The European Corporation: Strategy, Structure and Social Science

Whittington, Richard and Mayer, Michael (2002) The European Corporation: Strategy, Structure and Social Science. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 978-0199251049

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Abstract

This book traces the evolution of the large industrial corporation in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom from the 1950s to the 1990s. It combines long-run trends with illustrative case studies of leading companies and their managers to present a complex picture of corporate change. In particular, it highlights the paradox of increasingly similar patterns of corporate strategy and structure across advanced industrial nations with continuing marked differences in corporate ownership, control, and managerial élites. Despite strong institutional contrasts between the leading European economies, and regardless of the decline of the American model of management, big business in Europe has continued to follow a strategic and structural model pioneered in the United States during the first half of the 20th century and encapsulated long ago in Alfred Chandler's (1962) Strategy and Structure. This finding of similar patterns of corporate strategy and structure across Europe challenges recent relativist perspectives on organisations found in postmodern, culturalist, and institutionalist social science. Nevertheless, it does not endorse standard universalist accounts of convergence either. The book distinguishes between Chandlerism, with its original ideology of universalism, and the broader Chandlerian perspective, an enduring but evolving core of good sense about the corporation in certain kinds of advanced economies. Thus, the book shows how the surprising success of conglomerate diversification and the increasing adoption of a more ‘networked’ multidivisional structure simply extends the core principles of the Chandlerian perspective.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: corporations; strategy; european business
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 16:25
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 14:03
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/2135

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