Subject: Business History

Scientific Area:



64 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Knowledge and understanding: The historical reasons for the rise of the mordern corporation. A comparative perspective on the development of business structures in diferente countries. The changes in the relashionship between business and the state since the mid-nineteeth century. The factors which have affected the development of organisational structures, management systems and decision-making in business since the mid-nineteenth century. The relations between the fortune of the firms and the wealth of nations. The small firm in comparative historical perspective.


1 - Introduction: theories of the firm. Tradition and innovation: the firm and the Industrial Revolution. The emergence of the modern firm (1850-1914). The triumph of mass consumption and business structures (1914-1973). Historical comparison of the development of the big business in Britain, United States, Germany and Japan. The firm from a historical perspective: strategies, functions and organization. Business structures and economic growth in the twentieth century. Government-business firm relations. The modern firm: evaluation and future. Comparative and historical overview on the development of small business: Britain, the United States, Germany and Japan. Conclusions and open questions.


CHANDLER, A. D., AMATORI, F. and HIKINO, T. , 1997 , Big Business and the Wealth of Nations , Cambridge University Press
JONES, Geoffrey , 1996 , The Evolution of International Business: an Introduction , Routledge.
JONES, Geoffrey and SCHRÖTER, Harm , 1993 , The Rise of Multinationals in Continental Europe , Aldershot: E. Elgar
BROADBERRY, S. , 1997 , The Productivity Race: British Manufacturing in International Perspective, 1850-1990 , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
CHANDLER, Alfred D. , 1977 , The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business , Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press
CHANDLER, Alfred D. and DAEMS, Herman , 1980 , Managerial Hierarchies: Comparative Perspectives on the Rise of the Modern Industrial Enterprise , Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press (TRAD).
KOEN Nancy F. , 2001 , How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumer?s Trust from Wedwood to Dell ,

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Classification Type: Quantitative (0-20)Evaluation Methodology: The course will be based on lectures (2 hours per week x 16 weeks = 32 hours), discussion classes based on cases presenting company histories or other issues of business history (2 hours TP per week x 12 weeks = 32 hours), compulsory reading materials and written assignements. The evaluation is based in two systems : A or B A : Oral presentation and written summary (20% of the final classification) = Text A Written summary (20%) ; Text B Business goes to the movies (5%) Participation in the discussion of the classes (10%); Test or final exam ( refered to época de recurso) (45%). Sistema A= 20%+20%+10%+5% = 55% (plus a minimum of 50% of attendance to classes) + 45% (test or final exam achievement equal or above ten will be approved). B System exam of the special schedule (época especial) with achievement equal or above ten will be approved = 100%