Economics at your fingertips  

Organizational Capabilities and the Economic History of the Industrial Enterprise

Alfred Chandler

Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1992, vol. 6, issue 3, 79-100

Abstract: In my book Scale and Scope (1990), I focused on the history of the modern industrial firm from the 1880s, when such firms first appeared, through World War II. I did so by comparing the fortunes of more than 600 enterprises—the 200 largest industrial firms at three points in time (World War I, 1929, and World War II) in each of the three major industrial economies (those of the United States, Britain, and Germany). In this paper, I first describe the similarities in the historical beginnings and continuing evolution of these enterprises and then outline my explanation for these similarities. Next, I relate my explanation of these "empirical regularities" to four major economic theories relating to the firm: the neoclassical, the principal-agent, the transaction cost, and the evolutionary. Finally, I suggest the value of the transactions cost and evolutionary theories to historians and economists who are attempting to explain the beginnings and growth of modern industrial enterprises.

JEL-codes: N01 D23 N62 N64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1992
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.6.3.79
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (95) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Economic Perspectives is currently edited by Enrico Moretti

More articles in Journal of Economic Perspectives from American Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael P. Albert ().

Page updated 2019-10-22
Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:6:y:1992:i:3:p:79-100