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Business Groups in the WestOrigins, Evolution, and Resilience$
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Asli M. Colpan and Takashi Hikino

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198717973.001.0001

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The United States in Historical Perspectives

The United States in Historical Perspectives

The Strange Career of Business Groups in Industrial Development

(p.377) Chapter 14 The United States in Historical Perspectives
Business Groups in the West

Takashi Hikino

Marcelo Bucheli

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to re-examine the Chandlerian paradigm of the historical development of modern industrial enterprises in the United States by employing an analytical framework that comprehends the alternative models of corporate evolution, especially that of diversified business groups. Based on the systematic examination of the broad range of business groups that have historically developed in the United States, the chapter focuses on the two varieties of diversified business groups that historically played critical roles in that economy: those centered around overseas trading and operational firms; and those organized around banking institutions. It argues that diversified business groups played the characteristic roles of generating and reorganizing modern industrial enterprises to shape the contemporary economic landscape of oligopoly. Such roles played by the diversified business groups and their contributions to corporate and industrial development should be complemental to the Chandlerian multidivisional enterprises to configure the whole dynamics of the US economy in the long run.

Keywords:   diversified business groups, multidivisional enterprises, Chandlerian paradigm, W. R. Grace & Co, the Morgan group, the Boston Associates

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