By Kenneth. A. Tucker
First released in 1977. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Additional resources for Business History: Selected Readings
817-2Q;]-Ed. 2 Economic Theory and Business History A comment on the theory of proOt maximisation 1 Francis E. Hyde* In the June 1962 issue of Business History Dr Barry E. Supple published an article2 in which he made, en passant, some pertinent references to the rather infrequent use made by economic historians of economic theory. He went so far as to say that for most business historians the work of Schumpeter might never have been written, so little impact has it apparently made upon them. While agreeing with this general expression of opinion, it might be of further value if we were to particularise and examine Dr Supple's statements with reference to certain concepts in economic theory of relevance to the business historian.
Again, the development of the Booth family interests from leather manufacture and shipping and from shipping into a complex of other enterprises in the twentieth century can be similarly regarded. So too, can the process leading to the domination of Unilever in the control and output of their vast range of commodities; and Pilkingtons in the production of sheet glass and Spencers in the supply of rubber mechanicals. Not invariably, however, does the historian accept the refinement of theory in determining the method wltich a firm might use in maximising its profits.
Baumol, Economic Theory and Operations Analysis (1961). 192-205. 21 See Edith Penrose, Theory of the Growth of the Firm (1959), 184; also P. L. l, December 1962,18. 22 See A. H. Cole, Business Enterprise in its Social Setting (1959). In his Preface, xiii, Professor Arthur Cole emphasises this point. 'In fact, if economics takes on an evolutionary cast, there seems no area so central for the scientific handling of economic change - stagnation and decline as well as growth - with all relevant factors brought into the models, as entrepreneurial history - business administration dealing with economic forces over time within a framework of social institutions and cultural themes.
Business History: Selected Readings by Kenneth. A. Tucker