The Corporation and the Twentieth Century
Richard N. Langlois
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Sozialwissenschaften, Recht, Wirtschaft / Wirtschaft
A definitive reframing of the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era
The twentieth century was the managerial century in the United States. An organizational transformation, from entrepreneurial to managerial capitalism, brought forth what became a dominant narrative: that administrative coordination by trained professional managers is essential to the efficient running of organizations both public and private. And yet if managerialism was the apotheosis of administrative efficiency, why did both its practice and the accompanying narrative lie in ruins by the end of the century? In The Corporation and the Twentieth Century, Richard Langlois offers an alternative version: a comprehensive and nuanced reframing and reassessment of the the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era.
Langlois argues that managerialism rose to prominence not because of its inherent superiority but because of its contingent value in a young and rapidly developing American economy. The structures of managerialism solidified their dominance only because the century’s great catastrophes of war, depression, and war again superseded markets, scrambled relative prices, and weakened market-supporting institutions. By the end of the twentieth century, Langlois writes, these market-supporting institutions had reemerged to shift advantage toward entrepreneurial and market-driven modes of organization.
This magisterial new account of the rise and fall of managerialism holds significant implications for contemporary debates about industrial and antitrust policies and the role of the corporation in the twenty-first century.
The Modern Corporation and Private Property, Joseph Schumpeter, Competition law, Finance, William Borah, Silver purchase act, Deregulation, Employment, Second Industrial Revolution, Clayton Antitrust Act, Research and development, Price controls, Subsidiary, Federal Reserve Note, Tax, Drexel Burnham Lambert, John Maynard Keynes, Bessemer process, Tariff, Anschluss, Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act, Securities Act of 1933, Sherman Silver Purchase Act, Inflation, Lehman Brothers, Recession, Ownership, Competition, Economist, Shakeout, William Randolph Hearst, World War II, Technology, Capitalism, Diversification (marketing strategy), Manufacturing, Woodrow Wilson, Customer, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Trade association, Populism, Herbert Hoover, Hepburn Act, Sherman Antitrust Act, DuPont, Mass production, Consumer, Microsoft, Economy, Monetary policy, National Industrial Recovery Act, World War I, Zaibatsu, General Motors, NCR Corporation, Standardization, IG Farben, Ronald Coase, U.S. Steel, IBM, War Industries Board, Economics, Federal Trade Commission, Vertical integration, Revenue Act of 1921, Income, Corporate group, Thorstein Veblen, Keynesian economics, Standard Oil