The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise (Princeton Economic History of the Western World #119) (Hardcover)

The Corporation and the Twentieth Century: The History of American Business Enterprise (Princeton Economic History of the Western World #119) By Richard N. Langlois Cover Image
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Description


A definitive reframing of the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era

The twentieth century was the managerial century in the United States. An organizational transformation, from entrepreneurial to managerial capitalism, brought forth what became a dominant narrative: that administrative coordination by trained professional managers is essential to the efficient running of organizations both public and private. And yet if managerialism was the apotheosis of administrative efficiency, why did both its practice and the accompanying narrative lie in ruins by the end of the century? In The Corporation and the Twentieth Century, Richard Langlois offers an alternative version: a comprehensive and nuanced reframing and reassessment of the economic, institutional, and intellectual history of the managerial era.

Langlois argues that managerialism rose to prominence not because of its inherent superiority but because of its contingent value in a young and rapidly developing American economy. The structures of managerialism solidified their dominance only because the century's great catastrophes of war, depression, and war again superseded markets, scrambled relative prices, and weakened market-supporting institutions. By the end of the twentieth century, Langlois writes, these market-supporting institutions had reemerged to shift advantage toward entrepreneurial and market-driven modes of organization.

This magisterial new account of the rise and fall of managerialism holds significant implications for contemporary debates about industrial and antitrust policies and the role of the corporation in the twenty-first century.

About the Author


Richard N. Langlois is professor of economics at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of Firms, Markets, and Economic Change: A Dynamic Theory of Business Institutions (with Paul L. Robertson); The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy, which won the Schumpeter Prize of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society; and other books.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780691246987
ISBN-10: 069124698X
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: June 27th, 2023
Pages: 816
Language: English
Series: Princeton Economic History of the Western World