines acquired their clothing, potentially shifting the balance of power—and the ability to dictate what was fashionable—away from the consumer.
Marianne Dahlén
A Nice Pair? Fashion and Piracy from a Legal and Business History Perspective
Fashion is a huge and flourishing global business, in spite of a number of particular difficulties such as keen competition and a "low IP-equilibrium." Also copying of fashion designs is a huge business. The fashion industry seems to be a historical exception in the IP-context. Fashion is good for trade it has been said—but can piracy be good for fashion? Fashion and intellectual property are complex matters: Fashion is at the crossroads of the classical fields of intellectual property rights: design, trademarks, patent, and copyright. There are global, regional, and national systems and IP-institutions, including self-regulatory organs. Consequently, there are overlaps and conflicts. The IP system has its roots in the late nineteenth century (the Paris and Berne Conventions, 1883 and 1886) and there is a growing critique that it has a structure with separate IP-rights that is no longer relevant and that it is over-protective. In this paper I will present a research project investigating the development of design rights and alternative business strategies from a combined legal historical and business history perspective, using legal material as well as material from a number of Swedish and Italian fashion companies.
Andrew Richard Dilley
Empire and Risk: Edwardian Financiers, Australia, and Canada, c.1899-1914
Although British investors are viewed as showing no marked "imperial piety," investments in the dominions (the British Empire's self-governing colonies) occupied an exceptional place in the capital market, enjoying low interest rates. I trace Edwardian London financiers and investors' expectations concerning the effects of imperial connections on Canadian and Australian investment risk. Reconstructing the assumptions linking investment and empire clarifies dominion "exceptionalism." The Empire reassured investors in two ways. First, institutional factors (legal integration through the Privy Council's Judicial Committee and British defensive guarantees) reassured some investors, although these operations depended on colonial consent. Second, the Empire promoted information flows, social networking, and shared cultural assumptions that made the dominions safer havens for British capital. Colonial borrowers played on these factors in dealing with the capital market. Thus, membership in the Empire did not replace the use of more familiar economic and political tools in calculating risks, but it did inform judgment of those risks.
Phyllis Dillon
German Jews as Nineteenth-Century Pioneers in the American Apparel Industry
The ground work for Eastern European Jewish involvement in the apparel industry was laid by German-Jewish immigrant entrepreneurs beginning in the 1830s. By the 1840s manufacturing of ready-made men's clothing expanded for retail and wholesale distribution in response to population growth, industrialization, and the expansion of the frontier. German Jewish immigrants moved easily from peddling and shop keeping to manufacturing men's and boy's clothing in New York and new cities on the expanding frontier such as Cincinnati, Rochester, and Chicago. In the Civil War the industry further expanded with labor supplied by a growing immigrant population of tailors and seamstresses. By 1870 the American ready-wear industry was primarily German Jewish owned. Jobbing, wholesaling, innovation, merchandizing, and national advertising were invented by menswear firms before the women's industry. By offering fine tailoring and quality fabrics for all price points, the menswear firms co-opted custom tailoring and accustomed Americans to high quality ready-made clothing. German Jews were also prominent in the expansion of the women's industry beginning in the 1860s with the manufacturing of hoop skirts, corsets, and mantles/capes. Firms multiplied in making shirtwaists and cloaks and suits for department stores and mail order houses. They easily replaced department store in-house manufacturing. The relationships of women's wear manufacturers with Berlin in the 1890s also raises questions about Berlin's significance before Paris as a source of fashion models for American wholesalers and Germany's own apparel history.
Colin Divall
"You see, my husband's so partial to a mantel-shelf": The Railways' Gendered Construction of Britain's Passenger Trains, 1920-1939
Historians have given little attention to the gendered nature of public transport in early twentieth-century Britain. Throughout the interwar period the railway train remained an important means of getting around. As part of their efforts to maintain passenger numbers in the face of road competition, male railway managers tried to get both sexes to travel by train by emphasizing qualities such as safety, security, and comfort. There was a gendered dimension to this marketing. Men were usually understood as the primary consumers of train travel, and male-dominated norms were taken to form the framework within women's use of the train was thought to be determined. Moreover, mobile masculinity was civilized, not denied, by representing the train's interior as a semi-private zone akin to the feminine space of the home, available, if not always on the same terms, to both sexes. In this way the train was understood as an acceptably feminized response to the supposedly masculine pursuit of motorized "freedom." Such managerial attitudes were widely mirrored by the railways' male workforce, although workers were more likely publicly to acknowledge the ways, many of them gendered, in which the realities of moving by train fell short of the official image.
Hanlie dos Santos
Fashion and Family Entrepreneurs: The Case of Jaff and Company on the Witwatersrand, 1930-1980
The prosperity of the Witwatersrand, after gold was discovered, attracted immigrants from all over the world. Amongst the immigrants were many Jews, and some came with experience in tailoring and either started to work in workshops or became entrepreneurs. However, with the prosperous economic situation on the Rand there were some who, without any background knowledge, took the initiative and made clothing their profession. The popular phrase that was used to describe the opportunistic atmosphere present during the period was that "all that was needed was a couple of sewing machines."
Anton Ehlers
South African Trust Companies and Boards of Executors and the Bank Act, 1942: From Self-Regulating "Financial Aristocrats" to Statutorily Controlled Deposit-Receiving Institutions
The focus of this article is on describing and explaining the nature and extent of the resistance of South African trust companies and boards of executors to the imposition of the statutory monetary controls of the Bank Act of 1942, and the dynamics generated during the administrative implementation of the stipulations of the Act. For comparative purposes, brief reference will also be made to examples of the development of trust companies in the broader English colonial world. A brief overview of the longer-term development of trust companies under the impact of statutory control in the South African financial services sector will conclude the article. As the aristocracy of financial institutions in South Africa, trust companies prided themselves on a reputation of service based on years of experience, integrity, trustworthiness, and continuity, which they built up over the years in the absence of a statutory supervisor and with only limited capital. The self-image and pride of these institutions was deeply rooted in this historically acquired reputation. They experienced the Bank Act and its application by the Registrar of Banks as a questioning, a doubting, of their reputation that insulted their honor and wounded their self-confidence; this explained their severe reaction.
Damayanthie Eluwawalage
The Function and Mission of Advertising in the Nineteenth Century
Magazine and newspaper advertisements developed into inevitable paraphernalia of the ever-mutating nineteenth century. Of all the classes of media available, the press is regarded as the most potent means of persuasion. The Victorian advertisement exposes materialistic fantasies. It tells of goods that excited the imagination and of mundane realities of everyday life. From about the 1880s, the power of advertising replaced the home produced, locally made production with brand-named, nationally distributed goods. The advertisement became both mirror and instrument of the social ideal. The advertisements would suggest fringes to improve the coiffure, corsets to mould the female figure, baby food that closely resembled human milk in composition, soap that matched the hands and complexion. The gender aspect of the advertisements was significant. The nineteenth-century advertisements, indeed commercial interpretations of the domestic ideology and the commercially idealized feminine appearance, were directed toward women rather than men. The regular advertisements such as fashion advertisements, including elegant apparel, coiffured hair, adorned hair, fine fabrics, variety of packaged/convenience food, and remedial medicines primarily attracted and facilitated female consumers, and revealed the female targeted and subjected cultural/consuming pattern in the nineteenth century.
Alexander Engel
Coloring Markets: The Industrial Transformation of the Dyestuff Business Revisited
The choice of dyestuffs is an important aspect in the production of fashionable textiles. In the nineteenth century, that choice was dramatically widened whenever new industrially produced coal tar dyes accompanied the handful of traditional natural dyes. According to common wisdom, the natural dyes lost out quickly, and the decisive factor was a cost advantage due to the "scientification" of production. This paper uses British and German price and trade data to revise these suppositions, and to put the rise of the artificial dyes in the context of the long-term development of the European dye markets in the industrialization of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It shows that traditional markets were divided into a commercially relevant segment of premium dyes and a low-cost segment of bulk dyes for mass consumption. The rise of artificial dyes came later and was more long-drawn than commonly assumed. Initially they competed in the premium segment, and entered the mass market not before the 1880s, but without achieving significant cost advantages over the bulk natural dyes. Their success, it seems, was more due to their producers' ability to out-maneuver traditional producers and merchants in the newly created action framework of industrial markets.
Giovanni Favero
After Foreign Fashions: Ceramics Import Substitution and Privileged Manufactuers in the Venetian Republic, 17th-18th Centuries
This contribution aims to trace the changes which took place in the manufacturing of ceramics in the Venetian area from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century, highlighting the mechanisms that enabled local production to adapt to European market trends. In the latter part of the sdeventeenth century, the urban guilds of boccaleri became simple importers of valuable foreign products, while private manufacturers producing fine majolica in small and medium-sized towns on the mainland were granted privileges and exemptions. However, the rapid evolution of the market and the products themselves during the eighteenth century challenged the trade policy of the Republic, which favored these local enterprises in order to hamper the import of foreign wares. Local manufacturers responded to the changing tastes of an increasing domestic demand imitating foreign majolica styles, and later china and crockery. What investments were needed to promote an industry where labor skills were the decisive factor? What was behind the change in taste and demand for ceramics in the turbulent century of the Enlightenment? Which were the logics of the Republic's industrial policy? These are some of the problems which this study will try to solve following the ups and downs of this industry during three centuries.
Giovanni Favero
Business Attitudes toward Official Statistical Investigation: An Italian Wool Industrialist from Reticence to Influence, 1861-1895
This paper examines the shifting attitudes of wool industrialists toward official statistical investigation in Italy during the last three decades of the nineteenth century, focusing on the relationship established between Luigi Bodio and Alessandro Rossi. In unified Italy there was an evident shift from widespread laissez-faire views in the 1860s to prevailing protectionist positions in the 1880s. In this context, the statistical representations of the conditions of national industries could be a powerful argument to push political authorities to take the desired measures. The correspondence between Alessandro Rossi (the main wool industrialist in nineteenth-century Italy) and Luigi Bodio (the director of Italian official statistics from 1872 to 1898) clearly shows a change in the relationship between the statistician and the industrialist. Starting from his virtual role of privileged source for industrial statistics, Rossi became in the 1890s sort of an unofficial expert and consultant for the editing of the first statistical survey of the wool industry in Italy (Dirstat, 1895). A detailed cross-comparison of the published text with Rossi's comments on proofs allows then a philological assessment of the reliability of available official data on the Italian wool industry at the very moment it was exiting the first 1890s recession.
Paloma Fernández Pérez and Nuria Puig
Entrepreneurial Dynasties and the Competitive Advantage of Regions: The Case of Catalonia in a Long-Run Perspective
Large family firms are, very often, entrepreneurial dynasties regionally embedded. In our paper we present advanced results of research in progress about large family firms in Catalonia. We place the Catalan dynasties in a theoretical framework that takes into account the social capital of the region as a factor that helped to build the networks through which information, goods, and persons flowed over time. With a long-run approach, the paper adds evidence about the role of dynastic networks in the endowment of entrepreneurship in this territory since the last third of the nineteenth century. The paper also advances a historically grounded typology of dynastic family firms in Spain, aimed to add knowledge to available typologies of family firms, most of them authored by consultants and management scholars.
Jill Fields
The Business of Fashion on Film
The film business and the fashion business have long held a critical relationship. Whether featuring lavish period costumes or glamorous contemporary styles, screen images have promoted and launched fashion trends. Some Hollywood movies make the connection between the film and fashion industries even more apparent. Set within the fashion industry, these films are akin to "backstage musicals." The appeal and foibles of the "fashion-industrial complex" propel the plot, and costumes assume heightened importance. Since the silent era, audiences have viewed sweatshops, department stores, fashion magazines, and couture salons as conflicted arenas of commerce filled with pleasures and dangers. Three films, "Lady in the Dark" (1944), "Funny Face" (1957), and "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006), feature fashion magazine editors who are difficult, demanding, and very successful. The first two especially evoke the backstage musical, as they are musicals themselves, whereas the last two incorporate the Cinderella theme central to many films about fashion. In addition, all three resemble the newspaper film genre, and, of course, the woman's film or chick flick. Though comparison does not yield a narrative of progress for female editors, each film addresses the complexities of gender, fashion, and sexuality for these iconic female professionals.
Lourdes Font
International Couture: Expansion and Promotion in the Early Twentieth Century
This paper is a survey of haute couture businesses—concentrating on Paquin, Drecoll, Redfern, Boué Soeurs, and Lucile—that expanded across international borders during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The story of Drecoll, which became successful in Vienna during the 1880s and opened in Paris in 1902, suggests why couturiers were drawn to Paris. In addition to several practical advantages, only by becoming Paris couturiers themselves could they escape the tyranny of the "Paris model." By 1910, twenty years before Mainbocher, two Americans had opened businesses as ladies' tailors or couturiers in Paris. Paquin is said to be the first Paris house to establish a foreign branch, in London in 1897. However, considering that the Paris branch of Redfern became its design headquarters, that distinction may belong to Redfern, which opened in New York by 1884 and over the next decade had eleven branches in France, Britain, and the United States. The American branches imported materials, model garments, and workers, and encountered problems with labor laws and high tariffs on imports, issues which also affected Boué Soeurs and Lucile. The reaction to Paquin's 1914 fashion show tour of five American cities further demonstrates the obstacles to the transatlantic expansion of the Paris couture, which nonetheless looked to its foreign markets during World War I. By the end of the 1920s, most Paris couturiers had branches in French resort towns, but the heroic days of international haute couture were over. Had the handful of houses who were the pioneers succeeded in the long term, the history of twentieth-century fashion would probably have been very different.
Neil Forbes
Capitalism and the Fascist Challenge: British and American Multinational Enterprise in the 1930s
Those who study the democracies in the interwar years continue to question why, among business elites, issues related to ethical standards in carrying out corporate strategy seemed to have been poorly defined, left undetermined, or even ignored completely. In part, an answer would seem to lie in moral confusion caused by the profound shock of the Depression and the fear that capitalism was in danger of collapsing. In these circumstances, it is not surprising if corporate culture reflected the values of contemporary society: the business of international politics was left to politicians to deal with, while businessmen concentrated on trying to ensure the survival of enterprise. But, in so doing, there was a tendency for enterprise to neglect the very values that defined democracy. Herein, perhaps, lay a moral hazard of the age. This is not to say, however, that all individuals involved suffered from an outlook that was purely self-interested and politically naïve. The evidence that emerges from the contacts between leading executives of British and American multinational enterprises suggests that they were deeply worried over the threat war posed to Western civilization. But they regarded themselves, first and foremost, as passive bystanders at political events taking place on the international stage over which they had little or no control.
Patrick Fridenson
Internalizing Finance in Industry: The Case of Simca, 1956-1962
The development of international banks by carmakers is a little-known phenomenon in historical research. It raises important questions on the connections and interactions between industry and services, and on the alternatives between markets and hierarchies when firms need and generate large flows of capital. Simca was the French subsidiary of the Italian group Fiat. It was allowed by the French government to take over a French bank. The Compagnie financière de Paris worked for both Simca and Fiat in Latin America, China, and Portugal. It also broadened its scope to a few other customers and activities. It achieved a learning process in order to assess the performance of subsidiaries abroad and to face the various high risks of internationalization. Led by a woman, it was an innovative organization, the activities of which confirm recent theories on firms as collective efforts to create new potentials. But when the American company Chrysler bought Fiat's subsidiary, its role was soon over.
Michael Funke
Swedish Business Associations and the Self-Regulation of Advertising, 1950-1971
This paper uses qualitative methods to study the role of the Swedish business community in the development of self-regulation of advertising during 1950-1971. It does so by examining the strategies of three business associations involved in self-regulation and their relations to the main self-regulative bodies. The associations are the Swedish Marketing Association, the Association of Swedish Advertisers, and the Advertising Association of Sweden. Until 1971, advertising in Sweden was largely regulated not by law, but by self-regulation. Three perspectives on self-regulation among members and the leadership of the associations and the self-regulative bodies are identified. Reformers wanted more efficient and fair self-regulation and increased participation by both producers and consumers. This meant creating a pro-active component and greater transparency. Market Liberals wanted weak sanctions and a minimum of coercion, and saw producer issues as more important than those of the consumer. They favored negotiations and secrecy, avoiding public attention as it risked generating bad will. Both groups defended the independence of self-regulation. Power Players wanted to let in trade unions and women's organizations as consumer representatives into the NOp, embedding self-regulation inside corporatism. This was to avoid self-regulation being replaced by legislation. All associations perceived a risk that the ruling Social Democracy would resort to this measure. This fear was enhanced by public criticism of advertising. The Market Association was a think tank without a bargaining function on the market, and was dominated by Market Liberals. The Association of Advertisers was a powerful bargaining group on the market, and was dominated by Power Players. The Advertising Association also bargained on the market, but was weaker and its members more singled out in criticism of advertising. It was dominated by Reformers. The inability of the associations to agree upon a strategy on self-regulation weakened the system. This contributed to its subordination to legislation in 1971.
Shennette Garrett-Scott
A Historiography of African American Business
While scholars are certainly aware that African American businesses existed, few are aware of the established and growing body of scholarship focused on this important field of business history. Since the late 1890s, scholars have interrogated the complex intersections of race and business. African American business historiography has taken a circuitous route; this essay attempts to periodize that historiography. It identifies five major periods and the major themes and points of contention within and between each period: Black Self-Determination, 1890s-1915; Golden Age of the Black Economic Nationalism, 1915-1935; Progressive Critique of Black Business, 1935-1960s; Black Political Economy, 1970-1980s; and Revisionist Period, 1990s to Present. The essay considers why African American business has been slower to materialize in relation to other areas of scholarship outside the field of business history—and within it. Finally, it offers conjectures about the future of the historiography of African American business.
Karl Gerth Appearing Patriotic: The Application of Nationality to Chinese Men's Fashions
How and why did "Chinese product" begin to become a meaningful term applied to men's clothing in early twentieth-century China? This paper examines the creation of links between consumption and anti-imperialism in the battles to ascribe meanings to Chinese appearance surrounding the collapse of the Manchu Qing empire (1644-1912). The first half of the paper examines how highly politicized interpretations of dress and hair put appearance at the center of both Qing empire-building and anti-imperial rebellions throughout the entire history of the dynasty. The second half of the paper uses Chinese archival sources of silk trade organizations to demonstrate how silk producers immediately began to fight the emerging orthodoxy by linking the future of their industry, and therefore, silk clothing, to the fight against new imperial powers, Japanese and Occidental. By examining how these links were made in one industry, this paper establishes a framework for understanding a much broader social and economic movement in which Chinese economic interests sought to use the rhetoric of anti-imperialism to compete against foreign companies in Chinese markets.
Ingrid Giertz-Mårtenson
H&M—Documenting the Story of the World's Largest Fashion Retailer
This paper will be based on a project recently started in Sweden. The Centre for Business History, an independent Swedish organization, working in the area of corporate and industrial history in all forms, was recently commissioned by the fashion retail chain H&M to document the history of the company. It began with the opening of a small shop in a country town in Sweden in 1947. Today, H&M is the world's largest fashion retail chain with some 1,750 stores worldwide. The paper will discuss the methods used in this kind of documentation. Apart from saving and collecting business documents, photos, ads, etc, finding examples of design from the past sixty years seems crucial. Here, fashion's interest in constant and rapid change becomes an issue. When the page is turned for a new season, nothing seems to be as "out" as what was "in" just a few months before. Oral history interviews with former and present employees will therefore be a major part in projects like this, raising questions important to scholars doing contemporary business history. What perspectives should be considered in posing questions? Who should be chosen as subjects? And, as it is impossible to document all kinds of knowledge, where should the emphasis be?
Shiela Gies
In Europe and Abroad: Fashion Diffusion Theories in Differing Cultural Contexts
This work explores fashion theories in a contemporary context out of Europe, where the phenomenon of fashion styles diffusion has developed differing facets. The aim is to show how particular cultural issues are imbued and expressed in current fashion designs in Brazil, and how this is related to traditional fashion spread theories. The methodological approach is material culture for quantitative primary data collection, through the method developed by Jules Prown, interview technique for qualitative primary data collection and secondary research by means of literature review. The research is a deep insight into the work of Italian descendant, Brazilian fashion designer Karlla Girotto, whose creations have had an impact in the emerging Brazilian fashion market and abroad. Girotto's design development process is loaded with her life style and values, which highly affect the design appearance as a product. The findings show that class-related European fashion diffusion theories cannot be wholly applied to the flow of fashion in a globalized world, for different cultures express differing values through fashion. As this research is based on a single case, it necessarily implies a limited view. However, the findings are considered an important contribution to the knowledge of fashion as a cultural phenomenon, in both academic and business areas.
Sybil Goldfiner
Comme-il-Faut: A Gold Standard for an Ethical Agenda
This paper is profiling one fashion house "with a difference." Comme-il-faut is a label that has built its reputation over twenty years, working for women by women. It is today considered one of the more stylish high end fashion houses in Israel, on the forefront of innovations in its collections, publicity, marketing concept, and public profile. Unlike many fashion retailers whose commitment to an ethical agenda extends only to isolated aspects of their operation, Comme il Faut's philosophy—a garment is not merely a garment—is emblematic of the functioning of the company on all levels. It is evident in the collegial spirit of its managing and creative team, and in its social agenda of supporting young artists and awareness campaigns empowering vulnerable sectors. Significantly, it is reflected in a feminist agenda that advances alternative conceptions of beauty. Its comfortable stylish designs, real life models, and feminist catalogues transformed the fashion discourse from catering to a fantasy ideal of impossibly thin female beauty to celebrating the self-aware woman who feels good in her own body.
Cynthia Golembuski
Illustration in Fashion Publications and Retail Store Advertising in America: The Artist Behind the Look and the Resurrection of the Fashion Illustrator
Fashion illustration has had an extensive, yet tenuous, relationship with publications and clothing stores' commercial advertising throughout its history. In this essay, I explore the role of illustration in promoting retail stores and the evolution of artists who have combined simple media and modern technology to create unique advertising campaigns. I examine the styles and significance of illustrators J. C. Leyendecker, Andy Warhol, Antonio Lopez, Kenneth Block, Steven Stipelman, Mats Gustafson, and Jean-Philippe Delhomme. In 2008, artist-illustrator Ruben Toledo and photographer Ruven Afanador's three-dimensional vision for retailer Nordstrom's advertising campaign took fashion illustration to a new level. Illustrators Jason Brooks, Lisa Henderling, and Lisa Evans use digital technology to conjure visually stimulating campaigns for publications and retail store advertising. Ultimately, the epitome of fashion illustration in retailers' advertising can be realized when artists, no longer just illustrators, experiment with media, collaborate, and transform their styles into a commodity that transcends the status quo.
Guillermo Guajardo
Human Capital in Hostile Environments: The Process of Slow Creation and Quick Loss of Talented Individuals in the Industrial Labor Markets of Mexico and Chile, 1850-1930—The Case of the Railways
This paper analyzes the human capital training strategies adopted between the 1850s and 1930s by railroad companies in Mexico and Chile. These two countries enable one to contrast the different routes taken by the same type of firm, technology, and labor force. A propos of this, we suggest that because of its complexity, capital intensity, and new work methods, railway technology had a positive impact on human capital training in the cases studied. During the period covered by this study, when railways were the main form of land transport, they combined the labor force with foreign workers and modern technology, and it was not until well into the twentieth century that a formal system of technical schools was established. Instead, informal and formal learning cycles and routes tended to be followed. That is why this paper considers three aspects: 1) the institutional and social factors that helped or hindered industrial operations, maintenance, and production training; 2) the way learning, training, and talent retention cycles were shaped and talent migrated toward other activities or was dispersed or lost; and last, 3) how training was institutionalized through what were known as "firm schools" responsible for training human capital as an internalization response to coping with shortages in the labor market.
Leslie Hannah
The Global Supply of Lighting in 1900
The most important "modern" source of artificial light in 1900 was the kerosene lamp, most widely used in the United States. Paris and London—the best lit cities—favored gas, recently greatly stimulated by the efficiency of the Welsbach incandescent mantle. Electricity was comparatively unimportant for domestic lighting everywhere, but it was most used in cities where incompetent gas utility regulators made electrical development profitable.
Tomoko Hashino and Takafumi Kurosawa
Competition and Cooperation for the Fashion Market: The Development of a Textile District in Japan Supported by the Functions of a Trade Association
This paper analyzes the important roles that trade associations played in the development process of Kiryu, a leading silk textile district in modern Japan. The abolition of the pre-modern guilds by the Meiji Government made industrial districts lose their autonomous dynamics. As a result, quality and free-rider problems rose in most industrial districts. Under such conditions, some districts voluntarily tried to organize regional associations like the former guilds. Their initial activities focused on quality inspections and quality improvement by inviting government officials to give lectures and establishing technical schools. The free-rider problem was gradually resolved by enforcing laws enacted by the central and local governments. The textile districts in modern Japan were no longer "industrial districts" in the Marshallian sense but based on much more organized and regulated relationships. Interestingly, their function changed as they faced different market conditions. When competition was fierce in the 1920s-1930s, trade associations played the role of marketing or sales promotion for their members. In this paper, to clarify some important functions of trade association in industrializing Japan, we find that similar features in the textile districts between Japan and Europe went beyond the cultural differences.
Lisa Hayes
Changing Business Practices in Fashion: Liz Claiborne, An American Innovator: A New Era of American Design
In 1976, Liz Claiborne created a design-driven sportswear company that would revolutionize the American fashion industry. In this essay, I focus on the period from 1976 to 1993, prior to Liz Claiborne's retirement from the company, including my experiences as head designer for the Liz Claiborne dress division from 1988 until 1995. Claiborne's visionary concept, offering affordable mix-and-match separates with the same fit, comfort, and quality standards as designer-level products, filled a void in the fashion marketplace. She sensed a missed opportunity to dress women who did not have to wear suits to work. Her timing was impeccable, entering the market at a time of tremendous growth in the female workforce. Claiborne's first collections of bright, comfortable, versatile, and affordable styles were well received by customers. With her unique approach to design, production, pricing, management, and marketing, the Liz Claiborne brand was born.
David M. Higgins
Who's Kidding Who? British Business and Merchandise Marks during the Interwar Years
This paper examines the response of British business to the changing international regime governing merchandise marks during the interwar period. Specifically, the focus is on the campaign to require the compulsory marking of origin on all imported products (manufactures and agricultural produce). One of the key questions the paper addresses is whether this campaign was motivated by protectionism or whether—as many of the advocates claimed—it was motivated by the wish to secure "fair and honest trade." The paper demonstrates that this latter motivation can be traced back to the later nineteenth century, when British agriculture and manufacturing were first exposed to rapidly growing competition in the domestic and export markets. Nonetheless, it was only after the First World War that the British government made legal provision for "unfair competition." A key argument of the paper is that if origin marking was motivated by protection, it was of a very different form to that which was understood by contemporaries involving tariffs and quotas.
Emma Hogg and Elisabeth Field
The Ethics of Promoting Skinny Fashion Models
There have been numerous debates on the effects, on consumers, of the use of "skinny" (a U.K. size 4, U.S. size zero) models by the fashion industry to promote female clothing. Common media and political views argue that the fashion industry contributes greatly to the high level of female body dissatisfaction among Western women. So why is the slim body continuously used by the fashion industry? This presentation looks at whether it is the pull of the public or the push of the fashion industry, causing a need or a want for the use of the "skinny" model. Are models slim because it is what consumers want to see and do they want to aspire to the unachievable figure? Or is it the fashion industry pushing these slim body images into the public eye, setting "ideal" standards, as they believe necessary for their collections to be best presented? Are women judging themselves through the fashion industry's eyes and standards?
Kajsa Holmberg and Maria Stanfors
Setting a Trend: Feminization of the Commercial Bank Sector in Sweden, 1864-1975
When Stockholms Enskilda Bank hired two women in 1864, it was presumably the first bank in the world to do so. The fashion of hiring women gradually spread, and bank telling became female-dominated. We describe and analyze this process, identifying three periods in the feminization of the Swedish commercial bank sector. Economic, institutional, technological, and cultural factors were all instrumental in feminization; their relative importance varied over time. During our study period, banking went through radical changes, bringing it closer to "women's work"; thus, feminization proceeded without radical changes in social norms or views on female labor. The commercial bank sector's loss of status as a male workplace began in the early twentieth century, preceding feminization, rather than following it, and creating an opening for women. Employers' economic incentives were also important in the feminization process; women made their strongest advances during times when employers had strong incentives to cut costs.
Martin Horn
American Business and France, 1940-1941
When in June 1940 France collapsed under the weight of the German invasion, the shock was palpable. For American businesses that operated in France—companies such as Ford, J.P. Morgan, IBM, General Motors, Standard Oil, and many others—the new reality posed difficult choices. What should their response be? The paper examines the choices made by American companies in 1940-1941, the period when the United States was not at war with Germany and when relations with Vichy France were cordial. It poses two questions: Why did some American companies opt to shutter their French operations and others continue on? Second, what do the decisions made by American multinationals in France in 1940-1941 tell us about the view that the American multinational fragmented in Europe during the Second World War? The paper argues that while there were various reasons underlying the disparate choices made by American companies in response to the French defeat, the extent to which dissolution of American multinationals occurred has been overstated.
Marion M. A. Huibrechts
Liége-Made Sport and Hunting Guns and Their Decoration, 17th-18th Centuries
My paper examines the correlation between high-quality, hand-made manufacturing of sporting and hunting guns during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the important evolution in ornamental design of the final product. The technical development of arms has been studied by some authors, while the research on types of decoration is very limited. Some introductory remarks on the Liège arms manufacturing industry are necessary for the understanding of the surrounding economic circumstances. Questions on who the suppliers and the buyers were and the way this type of gun was ordered will be answered. Printed source material on the subject is scarce. I will therefore concentrate on artifact sources such as pattern books and illustrations of the guns and pistols throughout the examined period. I have retained one important conclusion from the research for this paper. The making of sporting and hunting guns is an art form. The organizational structure of the industry and the distribution of sporting and hunting guns is a business.
Sabine Ichikawa
Licensing, Branding, and Cooperation in the Japanese and Chinese Fashion Industry
While a worldwide fashion economy is developing and a multi-centered fashion creation has emerged, we have chosen to study one of the most dynamic non-western fashion centers, Japan and China. China'fs fashion business went through an astounding transformation from an apparel and clothing producerh, a fashion consumer market and a fashion brand producer. This transformation took place only over a thirty-year period, regulated by various reforms as well as under external influences and transfers. Hong Kong and Japan, with their geographic and cultural proximity, have played a specific role. In that perspective, we chose to present and compare three turning points of the Japanese and Chinese fashion industries (including Hong Kong). One common characteristic of the two fashion systems is the use of licensing agreements signed with the West, one of the leading transfer techniques which contributed to a large extent to the development of apparel companies' brand management expertise. The second point is the decision process that led three major capitals (Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai) to take measures to grasp international recognition. The last point is the emergence of regional cooperation, which is not only technology and business oriented, but has become a means of enhancing an Asian identity.
Lisa Jacobson
Domesticating Drink: Refashioning Beer and Social Drinking in 1940s and 1950s America
This paper examines how new fashions in alcohol consumption were created, contested, and legitimized in the 1940s and 1950s. It focuses on the U.S. beer industry, which had seen significant consumption gains during World War II but still struggled to broaden beer's appeal to middle-class consumers. Less than half of beer drinkers considered it "suitable" for home entertaining. To broaden beer markets, the brewers' trade association funded a twelve-year magazine advertising campaign that promoted beer as a beverage of moderation and linked beer to fantasies nurtured by the deprivations of war and the dislocations of postwar suburbanization: fantasies of consumer abundance, a glamorized and sexualized domesticity, and neighborliness. By appealing to such aspirations, brewers further weakened beer's association with the raucous masculinity of the saloon and repositioned beer as a revitalizing adjunct to marital happiness and home-centered recreation. Players outside the fashion system—the dry activists who pressed for a nationwide ban on alcohol advertising and the alcoholism experts who weighed in as arbiters of problem drinking—both eased and complicated brewers' quest for larger markets. By examining the tensions and synergies between alcohol producers, tastemakers, and alcoholism experts, my paper illustrates how commerce, culture, and politics interacted to legitimize new drinking fashions.
Christof Jeggle
The Manufacture of Linen in Early Modern Westphalia: Fashions of Products, Fashions of Organizing Production
In the northern part of Westphalia, one of the main regions for producing linen, Osnabrück and Münster were important places for trading linen, which was produced in the countryside. After being inspected and branded at the so-called Legge, these linens were sold as bulk ware on the European markets for linen. Osnabrück remained the central place for this sort of linen, while the linen trades in Münster developed toward better qualities of urban origin during the seventeenth century. At the same time much smaller places like Warendorf and Borghorst started to host more professional weavers than Münster. The quality standards of Warendorf were copied by producers around Bielefeld, a new central place for trading high quality linen during the eighteenth century. A synthetic depiction of the early modern production of linen in Westphalia is still missing, but some general lines can be drawn. Following the fashions caused by changing consumer preferences for different sorts of linens produced in various places, the paper will show the protagonists and their practices of governance of the production markets. In this context implementing the Legge in some places seems to follow fashions of governance of production markets for linen.
Kristoffer Jensen
Business Fashion and Change of Business Fashion in the Danish Fashion Industry
As in other highly industrialized countries, employment within the Danish clothing industry has been massively reduced since the mid-1960s. This paper focuses on two of the larger businesses within the industry: Tage Vanggaard's dressmaking factory and the slacks manufacturer Brandtex, which in each of their times had success despite this general trend. The paper analyzes the development of the two firms, having as its point of departure an evaluation of their strategies and the difficulties they encountered when the need arose for strategic change. The theoretical inspiration for the treatment of strategy and barriers to change comes particularly from Per H. Hansen and Michael E. Porter, while the special conditions pertaining to family business are treated mainly on the basis of the work of Andrea Colli and Mary B. Rose. The paper concludes that both companies got caught in what we might call a strategic paradox: Their success was the result of a willingness to maintain the same strategy for about twenty years, but the problems they encountered following these years (an inability to see the world differently) were the result of the same willingness. It is argued that a key to the understanding of the lock-in that happened should be found in the narratives that evolved inside and around the companies.
Geoffrey Jones
Going Green: The Growth of Natural Beauty
This paper examines the history of environmentally friendly or green cosmetics since the 1940s. Today the size of the global "purely natural and organic beauty products" market is estimated $6.9 billion. When the sector began, it was the preserve of fringe entrepreneurs such as Emil Bonner and Yves Rocher, who were far ahead of any perceived consumer demand. The market was minimal until the 1970s, when wider environmental concerns and concerns about the health risks of some products began to translate into a potential market for green cosmetics, and several more business-savvy entrepreneurs entered the business, including Horst Rechelbacher and Anita Roddick. The paper explores how these entrepreneurs widened the concept of "greenness," and also shows why large mainstream beauty companies were slow to understand the potential market. During recent years new entrepreneurial firms, such as Korres from Greece, and the entry of the major beauty companies such as Estée Lauder and L'Oréal, have transformed natural beauty into one of the fastest growing segments of the industry, despite continued uncertainty about what green really means. Overall, the paper provides a case study of how a niche, even weird, idea can become a mainstream industry trend.
Michelle Jones
The Evolution of London as a Fashion Center: Case Study of the Early Career of Victor Stiebel
My paper will explore the emergence, in the 1930s, of London as a recognizable fashion center, through a case study of the business practices of the designer Victor Stiebel. This formative decade for English high fashion was the period when the city's designers established their identity and authority. It is therefore important to rethink the business landscape that the British capital presented for design entrepreneurs. In so doing this paper will offer an exploration of the variety of influences that allowed London, its designers, and consumers to initiate a nationally based couture industry. Stiebel, a South African, created a business deeply rooted within the context of London and was instrumental in the production of a new set of meanings through which English high fashion was seen and identified. This paper will study the variety of strategies that gave meaning to his work, and the different cultural, social, and commercial fields that were manipulated to give Stiebel's business, its products, and London itself their requisite cultural capital and fashion caché
Juha Kansikas, Tuomas Kuhmonen, and Anne Laakkonen
Preparing for Family Business Succession: Evolutionary Selection and Variation in American and Finnish Family Firms
This qualitative study attempts to understand what kinds of resources for change family businesses have when preparing for a family business succession. Evolutionary economics was adapted for this study in order to explain evolutionary change in family business succession. The aim of the interpretative analysis conducted in this study is to increase understanding on how family businesses are prepared for changes in case of a managerial and ownership succession. The results indicate that both selection and variation occur in family business succession.
Alper Kayhan
Fashions in Doing the Business of Fashion: Insights from Family Firms in Turkish Textile and Clothing Industries
The paper explores the different paradigms in doing business in Turkey, and has its focus on the family firms operating in the textile and clothing industries in that country. It aims to serve scholarship by drawing attention to the gap in the literature on family businesses in Turkey and by proposing a new ontological approach to the study of family businesses, with its call for and practice of analyzing the family and kinship systems prevalent in the society under focus, instead of employing an essentialist, one-size-fits-all definition of the family and of the family business. The research question has been formulated as follows: "What are the characteristics and attributes of Turkish family businesses in the textile and clothing industries, and what relationships, roles, and contributions do family and kinship relations play in the organization and functioning of these businesses?" The study is an inquiry into the family businesses in Turkey and investigates the possible link(s) between the recent socio-economic changes that the country has been going through with its rapid urbanization process, and the family businesses that operate therein, with a particular focus on the family and kinship system.
Mary A. Kizima and Sergey A. Kizima
The Development of Business Styles in Post-Soviet Russia and Belarus
In this essay, we analyze trends, habits, foreign influences, and rules that governed the development of business styles in post-Soviet Russia and Belarus. Different rates of privatization, attitudes toward a market economy, social stereotypes, and the role of moral values created very diverse markets from the economies that evolved from the time of the Soviet Union. We pay special attention to "blat," the many-sided phenomenon that serves numerous social and market functions.
Christopher Kobrak
Business History and Economic Value Creation: A Discussion of the Problems and Opportunities
Business history, business, and management studies have a curious relationship. They often flirt with one another and even date on occasion, but establishing a long-term relationship (living together or marriage) has eluded them, thwarted somehow by what sometimes seems like irreconcilable differences. Although business practitioners and teachers generally pay lip service to the value of history in creating perspective and enlarging the imaginations of managers and students, business history plays only a minor role in company efforts to create a healthy corporate culture and in the curricula of most business schools—Italy being notable exception. While business historians search for relevance and have begun to employ—for good or ill—more business theory in their work, many, however, do not address the real interests and orientations of their subjects. One glaring absence in our knowledge of what drives business, for example, is reflected in our use of financial data. Businesses are generally run to make profits—or, as expressed in financial literature, to increase the wealth of shareholders—but few business histories discuss economic value creation. This paper will survey recent business history literature to determine the degree to which papers and books integrate financial data about their subjects into their narratives as well as the quality of that data. It will then examine ideally what financial criteria should be used to evaluate performance. Lastly, it will suggest some ways standard financial analysis can be adapted in light of our limits on acquiring sufficient data.
Ingo Köhler
Car Design under a Marketing Paradigm: The German Automobile Industry and the Challenges of the Energy Price Crisis in the 1970s
The German car industry was badly shaken by the global energy crisis of 1973-1974. But the downturn triggered by the oil shortages did not appear as a sudden break; rather, it was embedded in a longer-term shift from a seller's to a buyer's market, a transition already foreshadowed in the 1960s by changing consumer preferences. The paper will get involved in "fashion" in two ways: First, it focuses on how the changes in consumer behavior forced new product and design concepts in the 1960s and 1970s. Second, it discusses the problems of the German car industry in bringing its business practices into line with new market conditions. The paper outlines the thesis that marketing management as a "fashionable" consumer-driven business practice became a significant prerequisite for dealing with the challenges. In a situation of businessmen's uncertainty concerning the changes of their business and socio-political environment, marketing management provided badly needed decision guidance. The paper explores the basic tools of marketing management: the strengthening of market research, consumer-driven product planning, and the transformation of organizational structures.
Elisabeth Köll
From Colonial Enterprise to Socialist Work Unit:Railroad Companies and the Transformation of Chinese Society and Economy
This paper discusses to what extent the growth of Chinese railroad companies as business institutions and infrastructure projects reflects China's economic and political development throughout the twentieth century. The analysis of railroad companies offers insights into various aspects of Chinese business history, in particular the emergence of the corporate firm. My analysis shows how railroad companies developed as hybrid business institutions throughout the Republican period by adopting "modern" forms of industrial, labor, and financial management; at the same time they became institutional entities assuming responsibilities in the realm of education, public, and social services which the then politically fragmented state was unable to carry out. After 1927 the state, in particular the Nationalist party, tried to reassert its role in China's infrastructure system by creating a centralized railroad bureaucracy in control of an integrated line network. After the 1949 revolution the large, almost self-sufficient compounds of former railroad companies were easily transformed into socialist work units and integrated into the nation-building effort of the PRC government. The ongoing expansion of the railroad network reflects the military, economic, and political agenda of the socialist nation-state and finally succeeded in providing mass transportation for the Chinese people.
Morten Lind Larsen
The Confederation of Danish Industry and the Shaping of the Welfare State, 1945-1961
This paper is part of a dissertation project that will investigate the relationship between the Confederation of Danish Industry and the Danish welfare state in the years following the Second World War. It will use this case to add to our understanding of the different fashions in the interplay between trade organizations and the state, and the project is set to finish in October 2011. In this paper I will present the overall framework of the project and a small part of the analysis in the form of the case of Danish socialization trends, 1944-1945.
Jillian Taylor Lerner
Nineteenth-Century Fashion Illustration: A Genealogical Approach to the Marketing of Lifestyle
The creation of new concepts of "lifestyle" marked a pivotal moment in the emergence of modern marketing and consumerism. I trace the origins of these related phenomena in nineteenth-century Paris, focusing on the key role of artists as both agents in the business of fashion and pioneers of new trends and techniques in marketing. This paper touches on three seminal moments in an archaeology of modern lifestyle, all of which transpired around 1830. The first case study is a new type of fashion illustration that announces the origins of a consumerist notion of lifestyle. The second node of analysis is the articulation of an alternative lifestyle in the artistic subculture that was formed around Victor Hugo. Finally, I conclude by discussing a genre of artistic city-guides that manifest an early example of the demographic profiling of lifestyles; these guides' attempts at social typification are equal parts aesthetic, sociological and commercial, but they can be seen to foreshadow techniques of market segmentation that are in use today.
Muriel Le Roux
A Chemist's Community as a Forerunner in Management Change and Innovation in France during the Second Part of the Twentieth Century? The Case of the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, a CNRS Laboratory
Understanding the dynamics of innovation involves local and national levels and different types of analyses. Historical perspectives stress the heterogeneity of innovation processes across time, sectors, and countries. During the twentieth century, links among science, technology, and innovation became more complex. Science, state, and industry are interconnected; science and technology constitute a continuum. What do we know about the researchers themselves and their behavior? Studying a small community of French academic natural substance chemists from the 1960s until the early twenty-first century allows us to understand how researchers interacted within the various milieus encompassing their work. These chemists seem to have assimilated both industrial norms and international academic principles early on to overcome the competition inherent in their discipline and to prepare them for globalization. Although often criticized by their peers, they serve as a model on which to pattern future French research.
Susan Ingalls Lewis
"Plodding Along as Usual": Microentrepreneurs in Nineteenth-Century America
Mid-nineteenth-century entrepreneurs participated in numerous tiny businesses that barely scraped by, yet continued to "plod along as usual," to quote a Baltimore credit reporter. Neither absolute failures nor true successes, these enterprises seem to fall into the cracks between business and labor history. Although such individuals and families were clearly engaged in business, they were also working hard just to make a living. Based on my preliminary research for a comparative study of female proprietors in cities across the eastern half of the United States (based on research in the R.G. Dun & Co. credit ledgers), I will connect previous findings on businesswomen in Albany, New York, to new material on Baltimore, Buffalo, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Louisville, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Providence. This paper argues that acknowledging the vast sea of small, struggling business ventures is vital to understanding the economy of nineteenth-century cities. In addition, exploring the motivations and material circumstances behind microentrepreneurs' willingness to "plod along" at concerns that never provided more than a living illuminates the reality of people's lives in the industrializing United States.
Ling-ling Lien
The Show Must Go On: Department Stores and the Making of Fashion in Shanghai during World War II
This paper discusses how department stores in Shanghai promoted the notion of "fashion" during the World War II. Thanks to the availability of new source material and analytical framework, the development of consumer culture and fashion has received scholarly attention in recent decades. However, most research has focused on peacetime, overlooking the impact of war on consumer mentality and behavior. In fact, historians have noted the growth of department stores in wartime Shanghai, but merely attributed it to "peculiar prosperity" (including speculation) without recognizing the store managers' acumen in business. Grounded on the journal published by the Wing On Department Store, this paper intends to explore the company's marketing strategies during the war. The journal, the Wing On Monthly, was founded in May 1939 and continued through the war until the Chinese Communist Party took over in 1949. It not only advertised merchandise sold in the store, but also sought to promote the ideas of "modernity," including choices of products, lifestyle, attitude, and even marriage. In particular I explore the construction of gender identity through consumption: how did such a leisure or consumption-based journal articulate "manhood" and "womanhood" in response to wartime chaos and emergency calls for national salvation? This research helps us reassess the effects of war on people's daily life, in both a material and an emotional sense. The war hardly suspended desires for a better self while redefining the content of fashion that in turn reshaped self identity.
Montserrat Llonch
Fashion and Competitiveness in the Catalan Knitting Districts, 1961-2004
The industrial district is a useful analytical approach to the study of the operating of fashion. In order to asses the role of districts in the creation of fashion, two Catalan knitwear districts (Maresme and Anoia) are compared during a key period of liberalization of the commercial exchanges in Spain (1961-2004). In order to approach the elusive concept of fashion, I consider trademarks as the main variable: in particular, which trademarks are registered by which enterprises, when, where, and their survival. The study states that initially (1971) both Catalan knitwear districts had a similar pattern in generating more trademarks in comparison to the non-Catalan. The entrepreneurial concentration given within a district generated within the companies the need to differentiate among them in productive and commercial terms, if they wanted to survive. That explains why within districts more trademarks were created than in other areas. But twenty-five years later, data shows that in relative terms trademarks from Anoia lasted longer than those from Maresme. This is explained by a more hierarchical industrial structure and a production specialized in knitted outwear. The existence of consolidated trademarks was a key factor of competitiveness of the Catalan knitwear districts. The companies with a strong trademark from Anoia and Maresme districts showed a stronger exporting vocation and a lesser vulnerability to changes in commercial distribution that occurred Spain from 1980.
Manuel Llorca-Jaña
The Organization of British Textile Exports to the River Plate and Chile: The Case of Hodgson & Robinson, an "autonomous free-standing house," c.1817-1843
During the first half of the nineteenth century, over 250 British merchant houses operated in the River Plate and/or Chile. Their main economic activity was the import of British textiles in exchange for local produce. This paper describes the organization of the British textile export trade, paying special attention to the relations between merchants in Britain and merchants in the Southern Cone. The special case of Hodgson & Robinson is considered in further detail. This house was what could be called an "autonomous free-standing house": a British merchant based in Buenos Aires who had neither head offices nor parent companies in Britain, and who eventually returned home after a quarter of a century operating in the River Plate, bringing with him the capital thus accumulated.
Andrea Lluch
U.S. Companies in Argentina: Marketing Strategies and Trademark Protection, 1900-1930
By 1927, Argentina had become the sixth largest market for U.S. goods around the world. U.S. manufacturers and exporters often complained about trademark rights in South America as a result of differences in business laws between these nations. This paper seeks to analyze American firms' marketing and branding activities in South America, particularly focusing on trademark protection of U.S. goods in Argentina between 1900 and 1930. Its purpose is not to track the performance of any one U.S. brand, but to explore developments associated with consumer and intermediate branded goods. Its preliminary findings were linked to and inspired by a renewed interest in branding and trademarks within a broader business and economic history context.
Santiago López, Jesus M. Valdaliso, Aitziber Elola, and Mari Jose Aranguren Social Capital, Competitiveness and Internationalization: The Electronics and ICT Cluster of the Basque Country
The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we present a history-friendly model of the evolution of a successful new high-tech cluster in an old industrialized European region, the Basque Country, from its early origins in the 1950s to the present day. We argue that the clustering firms have sustained their competitiveness on knowledge spillovers and localization economies derived from the geographical proximity of firms and actors; on a supportive environment that fosters firms' productivity, innovation and new business formation; and on the creation of a social capital very favorable to collective learning and cooperation in R&D activities and innovation. The last two factors, in particular, are very region-specific, not easily imitable by other competitors, and sustain the competitive advantage that the electronics and ICT cluster of the Basque Country enjoys today. Second, we attempt to open up the black box of the social dimensions of Michael E. Porter's well-known diamond figure, developing a model that explicitly introduces social capital and knowledge in it. Our framework emphasizes the crucial role that social capital plays in cluster competitiveness, as it promotes collective learning and inter-firm cooperation in R&D activities, human capital formation, and internationalization.
Christina Lubinski
Family, Inc.—Fashions in Family Business Management and Corporate Culture, Germany ca. 1960 to 2005
Researching fashions of Corporate Governance is a useful tool in order to understand and compare national experiences in business history. A business form which changed profoundly during the twentieth century is the family firm. This paper examines big family firms (more than 250 employees) in Germany roughly from 1960 to 2005. The first part presents findings about the typical characteristics of family influence in ownership and management based on a sample of 310 big businesses. In 1960, half of these firms were family influenced, with the majority sharing features such as a concentration of ownership, an involvement of family members in management, and a strong role for the family in corporate culture. In its second part, the paper discusses significant changes of this Corporate Governance model over time, especially highlighting corporate culture. It describes an evolutionary, yet epoch-making transformation process, which was triggered and reinforced by economic as well as social developments. Therefore, during the last third of the twentieth century, German family firms experienced and actively designed a change in Corporate Governance-"fashion," which the paper explores quantitatively (analyzing ownership and management structures of 310 sample firms) and qualitatively (with the comparison of three case studies).
Joachim Lund
Building Hitler's Europe: Forced Labor at Danish Cement Factories and Building Contractors in Germany and German-Occupied Territories, 1939-1945
The paper examines a number of cases in which companies based in German-occupied Denmark were engaged in business activity in Germany and German-occupied territories during the Second World War, carrying out various tasks for the German authorities with the use of forced and slave labor. It focuses on two highly internationalized companies: the large, monopolistic cement corporation F.L. Smidth & Co. A/S and its long-time business partner, leading building contractor Højgaard & Schultz A/S. The purpose of the paper is to present new empirical evidence on the question of forced and slave labor within the European Grossraumwirtschaft under German domination and to contribute to the ongoing discussion about the relationship between business and politics during dictatorship, war, and occupation. The paper thus describes how the two significant Danish companies continued operating in Germany, the Polish General Government, military occupied Serbia, and the Estonian areas of the Reichskommissariat Ostland in spite of the war. The findings illuminate the close connection between political and economic collaboration.
Helen Lynn
Toxic Beauty
What is the price women will pay for beauty? What is the cost of informing them? Are hormone-disrupting chemicals, probable carcinogens, allergens, and chemical sensitizers a price worth paying? Many of the cosmetic products can have the opposite effect from what is marketed. Anti-aging creams contain ingredients which can accelerate the aging process. Skin bleaching creams and soaps can increase the susceptibility to skin cancer and damage the internal organs. Hair treatments and dyes can cause adverse effects ranging from mild skin irritations to violent allergic reactions. It is not just consumers who are susceptible to these effects, but also workers in beauty salons and manufacturing who are exposed to a multitude of chemicals which are known or suspected carcinogens, and can cause respiratory and reproductive harm. Do consumer concerns about health and environment, evidenced by a huge increase in the sale of organic cosmetics in the last five years, reflect heightened consumer awareness about harmful ingredients or are organic products seen as a fashionable trend? The paper highlights the not-so-beautiful ingredients of beauty products which remain on the margins of ethical fashion debate.
J. Malia McAndrew
Feminized Diplomacy: Japanese Fashion Magazines and U.S. Censorship in Occupied Japan
The close of military operations in Japan signaled the end of World War II and the start of a new cultural campaign through which the United States sought to "educate" Japanese citizens about freedom, democracy, and other core American values. Rebuilding Japan in America's likeness meant going beyond simply changing the nation's political leadership. Rather, Occupation leaders viewed influencing the actions and behaviors of ordinary citizens as a matter of considerable significance. This paper analyzes the ways in which the U.S. Occupation worked with private Japanese print publications to effect cultural change in the postwar nation. While postwar Japanese print culture came largely from the hands of Japanese writers, editors, and publishers, it was produced within a foreign-directed political framework that censored and shaped it. Women's magazines were seen by the Occupation as an ideal vehicle through which the American lifestyle could be promoted to Japanese women. Indeed, Occupation leaders theorized that Americanized Japanese women could become democratized Japanese women, thus thwarting the spread of communism in the Asia-Pacific region. By working with Japanese media outlets, and in particular women's magazines, this paper demonstrates the feminized diplomatic strategy that America used to help realize its postwar political agenda in Japan.
Gary Magee
Investors, Information and the British World, 1860-1913
This paper concerns itself with the export of British capital between 1860 and 1913. It seeks to lay bare key financial relationships and mechanisms that made such a massive movement of money possible. On what basis did British investors make their decisions? More particularly, in what ways did the ties of social interaction predispose them to provide greater support to investment projects within the "British world" than outside it? This paper examines these questions in two ways: by studying the coverage of investment opportunities as reported by the press and by exploring some of the rich social and financial networks that underpinned Britain's capital markets. The exceptionalism of the "British world" in these regards stemmed from the way its institutions, press, and transnational networks gave rise to an informational asymmetry within the UK capital markets. As a consequence, British investors found themselves making choices on the basis of a stock of knowledge that was heavily biased in favor of opportunities that existed in the "British World." This state of affairs was in many ways the natural by-product of the global expansion of British human and social capital in the nineteenth century.
Giuliano Maielli
Killing an Icon in the Name of Speed: Production Managers and the Decline of Lancia in the 1970s
This paper focuses on the decline of the Lancia brand after 1970. Lancia is an Italian car maker, part of the Fiat Group. During the 1950s and 1960s, Fiat had been extremely successful in designing and manufacturing small and affordable vehicles. In 1969, Fiat took over Lancia, which had a reputation for high quality and high performance cars. Actually, it was an icon of Italian style and engineering. In theory, the takeover would have helped Fiat to strengthen its position in the upper end of the European market. Actually, Fiat production managers disagreed with marketing managers over the extent to which the brand identity and technical specificity of Lancia should be emphasized as opposed to technical synergies. Also, Fiat production managers were not prepared to change their production routines, which were geared to high process speed and low production costs. This made it difficult to share technical knowledge between Fiat and Lancia. As Fiat production managers prevailed, Lancia lost its technical specificity and brand identity. By analyzing the dominant role of production engineers at Fiat, the paper unlocks the mechanisms that led to the decline of Lancia as an icon of Italian style and engineering.
Corine Maitte
Labels, Brands, and Market Integration in the Modern Era
As structural market elements, brand names and labels are the source of research, debates, and political struggles. Historical perspectives are rare. Researchers have analyzed the significance of brands under the Ancien Régime, a system of collective obligatory labels marking the certification of qualities abolished by the revolutionary decisions of 1791. I show how the fluidity of brands continually subtends the fixity of what they signify. A "branded" product in the Ancien Régime is a polysemic utterance whose different understandings accumulate, cover each other, and sometimes intermingle. To grasp brands' and labels' multiple meanings among collective labels and individual brands, trademarks, and brand names and the ruptures and continuities in these terms, post-French Revolution, I examine brands in textiles, cutlery, and glass-making. These fields differ in the work involved, the scale produced, and the nature of the clientele, allowing us to deepen our understanding of the complex significance of brands.
Alan Guido Mantoan
Motor Racing Competitions as Fashion: The Influence on Alfa Romeo's Image, 1924-1951
The aim of this paper is to investigate the importance of motor racing as a means to affect Alfa Romeo car sales. During the 1920s the firm produced artisanal sports cars for wealthy costumers. Alfa Romeo, in spite of financial difficulties, started to win a great number of competitions and the Italian fascist regime used these results and the popularity of the firm to make political propaganda. Thus the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI) recovered the firm during the 1930s with a concentric diversification, but the factory carried on the effort in races achieving important results. After the war Alfa Romeo resumed winning until the company's decision to suspend Formula One racing activities starting from 1951, judged too expensive. The 1900 was the first Alfa Romeo car built on an assembly line that was sportive, but at the same time oriented toward the postwar Italian middle class. Alfa Romeo is a significant case of a firm capable of using racing fashion to make the image of its sports car famous around the world.
Leandie Maritz and Ingrid Thorius
"Your Satisfaction, not mere profit is our aim": Colonial English Enterprise and the Textile Industry: Arthur Bales and Son, since 1902
The English settler community in the Eastern Cape originated from the British settlers who immigrated from Britain to the Cape colony in 1820. The 1820 Settlers, as they were known, included unemployed British citizens, seeking a new life in the Cape Colony. Among the settlers were a variety of artisans, ordinary industrial workers, and farmers. From the network of English entrepreneurs in the Eastern Cape, the Bales family established a trading company and later branched out to textiles and clothing. The Bales family business relocated to the South African Republic after the South African War and developed three generations of successful competition in that market. This paper will investigate the competition in the textile and fashion industry emerging in Johannesburg as the environment into which the Bales family business operated. The social capital network of the English business in the competitive textile and fashion industry of the Witwatersrand will be explored in relation to the development of the Burgers Brothers clothing business and the fashion enterprise of Jaff and Company.
Emily Martz
The Mutual Fund Industry and the Rise of the 401(k) Plan
Over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, a major change occurred in the private pension plan marketplace. Specifically, the responsibility for a worker's retirement plan shifted from the shoulders of the employer to those of the employee, because most private, for-profit employers went from sponsoring defined benefit pension plans to sponsoring defined contribution plans, specifically 401(k) plans. The mutual fund industry benefited greatly from this shift; banks, insurance companies, and investment advisory firms managed the vast majority of defined benefit assets, while mutual funds quickly dominated defined contribution plans. This paper explores how the mutual fund industry gained this lead by analyzing the industry as a whole and the particular activities of two mutual fund complexes, Fidelity Investments and the Vanguard Group.
Maria Eugénia Mata
Fashionable Pricing Systems for Railroad Services in Europe in the 1880s
The aim of this paper is to compare different pricing systems used in Europe, from the French classification system to the fashionable Alsace system, also called the natural system. Pricing rail services was a very complex problem that deserved to be solved with a scientific approach and checked against empirical observations. In comparing fashionable pricing systems for rail services in Europe, this paper advances the thesis that public works, engineers, and railway managers were the pivots for the establishment of the theory of the firm, because companies were not approaching the question by trial and error, but were using analytical reasoning for heuristic purposes. European pricing systems were responding to profit maximization for market optimality, subject to government regulation and legal rail tariffs that reflected political concern with social-maximizing-welfare optimality.
Rebecca Jumper Matheson
Making a Name for Themselves: Promotion and Self-Promotion of Designing Women
In the early twentieth century there arose a new style of female fashion personality. Primarily from the ranks of the couture, but also found among ready-to-wear designers, milliners, and cosmetic moguls, these career women bridged the divide between the creative and business sides of their companies with their larger-than-life personae. This paper will focus on publicity and promotion on the part of women who crafted an image by living out their brands in their own personal appearances, attitude, art collections, and interiors. These designers kept their names in print by using their own words and images in advertising, writing advice columns or memoirs, and creating news controversy, advancing their businesses even as they promoted themselves. The designers Lucile, Lilly Daché, Valentina and Sally Milgrim and the cosmetic queen Helena Rubinstein will all be discussed within the context of their creation of a public face which was also the face of their business. The paper will conclude with a meditation on the irony that the couturières who never advertised, Vionnet and Chanel, are among the most respected today and the best known.
Virginia Maurer
The Criminal Sanction for Executive Fraud in the Post-Enron Period
In passing the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, the U.S. Congress drastically increased the maximum penalties available to federal judges in sentencing executives convicted of federal securities fraud, mail fraud, or wire fraud. Congress passed SOX in the wake of stunning corporate frauds and thereby ushered in the post-Enron period. After Enron, the American public appreciated afresh the personal impact of fraud and the threat fraud posed to one's personal future. In the new "equity society"—the widely dispersed holding of corporate securities in private pension funds—executive fraud poses a heightened level of threat, not only to the financial markets, but also to the moral order itself. The public demanded effective punishment to redress broken public trust in the financial markets and in personal integrity. The paper uses Herbert Packer's observation in 1968 that fashions of criminal punishment in American history alternate, depending on the nature of the threat posed by the crime, among morally based Retribution theory, psychologically based Behavioral theory, and utilitarian-based Deterrence theory. SOX's new mandates for punishing corporate executives reflect the renewed ascendency of previously discredited Retribution theory and partially dislodge utilitarian-based Deterrence theory.
Roberto Mazzoleni
Before Bayh-Dole: Interactions between NIH Grantees and Pharmaceutical Firms from 1945 to 1962
Several sources argue that until 1962 pharmaceutical firms screened for biological activity the molecular compounds identified by NIH grantees, and did so for free and without any preliminary agreement over prospective patent rights. However, contemporary congressional debates concerning NIH patent policy suggest that the prospect of exclusive licenses over NIH-sponsored inventions was a necessary incentive for pharmaceutical firms to collaborate with NIH grantees. The evidence indicates that during the period 1945-1962 the Department of Health, Education and Welfare asserted only rarely its rights of ownership over NIH-sponsored inventions, which were for the most part dedicated to the public domain. Furthermore, the licenses granted on the few patented inventions were non-exclusive and royalty-free. This finding is consistent with existing literature, which suggests that leading pharmaceutical firms relied upon patents chiefly as a means to exclude from the markets for prescription drugs those firms that—having eschewed making large investments in R&D and marketing—could only produce patented drugs under license from innovative firms, or non-patented drugs. Accordingly, it is proposed that the demand for exclusivity terms on NIH-sponsored inventions emerged only after the growth of public biomedical research funding threatened to undermine the competitive structure of the industry.
Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo
New Trends in World Wine Consumption and Their Impact on Spanish Wineries during the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
The wine sector has undergone a series of deep transformations during the twentieth century, especially in the second half. During this period, wine consumption has fallen constantly and the habits and preferences of the consumer have changed, with an intense restructuring process in the productive sector provoked by these new trends. In this paper, the idea is to show how these new habits concerned the Spanish wine cooperative businesses, especially in the production and marketing processes, and the way these enterprises adapted to the circumstances. The main conclusions are that the Spanish cooperatives had to start a deep and traumatic restructuring process, with the aim of surviving adequately in the changeable national and international wine markets. They had to bring in greater control of the productive processes and a technological modernization, along with wider diversification and a better appearance of the product. At the same time, they started to incorporate professional management in order to use commercial branding and marketing policies, with a product of quality that is well differentiated by its denomination of origin. These businesses had to begin huge investment plans to carry out these changes, and they entered a strong crisis due to their traditional large financing problems.
Katalin Medvedev
Trading Places: Women Offer a Different Take on Downtown St. Paul Business in 1939
This case study concerns the collaboration between a civic institution and local businesses. Bourgeois area homemakers launched the Women's Institute of St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1939, and held its first event, the biggest fashion show in the Midwest. Following the show's success, the Institute worked closely with St. Paul merchants to revitalize downtown businesses losing revenue to neighboring Minneapolis, which offered wider fashion choices, higher quality, and better services. Cooperation between the Institute and St. Paul merchants quickly turned commerce around, considerably improving sales. The Institute also initiated myriad social, cultural, and civic projects, which served its interests and those of the business community. Framing local growth and increased female consumption as a woman's civic duty and social responsibility created a bridge between women's private goals and communal objectives, leading to economic prosperity and societal progress. The Institute also significantly contributed to the rise of American fashion in the Midwest.
Laura M. Milanes-Reyes
Media Influence in Corporate Organizational Processes: Business History Contributions to the Debate?
This paper, grounded in a sociological perspective, explores business historians' conceptualizations of the role of the media (or lack of) in organizational processes. It examines cases of U.S. corporations in the period 1980s-2000s, appearing in two leading journals over the last thirty years. The analysis indicates that media influence has not been sufficiently studied and conceptualized. The existent approaches are grouped in two ideal-type categories: studies that are more standard and do not consider media relevant, and studies that are more culturally oriented. In the latter, the role of the media is salient though not always explicitly theorized: Media demonstrates, and may catalyze, distinct actors' influences on corporate organizational process and (or) is an actor on its own. Two conclusions follow: First, studies are fragmented: neglecting or privileging meaning-making processes. Second, studies that fail to recognize societal and local orders' meaning patterns not only are not attaining a comprehensive understanding of business but also are exposed to risks, such as unwittingly importing meaning into their analyses. These conclusions are supported by in-depth analysis of the articles, from which examples are drawn. Bridging this gap would be fruitful for both categories of studies. An example combining both approaches is shown.
Judy K. Miler
Early Female Managers at Two Leading American Department Stores
This paper presents the early managerial women at Macy's and Filene's uncovered in research for the period 1870-1920. Examination of the factors that may have led to the success of these women is presented, supporting the multidimensional relationship between retailing and the environment. Evidence suggests that these female leaders possessed traits that non-leaders do not. Independence, self-initiative, talent, intuition, hard work, and risk-taking are all attributes that many of these women shared. Managerial women and men, as well as leaders, have repeatedly held these traits since the time of these early female managers. It was impossible to conclude, however, whether or not the traits were instrumental in the women's becoming leaders and/or managers. This research also indicates that the department store organizational environment and culture was key in the development and success of the early women managers studied, as many rose through the ranks to gain their top position of leadership and success. They proved themselves competent at managing employees, carving an important place for themselves and others to follow in the previously only male business world through the department store. Today many women have followed these pioneers to managerial positions of leadership in the department stores, as well as other business organizations.
José Antonio Miranda
Competing in Fashion Goods: Firms and Industrial Districts in the Development of the Spanish Shoemaking Industry
In this essay, I analyze the development of the Spanish shoe industry from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century in order to determine what enabled Spain to become an important world exporter of footwear beginning in the 1960s. The accepted hypothesis is that the industry's evolution was determined by both Spain's economic development and the sector's characteristics internationally. When southern European countries became large footwear suppliers worldwide, Spain was able to take advantage of the opportunity because of the concentration of its production structure in highly specialized clusters and its ability to adapt quickly. During the 1970s crisis, these clusters demonstrated their collective efficiency and high capacity to adapt to market changes. I review the global footwear market since the late nineteenth century, examine the formation of the main specialized clusters in Spain, and show their decisive role in industry expansion during the final third of the twentieth century..
Amanda Moniz
Fashions in Philanthropy, or International Trends as a Challenge for Charities' Managers in the Early National United States
In the early national United States, fashions exerted a powerful force on activists' approaches to building urban charitable infrastructures. While international currents in social welfare practices were stimulating, they could draw the attention of charities' managers away from the local arena where ventures thrived or floundered. Through a comparison of humane societies (anti-drowning groups) in Philadelphia and Massachusetts, this paper explores how managers responded to the ongoing challenge that trends presented to local undertakings. In the case of the Philadelphia Humane Society (established in 1780), a focus on faraway peers and their innovations prevented the managers from doing the hard work of rooting a new charity in its community. By contrast, the managers of the Massachusetts Humane Society (established in 1786) exploited long-distance connections purposively and, in doing so, both enhanced their local undertaking and strengthened the transatlantic humane society movement. A key trait, then, of capable managers was that they made adept decisions about emulating, or ignoring, peers. When they made poor decisions, activists allocated time and money to undertakings that did not meet local social conditions. Paradoxically, one of the engines of the growing complexity of the American philanthropic landscape was that trends sometimes trumped needs.
Stephen L. Morgan
Selling Chinese Dreams: Fashion, Culture and Discourse in Advertising in China between the Two World Wars
Advertising in China was almost non-existent when economic reform began in the late 1970s, but has now developed a sophistication and style that is very much its own. This was also true of an earlier time before 1949. The paper aims to examine the development of advertising in China during the interwar years. Its focus is on the 'message,' the images of modernity, fashion and consumption that Chinese advertising conveyed, and the firms that produced these images. Shanghai was the centre of consumerism in China during the inter-war years and the home to the leading advertising firms, foreign and domestic. As China's major industrial center, Shanghai was quintessentially 'modern'—modan in the Chinese of the day. By the late 1920s there were nearly 30 advertising firms in Shanghai alone, and the six largest companies formed an industry association. While early advertising copy and display was done mostly in-house in the major newspapers and magazines (e.g., Shen Bao newspaper, Dongfang zazhi magazine), there were independent advertising firms, which employed or contracted copywriters, graphic artists, painters, and photographers. They created what were then innovative marketing materials, which projected the image of a new modernity and consumerism that spread out from Shanghai to the hinterland, and which were often a complex blend of foreign and Chinese images, that resonated with the past while creating dreams of a new future.
Margrit Müller
Family Firms in Switzerland: Continuity and Change in the Context of Globalization
The composition of firms within the economy matters, because it leads to different business systems and forms of capitalism. After a short overview on the proportion of family firms in the total number of firms in Switzerland, we focus on the largest firms and on the last two decades. The proportion of family firms among the largest firms is a stable minority of about a third. However, this apparent stability conceals a remarkable variety in the composition of firms, their development, and their ownership structures. We trace these variations and transformations on the basis of a sample of the largest family firms in 1988, 1993, 1998, and 2008 and relate them to major changes in the economic and institutional contexts. The results point to the importance of distinguishing different categories of "family firms." In the case of Switzerland, it would be indicated to include unquoted family firms as well as newly founded entrepreneurial companies with an impressive growth performance. While it may make sense to focus on the largest companies up until the 1980s, in a context that can be characterized as "Chandlerian," such a focus is hardly appropriate in the "Schumpeterian" period of rapid change and internationalization prevailing since the 1990s.
Monica Neve
Advertising and the Middle-Class Female Consumer in Munich, c. 1900-1914
In this essay, I consider the emergence of ideas about the relationship between women and consumption in early twentieth-century Germany. I am concerned primarily with assumptions about women's buying instincts and how attempts by advertisers and retailers to capture the attention of women contributed to a "feminization" of consumption. Of central importance is the development of specific ideas about the relationship between women and consumption, and the way these concepts contributed to shopping becoming socially ingrained as a gender-specific activity. The discussion draws upon German advertising and trade journals, as well as on the advertising strategies of four Munich firms that served as case studies for a larger research project
Inga Barbara Nuhn
Corporate Social Responsibility: A Current Fashion?
In recent years, there has been much academic interest in the social role of companies and ethical aspects of their businesses. Not only scholars of different fields such as economic, political, or social sciences deal with business ethics. Many entrepreneurs, politicians, and communication agencies have paid great attention to this topic as well. However, neither corporate social responsibility nor corporate citizenship find consideration in modern business historiography. Thus we lack a clear understanding of the evolution over time and what this issue meant to specific companies. Anglophone terminology dominates the practical and scientific—non-historical—approach and implies that the origins of instruments and measures are to be found beyond the Atlantic. In Germany, the discussion about the Anglophone terms in particular is indeed still young, but the social commitment of numerous companies is not. This paper will argue that corporate social responsibility is not a new phenomenon but a concept that has developed over time with different accents. Using the example of a company active within chemicals—Bayer AG headquartered in Leverkusen—the change of terms and fields of commitment will be in the center of attention.
Tomoko Okawa
Awareness and Penetration of European Luxury Goods in Japan, Especially in the Context of Postwar Mass Consumption
This paper examines the relationship between French luxury fashion and the Japanese over the sixty-year postwar period, following three symbolic stages and players. The first stage began with haute couture, and was an era of licensed businesses. The second began in the 1970s and continued through the bubble economy, and was a time of prosperity for the import business. There were two aspects to the third stage: pricing and product line-up. Disparities in domestic and overseas prices of luxury products were addressed after the bubble economy collapsed, and the opening of megastores under luxury brands' global strategies created a sense of newness. Brand products of good quality with reassuring warranties became accepted as reasonable purchases. The Japanese preference for luxury brands may appear simplistic, but their choices of products were rational for prospering Japanese living under a host of restrictions at the time. And in each period, there was a player who contributed to promote this consumption.
Lars Fredrik Øksendal
Great Expectations: Dividend Policy and Financial Fragility in Norwegian Banking before 1914
Norwegian commercial banking before the Great War stood out as relatively fragile compared to neighboring Sweden and Denmark. Banks were numerous, locally oriented, and in a contemporary perspective equipped with relative low equity to assets ratios. Out-of-city branching was shunned and no commercial bank with countrywide ambitions emerged. The fragility of the banking system was demonstrated by bank closures and heavy losses in the 1870s and 1880s and more severely in connection with the burst of the Christiania real estate bubble in 1899. This article examines the interplay between financial fragility and the dividend policy adopted by banks. Preference for high and stable dividends seriously limited the ability to build equity from operations and contributed to a strategy of relatively high gearing. Although the dividend policy made shares attractive, the less than effective and highly cyclical money market reduced the possible gains this policy could have in terms of raising capital through share issuing. Financial fragility made Norwegian banks more exposed to economic crisis and less equipped for growth in scale and scope.
Rowena Olegario
American Businesses Assess Foreign Merchants
This paper examines how American businesses assessed potential trade partners, primarily in China and Japan, during the interwar period, 1919 to 1940. The half-century after 1890 marked the United States' ascent to economic and political power. In common with the countries of western Europe, Americans attempted to demarcate their country's internal and external spaces based on notions of "racial" difference. Ethnology, biology, geography, and other fields of study were enlisted to give legitimacy and universality to these ideas. Changing notions about race and ethnicity shaped debates about immigration and America's new role in the world; they also influenced how manufacturers and exporters determined "whom to trust" as trade partners overseas. Past scholarship has focused on the development of American foreign markets, but none has addressed how American businesses assessed foreign merchants. Examining trade journals, Congressional testimony, textbooks on foreign trade, and the voluminous contemporary writings on race and ethnicity, this paper probes some of the complex cultural assumptions that underlay the practices of international trade.
Lewis Orchard
Retailing Innovation: The Origins of Contemporary Merchandising in an Edwardian Couture House
Using the couture house Lucile Ltd. as a case study, this paper will demonstrate how an early twentieth-century international fashion business considered the marketing potential of a collection, from initial design stages through to promotional techniques. Using a sequence of contemporary and historic images for comparison, I will identify what are now familiar advertising, branding, merchandising, and retailing techniques in their early stages of development at the turn of the century. I will consider how this custom dressmaking service became a fashion empire with couture houses in London, New York, Paris, and Chicago, and focus on the combination of creative design and business practices that contributed to its extraordinary success. Specific focal points include the development of a fashion brand label, and what we can recognize today as the fundamental ingredients of the runway fashion show, featuring a structured fashion collection, "superstar" models, and accompanying publicity. As the business expanded abroad, I will look at how the cohesion of the business and its brand was maintained and promoted in the press, and to the public, and how an ambition to reach larger numbers of customers inspired innovation in business structure, including possibly the first diffusion-line mail order catalogue in 1916.
Frida Östman
Regulatory Regime Change in the Swedish Residential Mortgage Market
In this essay, I analyze the Swedish residential mortgage market regulations during the post-World War II era, with an emphasis on the regulatory regime change of the mid-1980s. The most significant changes were directed toward abolishing regulations. More players could enter the market, creating a need for regulation to cover a larger area of finance. The government had previously provided strict incentives for following the rules, but the changes meant that the government let the market find its own way to provide incentives. Thus, the motivating structure for the government, borrowers, and lenders changed from strictly government-controlled to market-controlled, from rigidly regulated to deregulated.
Sara Piccolo Paci
Dressing for God, Dressing for Men: Liturgical Vestments in the Christian Church as a Sign of Spiritual Richness and Political Strength
Since its very beginnings the Christian world adopted and re-elaborated some of the earlier systems of representation and communication, mostly those dealing with the signs of authority and power. These signs could be expressed with the aid of sophisticated mechanisms of interaction between shape, image, and function, in which clothing plays a key role. In fact, we need to become more aware of the incredible importance that clothing and appearance had even in the past, not only in the secular world but also in that of the Church. This paper will explore how and in which ways, right from its beginnings and up to the present day, the Church took full advantage of the myriad possibilities that liturgical dresses and everything connected with them offered, considering it as important a tool of visual communication as any other. The creation of some liturgical garments came about as expressions of their spiritual meaning, but they could also have very practical links with solid business matters. In actual fact, the Church had been dealing since medieval times with the contradiction between the need to show its powers, both spiritual and political, and the need to state its moral, ethical, and spiritual concerns.
Alexandra Palmer
Christian Dior: Forging a Global Network in Postwar France
The meteoritic rise and international success of Dior has been repeatedly emphasized as a phoenix rising from the ashes of war-torn Paris. It was a stunning success, but one that bears closer examination in order to understand, not only how a 41-year-old French man created the leading postwar couture house, but how and why it grew in size, stature, and influence with branches and licenses around the globe. In twenty-two collections the influential and profitable brand of Christian Dior expanded to sell ready-to-wear fashions for women and men, furs, millinery, perfumes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, ceramics, and glass ware through Dior boutiques and licensees around the globe. Six years after opening, the firm had grown to include eight companies and sixteen associated enterprises across five continents. It was a phenomenal international growth that made the house of Christian Dior account for more than half the total export of Paris haute couture and 55 percent of all French exports. Christian Dior was an international household name, and as Time magazine noted in 1956, "He's Atlas, holding up the entire French fashion industry."
Jean L. Parsons and Sara B. Marcketti
The Fashionable Business of Design Piracy in the Apparel Industry: The Historical Perspective
The creative practices of the fashion ready-to-wear industry have almost always relied on a system of borrowing, copying, and/or piracy to create theoretically new designs. The process was intended to satisfy consumers with a presumed desire for something simultaneously new and yet within the fashionable mode. This "fashionable" creative formula for apparel design in the United States arose in part because the industry grew at such a rapid pace in the last decade of the nineteenth century and first decade of the twentieth that little initial attention was paid to training designers to fill a sudden need to offer variety to the newly style-conscious customer. In the current fashion industry, emphasis is placed on the creative personalities of well-known designers, but many continue to design using themes of homage or historic inspiration. And, design piracy, or in the contemporary vernacular "knocking-off," is rampant at all price points. This research relies on trade journals such as Womens Wear Daily, the popular and fashion press, legal and government documents, as well as on a case study of the Fashion Originators Guild of America (FOGA) to explicate some of these many thorny issues that began a century ago, but still shape this widespread business practice.
Mike Parsons and Mary B. Rose
Lead-User Innovation and the UK Outdoor Trade since 1850
The development of the U.K. outdoor clothing and equipment trade provides an ideal laboratory to study the changing nature of consumer innovation from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We trace the shifting role and experience of lead-user innovation over a 150-year period, demonstrating significant changes in sporting needs, technology, manufacturing organiza-tion, business methods, and communications. We explore the shifting interface between users and manufacturers and the extent to which shared communities of practice and knowledge have influenced product development and been shaped by the innovations themselves. Summarizing research on lead-user innovation and the historical evidence of lead-user innovation in U.K. industry, we explore the changing relationships between outdoor sportspeople and clothing and equipment suppliers, as well as the changing role and experience of lead-user innovation across a range of products, including climbing equipment, rucksacks, and clothing. An analysis of shifting communities of practice through time underpins our co-evolutionary approach.
Muriel Petit-Konczyk
Multiple Voting Shares in France during the Interwar Period
At the end of the 1920s many French firms listed in the Paris Stock Exchange issued multiple voting shares (MVS), breaking dramatically the rule of one share, one vote with a number of voting rights going from five to twenty and even more. The paper analyzes the problem of this power concentration successively from two points of view. The first point is an approach by the economic costs in which we measure whether the performances of firms issuing MVS are weaker during the years following the issue than those of a sample of firms not issuing MVS. The second point is an approach based on the conceptual framework of management and institutional theory, in which we analyze the trigger and dissemination of this controversial MVS wave clustered from 1927 to 1929. Our study uses both quantitative data with a exhaustive series of monthly stock exchange returns and qualitative data coming from archives of some firms having issued multiple voting shares during the interwar period.
Anne Pezet
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), a Deeply Rooted Fashion? The Aluminium of Cameroon Company Case, 1954-2005
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a relatively recent phenomenon for companies and their partners. However, we cannot ignore its historical roots. Many companies, especially in industry, developed social and environmental policies and practices a long time ago. These practical and historical dimensions remain yet absent from the academic literature on CSR. In this article, we propose to study a case over a long period of time, from 1952 until 2007, in order to understand how manufacturers took into account the various economic, social, and environmental aspects of their activity, at the time of an investment, then during the exploitation of a production site of aluminium. The case of the company Alucam established in Cameroun shows how the manufacturers integrated the Triple Bottom Line, well before the "invention" of CSR. Since its creation in 1957, this production site of primary aluminium has systematically applied a policy which simultaneously integrated the economic, environmental, and social impacts of its activity. However, this visible permanency masks important changes of shape in the exercise of the CSR. This case study then allows a better understanding of the building process of CSR in the aluminium industry. In that aim, our methodology is historical. The research was mainly carried out on the basis of the study of the archives of Alucam. Such an empirical research, highlighting the reality of the practices implemented in companies constitutes an original contribution to the history of CSR.
Giandomenico Piluso
Is a More Regulated Investment Banking Sector More Efficient? Tendencies in Regulatory Policies and the Italian Case, 1936-1993
The regulation of financial markets and intermediaries is periodically debated, but especially when a dramatic downturn is occurring and regulation bounces back offering a panacea. The degree of financial regulation is related to the previous stability, and a major crisis usually provides a highly regulated financial industry. In fact, lawmakers and central authorities intervene after major shocks and, as even recently stated, the ensuing higher regulation tends to produce a less effective financial system. If the former phenomenon is quite easy to catch, the latter is instead rather tricky to assess properly. The paper deals with regulatory trends in the investment banking sector in Italy between two major banking acts, from the early 1930s crisis to the early 1990s deregulation wave. Even if the Italian banking system is commonly regarded as homogeneously (strongly) regulated, indeed regulation varied significantly over time. The analysis scrutinizes main changes in the allocative efficiency of the largest Italian investment/merchant banks operating during the period (IMI and Mediobanca) as a result of regulation. The paper argues that regulation is not per se sufficient to explain the actual outcome of a tougher regulation. One needs to take also into account the level of competition within the banking system and the ownership structure of financial institutions. This approach suggests that the regulatory architecture, as it emerged in the mid-1930s, was responsible for reducing the allocative efficiency only partially, even if a higher regulation became associated to low competition, State ownership and specific credit policies with overall negative effects on the intermediaries' efficiency.
Valerie Pinchera
The Export Performance of the Italian Fashion System in the EU Context, Post-World War II Years (1970-2007)
This paper presents a preliminary investigation into the long-term, post-World War II patterns of the Italian fashion industry's export performance. Although the fashion industry is considered a sunset industry in developed economies, it still maintains a significant presence in world trade as well as within the European Union in terms of employment and firms, contributing to GDP and exports. The Italian fashion industry is the biggest producer and exporter in each of the three sectors comprising the European fashion industry: textiles, clothing, and leather. During the past twenty years important changes in the worldwide trade's structure have affected the Italian fashion export's international leadership and trends. Despite the decline and the elimination of import quotas in the textiles and clothing sectors in 2005, Italian fashion firms have achieved a stronger position in international markets over the last ten years. Despite various studies on the recent changes in the worldwide trade due to globalization and the trade liberalization process, there are very few academic analyses of fashion industries in their entirety. Through its analysis of the trade data (Eurostat, UN Comtrade, WTO), this paper attempts to outline the different developments and patterns of the Italian fashion industry's export performance from 1970 to the last decade. The aim is to explore the impact of these international trade changes on the Italian fashion industries as well as within the European context.
Eline Poelmans
The Mixed Economy and the Concentration of the Coal Companies in the European Coal and Steel Community between 1952 and 1967
The central paradigm of John Maynard Keynes' economic theory is that only state intervention can reinstate economic demand and reduce the unemployment rate to a socially acceptable level. After World War II, depending on the extent of government participation, Keynes's theory led to three variants of the so-called mixed economy: neo-collective, neo-liberal, and central consultation. In each of the postwar (Western) European countries, one of these variants predominated. When the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was founded, all six founding countries, except Luxembourg, produced coal. In this essay, I discuss which of the three variants of government participation dominated the coal-producing companies in these five countries (West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands), and how this influenced the concentration of these companies during the period from 1952 to 1967.
Monika Poettinger
Fashionable Productions: Cotton and the Industrialization of Milan
In the last decades of the eighteenth century, as a fashionable production, cotton was subsidized by the Austrian as well as the French government in their respective rule over Lombardy. Mule Jennies and roller printers made their appearance in the first factories of Milan. Governments were appeased, but the much-desired cotton sector never really developed above the minimum size necessary to render mechanization profitable. What legacy did the fashionable cotton production leave at the eve of Restoration? Milan's first cotton manufactures served to insert the city in the European-wide circulation of human and entrepreneurial capital necessary to trigger the subsequent industrialization of the region.
Andrew Popp and Michael French
"Practically the Uniform of the Tribe": Dress Codes among Commercial Travellers
What is it to wear a uniform? Why—and to what effect—do some occupational groups voluntarily adopt tacit dress codes? Descriptions of English commercial travellers have frequently highlighted their physical appearance and in particular their modes of dress. These descriptions show remarkable continuity over long periods of time. Travellers were noted for their exuberant, "flashy" clothing. These modes of dress were a significant element of the vibrant occupational culture in which travellers participated but, at the same time, such ways of dressing marked out travellers among their fellow citizens and were often highlighted in broader critiques of the traveller's character and, by extension, role in society. The ways in which travellers chose to dress and the ways in which they and others reacted to and spoke about those choices can tell us much about the ways in which this significant occupational group negotiated the task of creating for itself meaningful roles and identities. However, as with other aspects of their occupational culture, travellers faced significant challenges in using dress to positive effect. Dress was part of the process through which the emotional labor involved in this occupation was, literally, embodied and, sometimes, resisted and subverted. In the twentieth century, travellers' dress codes underwent some significant changes. The "dandyism" with which they had long been associated was reduced but not eliminated. However, there persisted an (albeit altered) tacit dress code or "uniform." These changes reflected the changing societal and organizational contexts within which travellers were working, changes that imposed a new set of pressures on them and increasingly restrained their independence. "Embodying" still took place but did so in way that was more repressive. At the same time, travellers' dress spoke of their relationships to wider issues, including class, masculinity, sexuality, and, ultimately, modernity and the self. Sharing characteristics with other archetypes of the modern urban scene, such as the flanêur, the dandy, the masher, and the swell, the protean commercial traveller, with his shimmering and alluring but shallow surface appearance, appeared to presage the passing of the solidities and certainties of the world pre-modernity. Thus, attention to dress codes among occupational groups such as travellers has the potential to illuminate not only organizational shifts and effects but also much wider processes in society.
John Potvin
Emerging Markets: Giorgio Armani and the Designs of Expansion
In an increasingly competitive world market, some Milanese designers have opted to have their couture garments produced in China or by illegal Chinese immigrants in Italy rather than turning to costlier traditional handmade craftsmen. With his very elaborate vertically segmented marketing and design strategy, Armani retains the production of his higher end line (commonly referred to as "Black Label") in Italy, whereas his cheaper, diffusion lines are often produced off-shore. This paper seeks to highlight the unique and tense relationships between the global and national, tradition and progress, and craft and technology in the ways Armani ever increases his market share in emerging markets. In other words, in this new climate of global expansionism and ethnic influences, how does Armani successfully translate the ideals of "Made in Italy" to a global culture? This paper will vacillate, as the designer himself does, between a discussion of business and a discussion of aesthetics to demonstrate how Armani has created the most successful global fashion house in Italy.
Mary Quek
Growth of Four UK Hotel Companies with the Use of Merger and Acquisition Activities, 1979-2004
Merger and acquisition (M&A) activities are commonly used as a form of growth strategy, and these activities have generated a broad range of management research attempting to evaluate and understand companies' performances. However, research in the past thirty years shows that the use of M&A as a tool for business expansion has yielded a high failure rate of 44-50 percent. Yet this method of growth has continued to be fashionable among business practitioners, and the motives for adopting such methods remain a puzzle to academia. It has been identified that there is a lack in the literature in which M&A activities are understood through the integration of two different levels, organizational and industry level. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining empirical findings from a sample of four UK hotel companies. Documents and interviews were used as the data collection methods. It is found that the motives of organizations (speed, economies of scale and scope, market share) and industry shocks (deregulation, technology, and foreign competition) have interacted to drive M&A activities. In addition, the development of four UK hotel companies shows that companies' performance after M&A activities could be affected by unpredictable external factors, despite the value-maximizing intention of management.
Norma Rantisi and Deborah Leslie
Creativity and Place in the Evolution of a Cultural Industry: The Case of Cirque du Soleil
The urban foundations of cultural industries have been well-documented. These industries tend to concentrate in cosmopolitan settings with a wide range of talent and services. However, the mechanisms by which such an industry evolves and how this historical evolution draws on and shapes the cultural economy of a city has been under-explored. In this paper, we investigate these mechanisms through an analysis of the case of Cirque de Soleil, the internationally acclaimed Montreal-based circus troupe. Over the years, Cirque has expanded the number, location, and content of its shows and has continually introduced new design and performance elements. This paper considers how the broader cultural economy and policy context in which it is embedded has facilitated Cirque's ability to expand and to balance creativity and business.
Donna W. Reamy
The Economic Impact of the Catwalk: A Historical Perspective of the Fashion Show and Its Current Economic Value to Global Fashion Centers
This paper begins with a question: What is fashion? By understanding how fashion is characterized, a framework is defined and the foundation laid for the study of the fashion show. Following is a historical perspective of fashion beginning in the 1600s through the beginning of the twenty-first century with an emphasis on the evolving fashion show, discussing fashion parades, fashion modeling, and the fashion show itself. Additionally, I identify three major fashion events that help to advance the use of a fashion show as a tool for promotion whereby economic rewards are garnered. The criteria to identify these three events include the audience, venue, clothing, and the models. In addition, the importance of the department store fashion show beginning in the 1930s is explored. There is a discussion of the major fashion capitals and the current type of fashion show being held during fashion week. Research was accomplished through a review of articles, books, and interviews.
Simona Segre Reinach
Fashion and National Identity: Interactions between Italians and Chinese in the Global Fashion Industry
Although—or perhaps because—production may be transnational, having or not having a "national fashion" is fundamental to the success of brands operating in the contemporary market. In the interactions between Italians and Chinese who together make and sell fashion, the theme of national identity clearly emerges. The capacity to produce fashion (that is, a shared aesthetic) is an explicit, positive idea ("Italy has a fashion") or an implicit, negative one ("China does not have a fashion") that determines both the communication choice of "made in Italy" and the working and collaborative relations between Italians and Chinese at different levels in the design, production, and distribution of brands and products. The broadening of the Eurocentric vision has diminished the conviction that westerners have sole rights to fashion. A nation's capacity to create fashion (to be recognized as an "author country"), however, is part of a process of renegotiating hierarchies and roles according to the contexts and players concerned.
Christian Reuber
Management Development in Germany's Big Business
One of the divisions in modern European businesses barely affected by any business fashion until 1945 was the human resource department. In comparison to the development of management research and consulting in US business, there was hardly any attempt to look after a systematization and professionalization of management development in European businesses until the early 1950s. The strong US influence on the economic development of Western Europe after 1945 then led to a deep change in human resources management of many big companies. Aside from new methods and instruments for dealing with the entire workforce, the question arose how to increase the number of well-educated and practical-trained junior executives. Within thirty years especially big enterprises in Western Europe had introduced specific departments and programs to provide a company-wide pool of potential future executives. The aim of the presentation is on the one hand to show how this process was realized and on the other hand to answer the question, what are the most important criteria and patterns of management recruitment in big business? The results of the analysis are based on two case studies, Bayer AG, Leverkusen, and Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg.
Alberto Rinaldi and Michelangelo Vasta
State-Owned Enterprises in the Italian Corporate Network, 1972-1983
State-owned enterprises pervaded Italian capitalism from the 1930s to 1999. Historians have stressed the relevance of state-owned enterprises to capital-intensive industries, but argued they also might curb private-sector growth. While researchers have mapped the extension of the major Italian state-owned groups, private companies in the Italian corporate network remain largely unexplored. We use the interlocking directorates technique to assess Antonio Chiesi's thesis that in the mid-1970s the Italian corporate network was marked by two distinct centers, one state-owned and one private. We base our analysis on Imita.db for 1972 and 1983, using both network analysis and a prosopographic approach. Contrary to Chiesi's results using a different sample, in 1972 the Italian corporate network was characterized by one large center, comprising both private and state-owned companies. By 1983, however, system cohesion had decreased sharply; state-owned enterprises had disappeared from its center, and the Italian corporate network, as Chiesi argued, had two distinct centers.
Neil Rollings
The Internationalization of Production and the Balance of Payments in the 1960s: An Anglo-American Comparison
In the 1960s the two countries responsible for the majority of outward foreign direct investment (FDI), the United States and the United Kingdom, imposed controls on FDI to help correct their balance of payments deficits. This paper considers the similarities and differences in experience and attitudes of government and business at this formative stage in the postwar rise of multinational enterprise. There was a common sense of frustration in business that national governments failed to understand the new global economy that was emerging. Governments in the two countries adopted a location-based view of business activities, whereas business was more ownership-based in outlook. In the British case the issue was starker because of longstanding concerns about levels of FDI, economic ideas at the heart of government, and concerns about economic decline, all of which emphasized the need for more domestic investment and higher exports to improve national competitiveness. Further study of the micro-level response of business to these restrictions offers a means of better understanding the roots of the tension between multinational enterprise and national governments.
Mary Rose and Lorraine Johnston
"To Design for the Future You Must Leaf Through the Past": Museums as Part of Systems of Innovation
Museums are not conventionally associated with innovation or viewed as part of innovation systems. After all, we could argue, museums are about the past, heritage, and nostalgia, whereas innovation is about the future. Yet, if this is the case, why does a company such as BMW co-locate its archive, museum, and innovation center? In this preliminary essay on the combination of past and present knowledge in innovation, we revisit the academic literature on innovation systems. We explore how, historically, museums and their collections have contributed to innovation and to the development of innovative designs. We ask: How have organizations set up to preserve the past contributed to the future, and what has encouraged and inhibited these processes? We focus primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century experience in the United Kingdom and on the relationships among the arts, design, and industry on the one hand and museum collections on the other.
Leonard N. Rosenband
Taste, Technique, and the Mechanization of Papermaking in Britain and France
In 1761, the astronomer and technical writer Joseph-Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande observed that paper had become an "everyday merchandise." But the purchase of paper in the eighteenth century was no everyday affair. The medium itself was a crucial part of every message, since the firmness and hue of a scolding note or a begging note spoke volumes about rank and the value of a relationship. Even book buyers carefully rubbed the sewn and uncut sheets between their fingers and held them close to the light in search of the proper knit and an elegant luster. At the end of the seventeenth century, English paper was ill-suited for these tests. It was coarse, often brown, and uninspiring. English printers and stationers turned to France, Holland, and the hinterlands of Genoa for useful and appealing reams. My presentation considers the maturation of English papermaking in these exacting circumstances. Above all, the trade's trajectory fell outside the bounds of Peter Mathias's familiar query: Was British industrial development first because it was unique, or unique because it was first? In fact, English papermaking was distinctive in the early industrial era because it was second. English manufacturers gradually overcame this position, in part by emulating the technique of the Continental craft and by opening their mills to skilled Continental hands. In time, the English trade may have matched their competitors' productivity, if not always their art and prices. At the outset of the nineteenth century, the intense English efforts to realize the commercial potential of the papermaking machine, a French invention, remained a defensive measure as well as a response to rising demand. This paper is rooted in decades of research in public archives in both France and England. It is also the product of careful scrutiny of the ledgers of numerous mills on both sides of the Channel. Finally, it is the outcome of close inspection of the flawed and the seamless handiwork of skilled paperworkers who dipped their molds into vats of warm, watery pulp three thousand times a day.
Janette Rutterford
The Shareholder Voice: British and American Accents, 1890 to 1965
This paper is concerned with the interaction between managers and small shareholders who made up the majority of names on the share ledgers of many companies in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It is concerned with the period 1890 to 1965, with three key periods: before World War I, between the wars, and post-World War II. The paper will first look at how many shareholders there were, where they lived, and who they were, before exploring the interaction through annual general meetings, shareholder associations, and written communications on a number of issues, first for the United Kingdom and then for the United States. I argue that there were significant differences between shareholder activism in the two countries, partly due to the difference in relative numbers and characteristics of the shareholders themselves, partly to legal differences, and partly to corporate culture and to the earlier diffusion of shareholding in the United Kingdom compared to the United States.
Christoffer Rydland
Networking and Corporate Governance in the Regional Swedish Daily Newspaper Industry
This paper discusses an organizational innovation: a rather secretive network of CEOs in the Swedish regional daily newspaper industry. It was formed in 1956 and closed down in 2008. The network was normally composed of twelve CEOs at a time and membership in the group was personal. The group developed a very detailed set of benchmarking numbers: the entire series is complete, 1956-2008. The paper categorizes some of the functions of this group and how these functions evolved over time. In particular, it discusses how this group compares to other forms of cooperation, such as cartels, industrial associations, and business groups. The paper is based on the minutes from the group as well as some interviews. Unlike board meeting minutes, the group's minutes were not intended to be disclosed. They contain more discussions and probably give a better picture of what actors in this industry really thought at the time. There are some indications that the group formed an inner circle in business associations.
Patricio Sáiz and Paloma Fernández Pérez
Intangible Assets and Competitiveness in Spain: An Approach through Trademark Registration Data in Catalonia, 1850-1946
This paper studies the origins of trademark registration in Spain and offers, for the first time, data across sectors and regions with a long-term perspective. In apparent contradiction to the slow path of industrialization and the economic backwardness of Spain between 1850 and the 1940s, empirical evidence on trademark registration suggests that, in this field, Spanish policies and Spanish firms seemed to be well ahead of other countries. Spain was among the pioneering countries in the Western world in having state legislation protecting brand registration since 1850. Also, some Spanish regions and industrialized sectors adopted strategies similar to those of its European counterparts in terms of using branding and registered trademarks consistently. Our evidence suggests that firms seem to have used brands and marks, first to fight against fraud and imitation and second to add intangible assets to their products in order to endow them with persistent identity trends regarding origins or quality of the product that were difficult to replicate, as often happened with patents. This created and accumulated, over that period of time, a marketing knowledge among consumers, which may have contributed to the competitiveness of some industrial districts and regions.
Basak Bogday Saygili and Sule Civitci
Advertisements Used in Fashion Products and Customer Perceptions Concerning Advertisements
In the fashion sector where competition is lived intensively, the successes of firms producing and selling the same product group depend on their using fashionable marketing communication tools effectively and rationally. One of these communication tools is advertising. Advertisements are one of the main factors affecting customer behavior. The customers acquire information about products thanks to advertisements that the producer and seller firms made. The aim of this research is to determine the effect of advertisement on clothing product buying behavior and to determine viewpoints of fashion consumers concerning advertisements. The research comprises 96 fashion consumers volunteering to view a sample advertisement. A five-minute advertising film concerning fashion product was made to be watched first by these consumers. Immediately after this, a survey form was prepared to determine if advertisements become effective on the buying behaviors of consumers in clothing shopping and to determine consumers' viewpoints on clothing advertisements and their thoughts about the advertisement they watched. The data were evaluated scientifically. In the direction of arrived results, various proposals were made to clothing producers and sellers concerning how advertisements affected or can affect consumers.
Emanuela Scarpellini
Selling Fashion and Beauty: Avon International
The beauty industries certainly played a major role in "fashion" and constitute an important branch of business, which has received little attention before now. Among them, Avon Products has a long history, dating back to the California Perfume Company in 1886. Thanks to a door-to-door selling method and the recruitment of women as sales representatives, the company was able to expand in the United States and become one of the leading cosmetics companies in the early twentieth century. In the postwar period Avon Products started a new strategy of international expansion, particularly in Latin America and Western Europe, with an overall great success. This paper will focus on the international strategy of the company, in particular marketing strategy, in order to expand into different countries. Were the model of beauty, brand image, and products the same as in the United States? The paper will analyze these aspects and then focus on a case study, Italy. This work is based on an extensive research in the Hagley Archives, existing literature, Italian archives, and oral interviews. The goal is to understand the history of the company, its accomplishments and the many adaptations, hybridizations, and resistance that it faced during its long international expansion.
Sarah Scaturro
Perfumes, Pragmatism, and Princesses: Lucien Lelong, President of Paris Fashion
Lucien Lelong's (1889-1958) contribution to the business of fashion is little known or appreciated. A 1913 graduate of the elite Parisian business school, Hautes Études des Commerciales, Lelong developed his parents' small dressmaking business into one of the largest, most successful and respected haute couture houses of the first half of the twentieth century. He was a unique French couturier inspired by American pragmatism and business methods, launching a highly successful international perfume division and creating the first ever ready-to-wear line by a haute couture house in 1934. As the director of his fashion house, he oversaw all aspects of it, including design, production, quality control and personnel. He strategically combined his private and professional life, using his wife, the exiled Russian Princess Natalie Paley, as the face of his house. In 1937 he was elected by his peers as the president of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture—it was his strong leadership, business acumen, and tactful diplomacy that led the Parisian haute couture system through the German occupation of WWII, ensuring not only its survival, but its rapid postwar economic resurgence.
Cindy A. Schipani
The Corporate Attorney-Client and Work Product Privileges: Things of the Past?
This manuscript discusses how the Department of Justice (DOJ) has viewed waiver of the attorney-client privilege as an important factor evidencing cooperation when determining whether to enter non-prosecution or deferred prosecution agreements with firms allegedly involved in criminal activities. It further discusses recent changes to the DOJ's guidelines, purporting to take waiver out of the equation in deciding whether to prosecute. Questions remain as to whether the corporate attorney-client privilege is a relic of the past or whether the new guidelines, issued in August, have indeed restored the privilege to firms under federal investigation.
Benjamin Schwantes
Regulating the Telegraph: Train Dispatching, Telephony, and the 1907 Hours of Service Act
Twentieth-century American railroad officials struggled with unanticipated problems introduced by telegraphic train dispatching. The growing power of the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, a militant union, contributed to rising labor costs and shortages of skilled workers. Despite these problems, officials with major trunk lines were hesitant about replacing telegraphy with a newer communications technology, the telephone. In 1907, the federal government forced railroads to act decisively. Congress passed the Hours of Service Act, which limited the number of hours that dispatchers and telegraph operators could work in a 24-hour period. The act effectively forced companies to double their workforce of skilled telegraph operators, a nearly impossible task. Instead, major railroads shifted a considerable volume of train dispatching to new telephone systems. Following 1907, railroad officials enthusiastically praised the advantages of telephony for railroad management purposes. Some managers even argued that it was ideally suited for railroad operations, unlike the telegraph. My paper examines the impact of the 1907 Hours of Service Act on the American railroad industry and looks at how it altered management practices, labor relations, and communications technologies. It highlights the influence of broader political, social, and economic factors on American railroad management in the early twentieth century.
Stefan Schwarzkopf
What Was Advertising? The Invention, Rise, Demise, and Disappearance of Advertising Concepts in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Europe and America
The article introduces a model of changing and competing advertising concepts and frameworks in order to replace dominant but limited periodization models of the historical development of advertising. I argue that different conceptualizations of advertising (as art, science, service, salesmanship, symbolic communication, creativity, and relationship-building) have existed in different forms throughout the last two hundred years. Historians and marketing researchers might learn that 1880s or 1920s practitioners meant different things when they insisted that "advertising works." Since 1800, emerging advertising frameworks and concepts have had competing perspectives on advertising's efficiency within the marketing process, and competing concepts of the social and political. Ideas about advertising are inherently political and pertain to specific visions of society. Advertising concepts relied on rhetorical strategies that legitimized and delegitimized opposing social and political structures. These allow us to complicate often undertheorized narratives proffered in advertising management textbooks. A conceptual history of advertising also shows how the triadic relationship among firm, advertising agency, and media has grown.
Brett Sheehan
Selling Knitting as Modernity: The Dongya Corporation in Tianjin, China, 1932-1937
In 1932 Song Feiqing founded the Dongya Corporation in Tianjin, China to manufacture and sell knitting yarn. At that time, virtually all knitting yarn in China came from foreign producers in Britain and Japan, but the Dongya Corporation managed to take 25 percent of the Chinese domestic yarn market within four years of beginning operations. This remarkable success derived in part from its innovative marketing. Dongya marketing strategies combined the appeal of a patriotic National Goods campaign, close ties to distributors, and evocation of Western-inspired scientific and hygienic modernity. Foremost, however, it capitalized on import-substitution policies of the Nationalist state which allowed it to sell yarn at a price point lower than that of its foreign competitors. Market share declined after foreign competitors relocated production to China. Thus Dongya could sell Chinese consumers on the modernity and patriotism of knitting, but only at the right price.
Bryant Simon
Up Close in the Flat World: Learning about the Global at a Local Starbucks in Singapore [Paper]
In this ethnographic essay, I look at drinking Starbucks coffee in Singapore, especially by young Malays. What does it mean for these teens from the most economically and socially marginal community in this multicultural country to publicly consume oversized American products? What are they saying about themselves and their relationship to their tradition-bound community? What can we learn about globalization and how it works by charting the consumption of this American product by a somewhat outsider community in this transnational place? I examine one group of buyers to explore the localized meaning of the global.
Andrew Smith
The Dollars and Cents of British Imperialism: The Political Economy of British Investment in Canada, 1867-1914
This paper examines four important British free-standing companies that were active in present-day Canada in the 1860s and 1870s. These companies were the Hudson's Bay Company, the Canada Company, the Trust and Loan Company of Upper Canada, and the Grand Trunk Railway. In the early 1860s, these companies lobbied the British government to unite the previously separate colonies in North America. The companies were controlled by well-connected gentlemanly capitalists who were in a position to influence British policy. In 1867, the British Parliament passed legislation uniting four of the colonies in mainland North America into a federal state know as the Dominion of Canada. This paper examines what happened to these companies after 1867. This paper will show that the union of the colonies did not benefit the four companies in the ways their directors had anticipated. The Grand Trunk remained on the edge of bankruptcy after 1867. The Hudson's Bay Company, the Canada Company, and the Trust and Loan Company of Upper Canada also derived fewer benefits from Confederation than they had anticipated.
Janneken Smucker
Crafting Fashion: The Niche Market for Amish Quilts
In the late 1960s, young art enthusiasts began to hang old Amish quilts on walls, noting their resemblance to abstract paintings. Soon a market developed for these objects, with prices rising rapidly as quilts left Amish communities. Because Amish women no longer made quilts using the same fabrics, patterns, and colors as the old quilts, collectors and dealers perceived the craft as a dying art in need of revival. Non-Amish entrepreneurs identified a niche market—new Amish-made quilts that replicated the designs of the old ones, but could be sold at much lower prices. They provided Amish women with the "right" patterns and fabrics; Amish women only provided the labor. By marketing these products using the "Amish Brand," Łthey constructed the idea of what an Amish quilt should look like. This business model fulfilled a short-lived niche market by responding to the fashion for expensive antique Amish quilts. Yet mass-produced quilts outsourced to overseas factories were increasingly available in mail order catalogs and department stores by the late 1980s; multinational corporations superseded these small businesses by selling more product at lower prices while denigrating the perceived symbolic value of handcrafted quilts.
Molly Sorkin
The Limits of Expansion: Contraction and Collapse in the Haute Couture, 1920-1940
This paper will address the demise of two of the early twentieth century's most successful fashion enterprises, the couture houses of Lady Duff Gordon—whose business was known as Lucile Ltd.—and Paul Poiret. The paper will establish a chronology of events and describe the financial factors that led to their dissolution. Duff Gordon and Poiret were creative, innovative designers as well as masterful self-promoters who came to preside over "lifestyle" companies. Despite their success, both Duff Gordon and Poiret severed ties with their couture houses in the 1920s. During the 1930s the businesses closed for good, but the economic depression was only partly responsible. How and why, then, did it all go wrong? What lessons can be drawn from their early experience with incorporation, limited partnerships, product licensing, and the launching of subsidiary companies? With his extravagant displays aboard three river barges, one a functioning restaurant, at the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs, Poiret may have demonstrated the folly of over-spending on publicity and promotion. In the case of Lucile Ltd., Lady Duff Gordon's partnership with a ready-to-wear manufacturer may have signaled the beginning of the end, as the various branches of her international company split apart. Their failures were business failures, not creative ones, and the strategic marginalization of these designers by their business partners only proved to be bad for business.
Anna Spadavecchia and John Cantwell
Innovation and British Regions in the Interwar Period: A Preliminary Discussion
It is often repeated that failings in industrial research and development (R&D) explain, at least in part, the long-term decline of British industry. However, other studies have not supported such an interpretation, pointing out that Britain witnessed significant and expanding R&D across its industries, impressive levels of corporate innovation, and the rapid expansion of "new" assembly and science-based industries. This paper contributes to this debate and uses a newly constructed dataset of patents granted in the United States to British inventions, for various benchmark years between 1918 and 1932. The analysis of 8,100 patent records shows that the regional distribution of innovation in the interwar years is similar to the one observed for the 1969-1995 period, thus suggesting that the technological comparative advantage is related to the regions themselves, rather than to specific industries. Moreover, the data show that British regions did display a Revealed Technological Advantage (RTA) in growing industries such as chemicals, electrical goods, and motor vehicles. Therefore, the hypothesis of a technological lock-in within declining industries receives limited support from this preliminary analysis.
Alessandro Stanziani
French Collective Wine Branding in Comparative Perspective, Nineteenth-Twentieth Centuries
The set of rules adopted from 1935 on and defining wine collective labels for wine in France has been a formidable institutional tool for the economic activity of a group of producers. For decades, the winegrowers and merchants of Bordeaux and Champagne were to be protected not only from foreign counterfeiting but also from the temptations of some among them to make unilateral changes in production techniques or simply to "cheat." This French scheme enjoyed great success in other European countries, especially in Spain and Italy where, for reasons similar to those in France, wine production played an important role in market equilibrium and in the introduction of quality norms. In contrast, collective trademarks (but not trademarks of origin) were not used in Anglo-Saxon countries, where product value was mainly indicated by individual trademarks and terroir was not an economic and legal asset. We explore reasons for that. The first was the fact that the rules governing wines as food products were part of an institutional framework that emphasized health quality (hence the connection with drugs) and product quality. Another reason for the absence of collective trademarks in Anglo-Saxon countries was linked to the fact that, in contrast to France, the rise of wine production took place after the introduction of organic chemistry and "industrial" methods of winemaking and conservation.
Ray Stokes and Ralf Banken
"No Steel, No TV, and No Burgers": How Industrial Action in a Single Company Threatened to Bring the British Economy to a Standstill
Industrial gases (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon, and so on) are used in all manufacturing and in many service industries. This paper explores instances of actual or threatened industrial action in the late 1970s in Great Britain at British Oxygen Company (BOC) to analyze the overall economic importance of this key, but frequently overlooked, industrial sector. BOC had a market share in Britain of more than 70 percent during the 1960s and 1970s, with American-headquartered Air Products controlling virtually all of the remainder of the market share, although mainly in bulk deliveries. Compensation for any downturn in BOC production was thus virtually impossible. Once BOC deliveries stopped, production faltered across the British economy. Trade unions representing BOC workers were thus able in the context of the 1970s to gain substantial concessions in terms of wage increases and to challenge the wage policies of the Labour government of the period. In this paper, we explore the connections between BOC's quasi-monopoly position, company strategy, the actions of the trade unions, and the significance for and impact on the British economy.
Gayle Strege
Influences of Two Midwestern American Department Stores on Retailing Practices, 1883-1941
Marshall Field's of Chicago and the F. & R. Lazarus & Co. of Columbus, Ohio, were part of Alfred D. Chandler Jr.'s "retailing revolution." These two American department stores substantially influenced retailing practices in the United States, before they were assimilated into the Macy's brand in 2007. At Marshall Field's in the late nineteenth century, Gordon Selfridge instituted innovative methods of selling, including visual merchandising, which he later transported across the Atlantic Ocean. He also hired Arthur Fraser, whose artistry in window displays at Field's transformed that fledgling practice during the early twentieth century. Fred Lazarus, Jr., not only revolutionized merchandising practices at his family's department store, but in 1929 he joined Lincoln Filene, president of Filene's Sons & Co. in Boston, and Walter N. Rothschild, Sr., president of Abraham & Straus in Brooklyn, to create the holding company Federated Department Stores, which would become the largest company of its type by 1965. Fred, Jr., was also instrumental in convincing president Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the American Thanksgiving holiday to the fourth from the last Thursday in November, creating more shopping days for the Christmas retail season.
Graham D. Taylor
Seagram Comes to Scotland: The Role of Local Players in the Overseas Expansion of a Canadian Multinational, 1949-1965
In this paper, I assess the Seagram Company's investment in Britain after World War II through Robert Brown, Ltd., a U.K. subsidiary, its first major expansion outside the North American continent. I argue that this direct investment in Britain was less a matter of corporate strategic policy and more the result of a convergence of factors. These include the personal and entrepreneurial ambitions of key figures in Seagram, particularly Jimmy Barclay; the efforts by British managers, especially John Chiene, to establish Robert Brown, Ltd., as an integrated operating company within the Seagram system; and the impact of British policies on import barriers, exchange controls, and exports of capital that established the parameters within which Seagram operated throughout the 1950s. Ultimately, the transformation of the British subsidiary from a small sales agency to a full-scale production and distribution organization laid the groundwork for Seagram's overseas expansion in the ensuing decades.
Kevin Tennent
A Fashion for Investment or Management? Scottish Free-Standing Companies in the United States, 1880-1900
An important theme in the settlement of the American west was the exploitation of new raw material sources, many of which were opened up by free-standing companies (FSCs) based in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom. Between the start of 1880 and the end of 1884 as many as thirty FSCs were registered in Scotland alone to operate in the United States, representing a combined nominal capital of £8,102,000 or approximately $40,000,000. Of these the twelve FSCs formed to enter the emergent western ranching industry are probably the best known, and the paper will focus on one such example, the Matador Land and Cattle Company, with one copper mining and one lumber company as examples from other fields. The paper concludes that the Matador represented more of a managerial investment, while the representatives studied from the copper and lumber fields remained more speculative, with little managerial control extending from Scotland to the companies' operations in the U.S. west. The FSCs studied in this paper remained more representative of Mira Wilkins' original specification of an FSC, having no commercial link with the home country.
Francesca Tesi
The Application of Taylorism in France: The Role of the Michelin Family in the Rationalization of French Working
Early in the twentieth century, the first works concerning Frederick W. Taylor's theories were published in France. Real interest in applying these new work methods began at the end of World War I, when entrepreneurs began looking for new and better ways of avoiding waste in their work forces and operations. In this essay, I analyze the Michelin Company's particular attraction to Taylorism, which began during the 1910s. Marcel Michelin introduced the firm to the principles of scientific management after a journey to the United States to study the new theories. Michelin began an important campaign to disseminate information about the Taylor system in the French industrial sector, resulting in 1921 in the founding of the Comité Michelin. Although the committee ended its campaign in the early 1930s, Michelin's interest continued, and the company went on to create and publish a magazine that dealt with Taylorism and its uses at Michelin.
Kim Todt
An Early Modern Supply Chain: The Roles of Women in the Beaver Trade from Procurers to Consumers
This paper examines women's participation in the beaver trade in New Netherland and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century, undertaking a supply chain analysis. Supply chain activities typically transform natural resources into a finished product delivered to the end consumer. This paper challenges traditional, highly gendered historiographic notions of colonial women and Native American women. The first part of the paper examines Native American women who acted as intermediaries for their nations with New Netherland traders. The second part considers the Dutch women who traded for furs from Native Americans. Dutch women participated extensively in commerce in New Netherland, and I will explain why this was extensive and widely accepted. The third section extends the supply chain across the Atlantic and focuses on merchant houses of Amsterdam active in transatlantic trade with New Netherland and the role women played as merchants in patria. These "she-merchants" sold beavers to the furriers and hatters who produced the fur-lined outerwear and felt hats and, further along in the supply chain, acted as retail suppliers of the finished products. The supply chain concludes with the women who wore beaver and their role in an early modern consumer culture influenced by fashion.
Efrat Tseëon
In Search of the "Ethics" of Ethical Fashion
The discourse of ethical fashion argues that ethical fashion can be achieved unproblematically by adopting certain practices of doing things differently (like sourcing organic cotton and supporting fair trade). The emerging ethical fashion orthodoxy tends to define the scope of the "ethical" around issues of supply chain and sustainability of production, and to marginalize other equally important concerns (e.g., sustainability of use and disposal, animal welfare, use of toxins in beauty products, and the influence of fashion images on beauty ideals and role models offered young people). By what it advocates and what it represses, ethical fashion narrative appears to ignore the dilemmatic nature of ethical questions. Further, it offers oversimplified solutions of different consumption that fail to challenge the paradigm of excessive consumption. And it is this paradigm that generates the ethical questions privileged by the ethical industry in the first place. It is also the paradigm that sustains fashion, as fashion is premised on obsolescence. Hence, to embrace an inclusive ethical agenda would create a conflict of interests for the fashion industry. Is this why the industry displaces its concerns onto exotic and remote people, places, and practices? While no easy solutions exist, the paper argues for more complex models of response to wider ethical issues.
Geoffrey Tweedale
"What Happens When the Money Runs Out?" The Corporate Veil and Multinational Liability for Industrial Disease
This paper explores how corporations utilize the law to limit liabilities for past actions. A key instrument—little discussed in business history writing—is the corporate veil. This relates to the concept of corporate "personality," in which the corporation is granted the same legal rights as an individual. Risks can be externalized by the creation of subsidiaries, in which the parent company is legally merely a shareholder and fireproofed from liability by a corporate veil. This device has proved attractive for asbestos companies dealing with "long tail" and expensive liabilities for asbestos-related cancers. Since the 1980s, several asbestos companies have retreated behind the corporate veil, including Cape Asbestos in the United Kingdom, W. R. Grace in the United States, and James Hardie in Australia. As an example, a brief account is offered of James Hardie and its controversial relocation to the Netherlands in 2001—a move that triggered a public outcry and then a government inquiry and criminal proceedings. The paper concludes with a review of the key ethical issues raised when the law is used to limit liability in this manner and explores ways in which involuntary creditors can be protected and companies made more accountable.
John Uggen
Decoding Cultural Values in Alcoholic Beverage Advertising: A Semiotic Analysis of a Century of Beer Advertising by the National Beer Company of Ecuador
The paper conducts a semiotic analysis of 118 years (1887-2005) of beer advertising by the Cerveceria Nacional of Ecuador. Ecuador's National Beer Company was one of the original properties acquired by the Ecuadorian Corporation, the North American holding company founded in 1914 by the New York investor and promoter Evermont Hope Norton. Throughout its years of operation in Ecuador the Cerveceria Nacional played an important role in introducing North American management and business practices and served as a model for the development of many of Ecuador's most successful corporations. One of the techniques which the Cerveceria Nacional pioneered was the use of modern advertising methods. The primary source on which this paper is based is the sample of beer advertisements collected by Ecuadorian author Jenny Estrada for her history of the Cerverceria Nacional's publicity department. The theoretical framework of the paper utilizes the technique of semiotic analysis developed by Judith Williamson in her book Decoding Advertisements and applied to beer advertising by Michael Harvey and Malcolm Evans in their "Competitor Advertising Decoding Kit," which they developed for the Guiness Corporation.
Maki Umemura
Medical Fashions: The Traditional Medicines Industry in Modern Japan, 1868-2005
In Japan, traditional herbal medicines coexist with modern, Western-style medicines. Today, the business of producing traditional medicines is dominated by a single publicly traded firm, Tsumura. Since the 1980s, this firm has held 80 percent of Japan's traditional medicines market. Before the Second World War, however, traditional medicines were sold by a number of small firms offering branded products. Between 1945 and 1975, the industry was comprised of small to medium sized family firms, with each company offering several over-the-counter medicines. After 1975, the industry evolved into a large prescription drug industry dominated by a single company. This firm was able to benefit from first mover advantages when traditional medicines were incorporated into Japan's national health insurance system. The forces of change in this industry have also refashioned Japan's traditional medicines into a "modern" product. This presentation shows how the evolution of this industry was driven by advances in science and technology, developments in pharmaceutical regulation, and changes in popular attitudes.
Olga Vainshtein
Invisible Business: Private Dressmaking in Soviet Russia
The paper is focused around the economic and cultural peculiarities of Soviet domestic dressmaking. While much has been written about the tradition of domestic sewing in Europe, little is known about dressmaking as a fashion business in Soviet Russia. This is partly explained by the economic and political "invisibility" of domestic sewing, as this kind of housework was never officially regulated. Dressmakers could run their private business without the obtrusive attention of the Soviet authorities, and they could ensure the privacy of their clients. The traditionally low prices attracted customers, who could afford to pay private dressmakers, whereas they could often not afford to buy clothes in the state shops. The argument aims at explaining why this paradoxical situation continued through all the years of the Soviet regime, transforming private dressmaking into a unique sphere for free creativity and indirect political subversion. Relative freedom from surveillance, low prices, and expressly feminine overtones turned the private business of dressmaking into a privileged gender-marked space of women's self-fashioning: in fact, the home salons of private dressmakers functioned as unofficial women's clubs.
Hugo van Driel and Jeroen Kuilman
Fashions in Business Names: The Demise of an Organizational Form in Dutch Warehousing, 1871-2007
In this study, form demise was analyzed where an organizational form was defined as a cognitively legitimate social category. Drawing on institutional and ecological arguments, the extent to which a category label is used in firm names was hypothesized to affect the salience of the category. In particular, the possible positive consequences of the use of a label in company names by firms with institutional linkages were distinguished from the possible negative consequences of its use by firms lacking such linkages. The results generally confirm our predictions on the use of the idiosyncratic label of veem (plural: vemen) in business names in the context of the warehousing industry in one of the largest ports in the world, Rotterdam, from 1871 to 2007. The main institutional linkage in this industry was accreditation, by an external body, of firms issuing warehouse warrants. On the one hand, a rise in the number of accredited veem-labelled companies fostered the total number of firms adopting the veem label in its name. On the other hand, beyond a certain threshold, an increase in the number of companies using the veem-label without having the accredited status (and sometimes without being active in warehousing at all) tended to reduce the salience of the organizational form. This contributed to the almost complete demise of the use of the label in business names.
Valerio Varini
A New Brand for a New Consumer: The Success of Campari between the Nineteenth and the Twentieth Century
This study aims to analyze the success of one of the most interesting companies in Italy: Campari. This brand became not only a business success but also a cultural symbol of the industrial revolution in Italy. This study traces the main stages of this development, from its origin in the middle of the nineteenth century, to the full success at beginning of the 1930s. It starts describing the activity of the founder (Gaspare Campari) and his original idea to open a café in Milan and to produce new alcoholic beverages like "Bitter." The passage from father to son and above all Davide's entrepreneurial leadership transformed the café into an industrial activity. The innovative use of advertising brought Campari international success, and this forced the company to defend its brand with a specific trademark policy. The cost of this success was the diffusion of counterfeit goods and the subsequent battle to contain this unfair competition. At the end, this study presents data concerning production, turnover, cost of advertising, and profits during the 1920s and 1930s.
Grietjie Verhoef
Entrepreneur, Social Capital, and the Survival of Poor Whites on the Witwatersrand, 1930-2000: The Case of Burgers Brothers Clothing Enterprise
The economic downturn of the 1930s was compounded by a severe drought, agricultural diseases, and growing impoverishment among whites in South Africa. Urbanization was the first survival strategy. The Burgers family started a clothing outlet targeting poor whites and specifically Afrikaners on the Witwatersrand. This paper will use social capital theory to explore the establishment of networks in the business community to facilitate the survival of their enterprise among competition from Indian traders and Jewish clothing enterprises. The family business skillfully aligned itself with the Afrikaners' cultural and political network during the war period to become a preferred provider of regular working-class clothing and school wear to working-class people in Johannesburg. The paper will explore the development of managerial strategies by this family enterprise during the postwar era of contesting nationalism, racial and language divisions in South Africa.
Javier Vidal
Transport and Intangibles: The Spanish Airlines Sector, 1960-2008
This paper examines the sector of Spanish commercial aviation and its growth through intangible assets. The company of regular flights, Iberia, increased its passenger traffic from 1960. This company has developed its brand as a synonym of quality, technological adaptation and innovation, prestige, and security. It has also modified its organizational structure, winning competitive advantages in the market. On the other hand, charter airlines have developed intangible assets in a different way: by using human and relational capital, besides that derived from the creation of an industrial network associated with tourist activities. The sector of commercial aviation has got important competitive advantages through intangible assets obtained in its historical evolution.
Villa Vilaithong
Fashioning Thai Silk: Queen Sirikit, Jim Thompson, and the Silk Business in Thailand, 1950s-1960s
This paper explores the roles of two important figures, Jim Thompson (1906-1967) and Queen Sirikit of Thailand (1932- ), in the revival of the Thai silk business during the 1950s and 1960s. It argues that both Thompson and Queen Sirikit turned Thai silk into a commodity that was modern yet embedded traditional value. They refashioned it to suit the international standard, market, and audience. Thompson established the Thai Silk Company in 1948 to market silk products inside and outside Thailand. He worked with local weavers, guided them about the color and designs, and provided them with new techniques that improved the silk quality. In contrast, Queen Sirikit promoted Thai silk through her person by wearing both Western style costumes and the newly defined Thai national dress. With her silk signature, she was internationally recognized as a fashion icon and one of the most beautiful queens in the world. Besides, the Queen's silk dress greatly attracted the attention of the Thai people, especially middle-class women. By the 1960s Thai silk became one of the most sought after souvenirs, which indirectly helped the emerging local tourism.
Margaret Walsh
Women and the American Automobile Industry: Changing the Gendered Landscape of Car Consumption after 1945
This paper examines the consumption of American automobiles, the product of one of the largest twentieth-century industries in the United States. It focuses on one demographic segment of what has been a largely undifferentiated national market, namely women, by using both textual archival and secondary sources and iconography as pictured in the advertisements and photographs produced by the industry. The emphasis in the post-World War Two period will be given to the years 1945-1980, though reference will be made to subsequent years. The questions addressed are varied, but they include when and how women came to be recognized as important participants in the purchase of American cars; what sort of female consumer did automobile marketers address? What, if anything, does the position of women in car imagery suggest about manufacturers' appreciation of women's position in society and of women's relationships to automobiles? When did women's insights into driving become important in the design and the purchase of vehicles? How and when did the automobile cease to become a masculine technology? Has it become impossible to ignore or to marginalize the female car market?
Benjamin Waterhouse
Making Business Fashionable: American Corporate Leaders and Their Discontents in the 1970s
During the 1970s, American business leaders—at individual firms and through large employers' associations—mobilized collectively against political movements that they believed threatened business's legal prerogatives and social standing. This quest for positive public relations formed an integral part of overall corporate strategy during a time of acute economic stress. This paper explores the mobilization of major Washington-based employers' associations against a particular public relations threat—a series of protests and demonstrations organized by labor, consumer, and environmental groups and known as "Big Business Day," in April 1980. Drawing on records of such groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, housed at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, I argue that organized employers successfully blunted the effectiveness of "Big Business Day" through grassroots organizing and extensive collaboration among organizations. Moreover, the collective voice of business consciously manipulated the rhetoric surrounding "Big Business Day," tying together in public debate the interests of business and society at large and casting business's antagonists as "special interests." Corporate leaders' collective efforts to influence political discourse in the name of public relations constituted an essential part of their overall management strategies in the late twentieth century.
Leah M. Wright
The Black Cabinet: Black Republicans, the Nixon Administration, and the Development of an Economic Civil Rights Movement
This paper discusses Richard Nixon's "Black Cabinet" and the development of an economic civil rights movement, 1969-1972. The members of the Black Cabinet, a loosely assembled group of black Republican appointees, pushed an agenda directly aimed at the needs and aspirations of African Americans. They developed a specialized black outreach campaign, specifically using the Nixon administration as a vehicle for advancing an alternative civil rights movement, rooted in economic, employment, labor, and business policies. Ultimately, the Black Cabinet fashioned an agenda, promoted by the mainstream Republican Party, that championed economic uplift as the final, critical step in the struggle for racial equality and black independence.
Chin-tao Wu
Hermès in Asia: Haute Couture, High Art, and the Marketplace
"We want Maison Hermès," so declared, in all seriousness, the spokesperson of Hermès Japan, "to be thoroughly absorbed into Japanese society." He also quoted Jean-Louis Dumas, chairman of Hermès Paris, when he said that the Maison Hermès, located in the most fashionable shopping district of Tokyo, should have "as much art in it as it has air." How and for what reasons can a Western high-couture house such as Hermès want to be "thoroughly absorbed into Japanese society"? This incongruous phenomenon is typical of the stage of advanced capitalism reached in a post-modern metropolis where what matters, in the urban spectacle of consumption, is no longer the goods themselves but their status and their symbolic value. Here art has become the Esperanto of the elite global consumer. This paper will first examine the specific ways in which Hermès integrated their art intervention into their marketing strategies by establishing, for instance, contemporary art galleries in Tokyo and Seoul, and by instituting a contemporary art prize in Korea. Secondly, it will attempt to elaborate on the meaning and implications of Hermès' art practice within the context of Barthes' theorizing on fashion.
Ben Wubs
The Growth of Dutch Multinationals in Germany: The Case of Philips, 1920-1960
This paper aims to find out how Philips could grow so luxuriantly in Germany during the 1920-1960 period, despite the existence of strong local competitors like Siemens and AEG, and their subsidiaries Osram and Telefunken. What motives did Philips have for the initial investment in Germany and what was its strategy? The conclusion I draw in this paper is that unexpected favorable historical conditions created opportunities for the Dutch electronics firm. Both world wars created competitive advantages for Philips over its local rivals. Close business relations with the American GE, the development of its own Physics Laboratory, and extremely good financial results during and right after the First World War made an international expansion possible. Philips was not hampered by Allied restrictions, as had been the case for its German rivals. Becoming a member of the international Phoebus Cartel offered Philips the opportunity to diversify. Later cartel agreements with Telefunken further consolidated Philips' position in Germany. After the Second World War the company was seen as a part of the Allied bloc, whose industrial expansion could not be stopped by associations and cartel agreements of German electronic firms.
Shakila Yacob
Branding Beauty: Indigenous Knowledge to the Forefront
Around the world, beauty has been constructed and expressed in myriad ways in different cultures and through different phases of history. Indeed, constructions and perceptions of beauty are in constant flux, however gradual the change. In Malaysia, in recent years, the notion of beauty has been undergoing significant transformation for at least one segment of the population. A number of fledgling companies are finding success with certain products that are based on the notion of beauty being tied to inward, as opposed to outward, appearances. Through interviews with managers and owners in three such emerging companies, and a consumer survey of beauty products, this study reveals that there are three important factors inherent in the appeal of this new approach in the ongoing commercialization of beauty: specifically, that indigenous knowledge of herbs is generally held and diffused by women, that women are founders, managers and users of the products, and that these companies are family-owned with technical or scientific expertise being outsourced to add credibility and increase commercial viability. In addition, this study found that the companies evolved from home-based to shop-front businesses and diversified from being beauty-based product producers to "lifestyle" companies. All three used "masstige" pricing strategies, targeting attainable luxury products at the growing middle-class. Tapping into the more traditional and cultural practices of personal healthcare and lifestyle has opened up a niche market with the advantage of indigenous knowledge, to which foreign competition has very limited access. This study asserts that by utilizing such indigenous knowledge and appealing to cultural and religious identity, new companies can be successful even when competing in a crowded market dominated by foreign multinationals.
Yamauchi Yuki
The Fashion-Creation System in Japan, 1920-1930
The purpose of this article is to reveal the Japanese fashion-creation systems for textiles in the 1920s,.paying attention to three main players: department stores, which tried to use Meisen in their bargain sale strategies; a middle-merchant (Inanishi & Co.) within the distribution center,, which both built up an innovative fashion-creation system by using a magazine and a system of textile fairs to convey the strategic changes of department stores, and finally producers who could receive updated fashion information by joining the fashion-creation system. Although previous studies about Japanese fashion-creation have, as far as I know, downplayed the role of middle merchants, i have reviewed the nascency of a unique process for a middle-merchant-centered, fashion-creation system. The aim of Inanishi & Co. was to widely disseminate the ideas and fashion concepts of department stores to producers by first collecting the latest market news and fashion information, such as seasonal colors and designs from department stores; by communicating that information through monthly magazines, and by holding fairs that appointed judging committees made up of department stores' chief buyers, and finally, by publishing articles with physical samples of textile prizewinners in the monthly magazine.

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