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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 Evolutionary Dynamics of Diversified Business Groups in the West

The Evolutionary Dynamics of Diversified Business Groups in the West

History and Theory

(p.26) Chapter 2 The Evolutionary Dynamics of Diversified Business Groups in the West
Business Groups in the West

Asli M. Colpan

Takashi Hikino

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the historical origins, evolutionary paths, and long-term resilience of diversified business groups in the economies of Western Europe, North America, and Oceania from the nineteenth century to the present. In examining the developmental dynamics of diversified business groups in those economies, it aims to propose a new interpretation of the long-term evolution of large business enterprises in different market and institutional settings. The chapter suggests that diversified business groups are not simply transitional and second-best organizations that worked well only at the early phase of modern economic growth and will not necessarily become an obstacle for dynamic industrial development as the economies mature. Instead, as the business groups flexibly co-evolve with changing market and institutional environments, they can stay on as a viable model for business organizations even in developed markets.

Keywords:   business groups, developed economies, emerging economies, multidivisional enterprises, conglomerate firms, family firms, Chandlerian paradigm, unrelated diversification

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