Business historians' prolific research output of recent years has struggled to reach college and university curricula. Some findings represent important revisions of our long-established tenets of business performance in the 20th century, clarifying the nature of the relationship between the City and industry, and emphasising the extraordinary international scope of British business, for example. Despite its importance, little of this knowledge has diffused out of the business history community. Much of the blame must rest on the absence of any easily accessible textbook. That is, until now.
David Jeremy's text is divided into three sections: the business environment, the business organisation and entrepreneurship and management. These sections attempt first, to map the terrain business occupies (the relationship between broad political, economic and technical developments and business), second, to chronicle the changes in organisational structure through mergers and multinational enterprises, and, third, to consider some of the sources of the extraordinary dynamism that capitalism has unleashed throughout the world. It is this latter section, with its focus on management and marketing, business culture and ethics, that is innovative and particularly effective.
Business studies lecturers can use this material in core courses with the minimum of tailoring, and the appearance of this text should encourage the spread of free-standing business history courses in business schools.
History lecturers will probably prefer the middle section, which fairly represents a broad summary of business history research and will meet existing economic and business history course requirements.
Andrew Godley is lecturer in economics, University of Reading, and secretary, Association of Business Historians.
A Business History of Britain 1900-1990s. First Edition
Author - David J. Jeremy
ISBN - 0 19 877377 3
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Price - £24.99
Pages - 610