The performance of European business in the twentieth century
Title: The performance of European business in the twentieth century
Citation: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016
This book originated from the idea that performance is what really matters in business and thus in business history. Yet, surprisingly, the analysis of performances has been neglected by economic and business historians. This book is a first attempt to fill this gap and in doing so provides a totally new approach to European business history. Rather than bringing together national studies, it is based on a single database, measuring performance in eight European countries according to identical criteria. The study spans the entire twentieth century, with particular attention to five benchmark moments: the height of the first globalisation on the eve of the First World War; the late 1920s boom preceding the Great Depression; the European reconstruction of the mid-1950s; the end of 'Golden Age' in the early 1970s; and the height of the second globalisation at the turn of the twenty-first century. The analysis is based on a sample of 1,225 companies, belonging to the three major European economies, Britain, France and Germany; two large south European latecomers, Italy and Spain; two smaller north western countries, Belgium and Sweden, and one small Nordic country, Finland. Performance has been measured using two ratios of profitability: return on equity (ROE) and holding return (HR), thus providing a complementary measure of profitability, the former as seen from the firm's perspective, the latter form the investor's perspective. The book's findings, at times surprising, at once confirm and infirm widely held assumptions regarding business performance - regarding strategy and structure, ownership and control, old and new industries, emerging and advanced economies.
Table of Contents:
-- Foreword, Franco Amatori -- Part I: Overview and methodology 1: The Performance of European Business in the 20th Century: General Overview, Youssef Cassis, Andrea Colli and Harm G. Schröter 2: Methodology and Traps, Michele D'Alessandro 3: Ownership and Performance in European Big Business: The Longitudinal Perspective, Andrea Colli Part II: Countries' Performance 4: The Performance of Belgian Enterprises in the 20th century, Frans Buelens, Ludo Cuyvers, Marc Deloof, and Helma De Smedt 5: The Performance of British Business in the 20th Century, Youssef Cassis and Terry Gourvish 6: The Performance of French Business in the 20th Century, Youssef Cassis, Anne Dalmasso, and Pierre Vernus 7: The Performance of German Big Business in the 20th Century, Diane Dammers and Hendrik Fischer 8: Big Business Performance in the 20th Century: Italy, Carlo Brambilla and Andrea Colli 9: Spanish Business Performance in the 20th century, Veronica Binda, Albert Carreras, and Xavier Tafunell 10: Growth and Profits in Swedish and Finnish Big Business in the Twentieth Century, Riitta Hjerppe and Mats Larsson -- Part III: Industries' Performance 11: Old Industries in Europe, 1911-2000, Toni Pierenkemper, Helma De Smedt, Frans Buelens Ludo Cuyvers, and Marc Deloof 12: The Performance of 'Chandlerian enterprises', Harm G. Schröter 13: The Performance of European Transport and Utilities in the Twentieth Century, Anna-Maria Aubanell and Terry Gourvish 14: Commercial and Financial Services, Mats Larsson, Edoardo Altamura, and Youssef Cassis