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Oggetto:
Oggetto:

Business Organization History

Oggetto:

Business Organization History

Oggetto:

Academic year 2022/2023

Course ID
MAN0515
Teacher
Paolo Di Martino (Lecturer)
Year
3rd year
Teaching period
First term
Type
Elective
Credits/Recognition
6
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
SECS-P/12 - economic history
Delivery
Formal authority
Language
English
Attendance
Optional
Type of examination
Written and oral
Oggetto:

Sommario del corso

Oggetto:

Course objectives

In modern economies, businesses are organised in a variety of forms, and many very different “models” co-exist. Firms vary in size (micro, small, medium, big), managerial structures (one single owner-manager; various layers of professional managers), and forms of governance (sole-ownership; partnership; incorporated businesses). Some of them focus on a core business and operate in a single nation (or indeed a region or a city), while others are multiproduct and multinational. Some use (or even develop) state-of-the-art technologies, while other rely on cheap labour and very basic techniques.

The aim of the course is to analyse the causes and consequences of the existence of such a variety of models of business and forms of organisation.

To do so, the course investigates the development and functioning of various models of business over time and space, starting with the forms of organisation which dominated the Western world before the beginning of the process of industrialisation, to finish with contemporary phenomena of downsizing and outsourcing. During the course students became familiar with the causes behind the emergence of production in factories, why certain firms grew and other did not, whether models alternative to mass production existed and still do.

The course focuses on the impact of factors such as technology, market structure and financial intermediation, but also regulation and informal cultural norms.

Although the course does not assume students to have any background of economics, it uses ideas derived from various streams of social sciences.

 

Lo scopo del corso è di indagare, utilizzando una prospettiva storica, sulla varietà di forme di impresa presenti nelle oconomie moderne. L'analisi parte dalle forme di organizzazione produttiva pre-industriali per arrivare fino a moderne forme dii impresa con le imprese transnazionali.

Analizzando le cause e il contesto dell'ascesa 8e declino) di varie forme di organizzazione produttiva, il corso mette in luce l'importanza della combinazione fra una multitudien di elementi, fra i quali la tecnologia, la natura del meracto, la finanza, gli aspetti istituzionali e la cultura.

Il corso utulizza concetti e teorie delle scienze sociali, ma non prevede alcuna conoscenza pregressa della teoria economica.

 

 

Oggetto:

Results of learning outcomes

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

  • Understand the features of different models of business, how they evolve, and how they function.
  • Provide a critical view of various theories of the firm.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

  • Apply such theories to the study of the evolution of business structure to show their relative ability to explain the reality of firms’ organization and behavior.

INDEPENDENT JUDGEMENT

  • Critical use of history to understand current issues

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

  • Presenting material during the class

LEARNING SKILLS

  • Ability to apply theories to reality

Sviluppo delle conoscenze

  • comprendere le caratteristiche di modelli di organizzazione aziendale e la loro evoluzione
  • Acquisire una conoscenza critica delle varie teorie d'impresa

Applicazione delle conoscenze

  • Applicazione delle teorie per comprendere l'emergere e lo sviluppo di tipologie di organizzazione aziendale

Svilupppo del giudizio critico

  • Uso critico della storia per la comprensione di problemi attuali

Skill di comunicazione

  • Presentazioni in classe

Skill di apprendimento

  • Applicazione della teoria a casi pratici

Oggetto:

Program

  • Introduction
  • Models of business during the industrial revolution
  • Firms in neoclassical economics.
  • The rise and development of big businesses in the US
  • The institutional theory of the firm
  • Theoretical views on big business
  • Big business outside the US: the British case
  • An alternative model of business: networks of firms and industrial districts
  • Models of business in economic sociology
  • Beyond the conglomerate: "new" models of business
  • Business structure and economic performance in Italy
  • Discussion and revision class.

  • Introduzione
  • La rivoluzione industriale e i modelli di impresa
  • Teoria neoclassica dell'impresa
  • Il "big business"
  • Teoria instituzionalista dell'impresa
  • Teorie del big business
  • Il big business in G.B.
  • I distretti industriali
  • Teoria dell'impresa in sociologia
  • Oltre la conglomerata: "nuovi" modelli di impresa
  • Imprese e performance economica dell'Italia
  • Discussione finale e revisione

Oggetto:

Course delivery

  • 10 * 4-hour lectures and seminars
  • 1*4 hours on-line extra material and revision

  • 10 lezioni frontali di 4 ore
  • 1 lezione on-line con contenuti di approfondimento e revisione

 

Oggetto:

Learning assessment methods

Standard exam

  • Standard method of assessment: 60-minute exam, made of two 500-word lenght open questions (each one worth 25% of the mark), and 10 multiple chice questions (this section worth 50% of the mark). Students get a positive mark for each exact multiple choice question answered, there is no penalty in case of wrong answer.
  • To final mark is an average of the three components but, in order to pass the exam, students are required to achieve a pass mark (i.e. equal of or higher than 18/30) in at least two of the three components of the exam.
  • An oral exam can be added to the written exam in specific cases and at total discretion of the module leader.
  • Alternative methods of assessment can be agreed with students attending at least, 80% of the classes. Such alternative methods, if established, would only apply to the firts exam session after the end of the module. The module leader retains total discretion on whether or not to organise alternative forms of assessment and on their nature.

Esame

  • L'esame è scritto e composto da tre parti: di 10 domande a risposta multipla e due domande aperte (tempo totale = 1 ora)
  • Il voto finale è una media delle parti (risposte multiple=50%, risposte aperte 25% ciascuna). Per passare l'esame si deve avere una voto superiore a 18 in almeno due delle tre componenti
  • In casi specifici, a totale discreazione dell'insegnate, può essere previsto un esame orale.
  • A sua totale discrezione l'insegnate può prevedere forme di esame alternativo per gli studenti/esse frequentati.

 

Suggested readings and bibliography

Oggetto:

There is no key article or book which covers the whole content of the module, and each theme has dedicated readings indicated below; please note that most of them are available in PDF format in the Moodle page

Introduction

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011), Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge, 2 only

Models of business during the industrial revolution

Key reading

  • Hudson, P. “Industrial organization and structure”, in R. Floud and P. Johnson (eds.), The Cambridge economic history of modern Britain. Vol I. Industrialisation, 1700-1860, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004,  (there is a more recent edition of this edited book where this essay is no longer included; make sure to consult the 2004 edition; various copies of this book are available in the library)

Further readings

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge. Chs 4, 5, and 6
  • Bruland, C. (2004),, “Industrialization and technical change”, in Floud and P. Johnson (eds.), The Cambridge economic history of modern Britain. Vol I. Industrialisation, 1700-1860, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (there is a more recent edition of this edited book where this essay is no longer included; make sure to consult the 2004 edition; various copies of this book are available in the library)
  • Wilson, J. F. (1995), British Business History 1720-1994, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 2 only


Firms in neoclassical economics

Key reading:

  • Harley, K. (2011), “Cotton Textiles and the Industrial Revolution, Competing Models and Evidence of Prices and Profits”, Department of Economic, University of Western Ontario working paper, May. (available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Knick_Harley/publication/228601552_Cotton_Textiles_and_the_Industrial_Revolution_Competing_Models_and_Evidence_of_Prices_and_Profits/links/02bfe513751816f1e2000000.pdf)

Further readings:

  • Smith, A., An enquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, any edition, Book 1, chapters 1, 2, and 3 only
  • Mankiw G. and P. Taylor (2nd Edition, 2011), Economics, Cengage Learning, 14 only.


The rise and development of big business in the US

Key reading

  • Chandler, A. (1984), "The emergence of managerial capitalism", Business History Review, volume 58 (issue 4), pp. 473-503.

Further readings

  • John, R. R. (1997), "Elaborations, Revisions, Dissents: Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.’s, The Visible Hand after Twenty Years", Business History Review, volume 71 (issue 2), pp. 151-200.
  • Chandler, A. (1962), Strategy and structure: chapters in the history of the American industrial enterprise. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.
  • Chandler, A. (1977), The visible hand: the managerial revolution in American business. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.
  • Hannah, L. (2008), "Logistics, Market Size, and Giant Plants in the Early Twentieth Century: A Global View", Journal of Economic History, volume 68 (issue 1), pp. 46-79.
  • Hannah, L. (1983). The rise of the corporate economy. London and New York, Methuen, ch.2
  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge. Chs 7, 8, and 10
  • Cassis, Y., “Big business”, in Jones G. and J. Zeitlin (eds.), The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007. pp. 171-193

Institutional theory of the firm

Key readings

  • Williamson, O. E. (1979), “Transaction-costs economics: the governance of contractual relations”, Journal of Law and Economics, volume 22 (issue 2), pp. 233-261.
  • Williamson, O. E. (1981), “The economics of organization: the transaction cost approach”, American Journal of Sociology, volume 87 (issue 3), pp. 548-577.

Further readings

  • “Transaction cost perspective” in Jenkins, M., Ambrosini, V. and Collier, N. (2007) Advanced Strategic Management -; A Multi-Perspective Approach, 2nd Edition, Palgrave 

Theoretical views on big business

Key Readings:

  • Williamson, O. E. (1981), “The modern corporation: origins, evolutions, attributes”, Journal of Economic Literature, volume 19 (issue 4), pp.1537-68.
  • Chandler, A. D. (1992), “Organizational capabilities and the economic history of the industrial enterprise”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, volume 6, pp. 79-100.

Further readings

  • Nelson, R. R. and S. A. Winter (1982), An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press.
  • Nelson, R. and Winter, S. (2002), “Evolutionary Theorizing in Economics”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, volume 16 (2), pp. 23-46
  • Teece, D., Pisano, G. and Shuen, A. (1997), “Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management”, Strategic Management Journal, volume 18 (issue 7), pp. 509-33.
  • “The cognitive perspective” and “knowledge perspective” in Jenkins, M., Ambrosini, V. and Collier, N. (2007) Advanced Strategic Management -; A Multi-Perspective Approach, 2nd Edition, Palgrave

Big business in the UK

Key Readings

  • Wilson, J. F. (1995), British Business History 1720-1994, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, ch.4
  • Hannah, L. (1983). The rise of the corporate economy. London and New York, Methuen, ch.2

Networks of firms and industrial districts

Key readings

  • Carnevali, F. (2004), “‘Crooks, thieves, and receivers’: transaction costs in nineteenth-century industrial Birmingham”, Economic History Review, volume LVII (issue 3), pp. 533-550.
  • Sabel, C. and J. Zeitlin (1985), “Historical Alternatives to Mass Production: Politics, Markets and Technology in Nineteenth-Century Industrialization”, Past and Present, volume 108 (issue August)

Further readings

  • Dei Ottani, G. (2003), “The governance of transactions in the industrial district: the ‘community market’”, in G. Becattini, M. Bellandi, G. Dei Ottani and F. Sforzi (eds.), From industrial districts to local development, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.
  • Popp, A. and J. F. Wilson (2003), “Business networking in the industrial revolution: some comments”, Economic History Review, volume LVI, pp. 355-361.

Models of business in economic sociology

Key readings

  • DiMaggio, P. J. and W. W. Powell (1983), “The iron cage revisited: institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields”, American Sociological Review, volume 48 (issue 2), pp. 147-160.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1985), “Economic action, social structure, and embeddedness", American Journal of Sociology, volume 91 (issue 3), pp. 481-510.

Further readings

  • DiMaggio, P. J. and W. W. Powell, Eds. (1991). The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press.
  • Fligstein, N. (1985), “The spread of the multidivisional form among large firms, 1919-1979”, American Sociological Review, volume 50 (issue 3), pp. 377-391.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (2005), “The impact of social structure on economic outcomes”, Journal of economic perspectives, volume 19 (issue 1), pp. 33-50.
  • Ingram, P. and V. Nee (1998) “Embeddedness and beyond: Institutions, exchange, and social structure”, in M. Brigton and V. Nee (eds.), The new institutionalism in sociology, New York, Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Meyer, J. W. and B. Rowan (1977), “Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as myth and ceremony”, American Journal of Sociology, volume 83 (issue 2), pp. 340-363.
  • Nee, V. (1998). The new institutionalisms in economics and sociology, in M. Brigton and V. Nee (eds.), The new institutionalism in sociology, New York, Russell Sage Foundation.


Beyond the conglomerate; new models of business

Key readings

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge, 19, and 20

Further readings

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge, Chapters 10, 13, 14

Firm structure and economi performance in Italy

Readings

  • Becattini, G., “Italian industrial districts: problems and perspectives”, International studies of management & organization, 21 (1), 1991.
  • Di Martino, P. and Vasta, M., “Happy birthday Italy? Institutions and economic performance in Italy since 1861”, Enterprise and Society, 16 (2), 2015, pp 291-312.
  • Colli, A, and Rinaldi, A., “Institutions, politics and the corporate economy”, Enterprise and Society, 16 (2), 2015, pp 249-269.

Non essendoci un articolo o un libro che copra tutti i contenuti del corso, ogni tema ha una bibliografia dedicata che trovate sotto; la maggior parte di queste letture sono disponibili sulla pagina moodle del corso in formato PDF

Introduzione

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011), Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge, 2 only

Tema 1

Key reading

  • Hudson, P. “Industrial organization and structure”, in R. Floud and P. Johnson (eds.), The Cambridge economic history of modern Britain. Vol I. Industrialisation, 1700-1860, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004,  (there is a more recent edition of this edited book where this essay is no longer included; make sure to consult the 2004 edition; various copies of this book are available in the library)

Further readings

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge. Chs 4, 5, and 6
  • Bruland, C. (2004),, “Industrialization and technical change”, in Floud and P. Johnson (eds.), The Cambridge economic history of modern Britain. Vol I. Industrialisation, 1700-1860, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (there is a more recent edition of this edited book where this essay is no longer included; make sure to consult the 2004 edition; various copies of this book are available in the library)
  • Wilson, J. F. (1995), British Business History 1720-1994, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 2 only


Tema 2

Key reading:

  • Harley, K. (2011), “Cotton Textiles and the Industrial Revolution, Competing Models and Evidence of Prices and Profits”, Department of Economic, University of Western Ontario working paper, May. (available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Knick_Harley/publication/228601552_Cotton_Textiles_and_the_Industrial_Revolution_Competing_Models_and_Evidence_of_Prices_and_Profits/links/02bfe513751816f1e2000000.pdf)

Further readings:

  • Smith, A., An enquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, any edition, Book 1, chapters 1, 2, and 3 only
  • Mankiw G. and P. Taylor (2nd Edition, 2011), Economics, Cengage Learning, 14 only.


Tema 3

Key reading

  • Chandler, A. (1984), "The emergence of managerial capitalism", Business History Review, volume 58 (issue 4), pp. 473-503.

Further readings

  • John, R. R. (1997), "Elaborations, Revisions, Dissents: Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.’s, The Visible Hand after Twenty Years", Business History Review, volume 71 (issue 2), pp. 151-200.
  • Chandler, A. (1962), Strategy and structure: chapters in the history of the American industrial enterprise. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.
  • Chandler, A. (1977), The visible hand: the managerial revolution in American business. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.
  • Hannah, L. (2008), "Logistics, Market Size, and Giant Plants in the Early Twentieth Century: A Global View", Journal of Economic History, volume 68 (issue 1), pp. 46-79.
  • Hannah, L. (1983). The rise of the corporate economy. London and New York, Methuen, ch.2
  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge. Chs 7, 8, and 10
  • Cassis, Y., “Big business”, in Jones G. and J. Zeitlin (eds.), The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007. pp. 171-193

Tema 4

Key readings

  • Williamson, O. E. (1979), “Transaction-costs economics: the governance of contractual relations”, Journal of Law and Economics, volume 22 (issue 2), pp. 233-261.
  • Williamson, O. E. (1981), “The economics of organization: the transaction cost approach”, American Journal of Sociology, volume 87 (issue 3), pp. 548-577.

Further readings

  • “Transaction cost perspective” in Jenkins, M., Ambrosini, V. and Collier, N. (2007) Advanced Strategic Management -; A Multi-Perspective Approach, 2nd Edition, Palgrave 

Tema 5

Key Readings:

  • Williamson, O. E. (1981), “The modern corporation: origins, evolutions, attributes”, Journal of Economic Literature, volume 19 (issue 4), pp.1537-68.
  • Chandler, A. D. (1992), “Organizational capabilities and the economic history of the industrial enterprise”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, volume 6, pp. 79-100.

Further readings

  • Nelson, R. R. and S. A. Winter (1982), An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press.
  • Nelson, R. and Winter, S. (2002), “Evolutionary Theorizing in Economics”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, volume 16 (2), pp. 23-46
  • Teece, D., Pisano, G. and Shuen, A. (1997), “Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management”, Strategic Management Journal, volume 18 (issue 7), pp. 509-33.
  • “The cognitive perspective” and “knowledge perspective” in Jenkins, M., Ambrosini, V. and Collier, N. (2007) Advanced Strategic Management -; A Multi-Perspective Approach, 2nd Edition, Palgrave

Tema 6

Key Readings

  • Wilson, J. F. (1995), British Business History 1720-1994, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, ch.4
  • Hannah, L. (1983). The rise of the corporate economy. London and New York, Methuen, ch.2

Tema 7

Key readings

  • Carnevali, F. (2004), “‘Crooks, thieves, and receivers’: transaction costs in nineteenth-century industrial Birmingham”, Economic History Review, volume LVII (issue 3), pp. 533-550.
  • Sabel, C. and J. Zeitlin (1985), “Historical Alternatives to Mass Production: Politics, Markets and Technology in Nineteenth-Century Industrialization”, Past and Present, volume 108 (issue August)

Further readings

  • Dei Ottani, G. (2003), “The governance of transactions in the industrial district: the ‘community market’”, in G. Becattini, M. Bellandi, G. Dei Ottani and F. Sforzi (eds.), From industrial districts to local development, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.
  • Popp, A. and J. F. Wilson (2003), “Business networking in the industrial revolution: some comments”, Economic History Review, volume LVI, pp. 355-361.

Tema 8

Key readings

  • DiMaggio, P. J. and W. W. Powell (1983), “The iron cage revisited: institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields”, American Sociological Review, volume 48 (issue 2), pp. 147-160.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1985), “Economic action, social structure, and embeddedness", American Journal of Sociology, volume 91 (issue 3), pp. 481-510.

Further readings

  • DiMaggio, P. J. and W. W. Powell, Eds. (1991). The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press.
  • Fligstein, N. (1985), “The spread of the multidivisional form among large firms, 1919-1979”, American Sociological Review, volume 50 (issue 3), pp. 377-391.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (2005), “The impact of social structure on economic outcomes”, Journal of economic perspectives, volume 19 (issue 1), pp. 33-50.
  • Ingram, P. and V. Nee (1998) “Embeddedness and beyond: Institutions, exchange, and social structure”, in M. Brigton and V. Nee (eds.), The new institutionalism in sociology, New York, Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Meyer, J. W. and B. Rowan (1977), “Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as myth and ceremony”, American Journal of Sociology, volume 83 (issue 2), pp. 340-363.
  • Nee, V. (1998). The new institutionalisms in economics and sociology, in M. Brigton and V. Nee (eds.), The new institutionalism in sociology, New York, Russell Sage Foundation.


Tema 9

Key readings

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge, 19, and 20

Further readings

  • Amatori, F. and A. Colli (2011). Business history. Complexities and Comparisons. Abington, Routledge, Chapters 10, 13, 14

Tema 10

Readings

  • Becattini, G., “Italian industrial districts: problems and perspectives”, International studies of management & organization, 21 (1), 1991.
  • Di Martino, P. and Vasta, M., “Happy birthday Italy? Institutions and economic performance in Italy since 1861”, Enterprise and Society, 16 (2), 2015, pp 291-312.
  • Colli, A, and Rinaldi, A., “Institutions, politics and the corporate economy”, Enterprise and Society, 16 (2), 2015, pp 249-269.

 



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