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Future of the Corporation Research - History

To what extent has business historically been associated with a social purpose? How has the purpose of business changed over time? Were there periods during which business was regarded as making a particularly valuable contribution to society? What has contributed to the rise and decline of business organizations in different regions of the world? What, for example, were the factors contributing to the rise and subsequent decline of enterprise in the Middle East over several centuries and the relative decline of British business in relation to other industrialized countries over the past 150 years? How has business been depicted in contemporary literature over time and around the world? How have families that engage in business been regarded? What are the examples of highly regarded businesses in history and what can be learnt from them? Why has the corporation emerged in different places, at different times, and for different activities?

HistoryBusiness and management • Henry Richards

What does history tell us about the role of the corporation in society?

Lead Researcher(s) Institution
Dr Christopher McKenna
Dr Rowena Olegario
Dr Leonardo Davoud
Said Business School
Oxford University

The research will bring together students and scholars, corporate executives and government officials to reconceptualise the global history of the corporation.  The research fits alongside an existing project to create the Global History of Capitalism.  The research will also provide a set of downloadable business history case studies.  The final research paper will synthesise these case studies and inputs into a unifying “introduction” to contextualize the history of the corporation.

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