International Business History
We study a path-breaking historical development in one or more leading industrial capitalist nations. We zoom in on business activities and their outcomes, and we zoom out to the historical and national context in which these events have taken place. Looking back at history can be concretely informative since much what exists now has its roots in the past. But studying history is also a way of developing creative notions about how humans interact with their business environment in a situation of pervasive uncertainty. This can broaden our mental scope in dealing with our own uncertain world. This may well be the most important learning to develop in our course.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
The course has two learning goals both linked to intellectual leadership, the ability to lead in interpreting situations, seeing opportunities where others don’t even look, and thinking through possible pathways towards jointly beneficial futures. These two goals are:
- study historical evolution in terms of human and organisational actors responding to opportunities in their environment in ways that pioneered entirely new industries and forms of business.
- writing an essay that demonstrates that the student has ideas and is able to communicate these in a persuasive way.
This is a reading course for literate students with an excellent command of the English language in reading, writing, and conversation. I have to say that the reading load is quite considerable.
Attendance in the first two meetings of the course is mandatory. You get introduced to tutor, fellow students, and the educational approach. Failure to attend both meetings implies course failure.
Book and / or selected articles about business history with emphasis on the second industrial revolution.