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Extreme divorce: the managerial revolution in UK companies before 1914

Foreman-Peck, James and Hannah, Leslie (2012) Extreme divorce: the managerial revolution in UK companies before 1914. The Economic History Review, 65 (4). pp. 1217-1238. ISSN 0013-0117

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Abstract

We present the first broadly representative study for any early twentieth-century economy of the extent to which quoted company ownership was already divorced from managerial control. In the 337 largest, independent, UK companies in the Investor's year book (those with £1 million or more quoted share capital in 1911), the generality of public shareholders were a narrower group than today, but directors personally owned only 3.4 per cent of the shares. This indicates a lower level of personal ownership (and board voting control) in the largest securities market of the early twentieth century than in any of the world's major securities markets toward the end of that century. Berle, Means, Gordon, and others subsequently quantified the US's later and (on this dimension) less advanced managerial 'revolution'. Their evidence was widely misinterpreted: some erroneously concluded that the US pioneered this aspect of 'modernity' and that the 'divorce' of ownership from control, globally, was a new and continuing trend.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref...
Additional Information: © 2011 Economic History Society
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
L - Industrial Organization > L0 - General
N - Economic History > N0 - General
Sets: Departments > Management
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2011 09:44
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/40323/

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