Why and how has the business corporation come to exert such a powerful influence on American society? The essays here take up this question, offering a fresh perspective on the ways in which the business corporation has assumed an enduring place in the modern capitalist economy and how it has affected American society, culture and politics. The authors challenge standard assumptions about the business corporation's emergence and performance in the United States since the 1800s. Reviewing in depth the different theoretical and historiographical traditions that have treated the corporation, the volume seeks a new departure that can more fully explain this crucial institution of capitalism. Rejecting assertions that the corporation is dead, the essays show that in fact it has survived and even thrived down to the present in part because of the ways in which it has related to its social, political and cultural environment. In doing so, the book breaks with older explanations ground in technology and economics, and treats the corporation as a fully social institution.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 723 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 26 mm
The great achievements of Constructing Corporate America lie in its compelling demonstrations that US corporations' forms, functions, and discourses evolve - and still change - as products of their cultural, social, legal, and political environments. The authors of this unusually cohesive and well-written collection vary in how they balance abstractions with specifics, but all offer rich insights and abundant citations that can guide readers toward both theory and evidence. In looking beyond standard notions to explore corporate history and functions, Constructing Corporate America reflects and advances the state of the art in business history. This superb volume has demolished what was left of the artifical and unfortunate walls formerly separating business history from what everyone interested in American history should be reading. * Enterprise and Society *
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