The United States in Historical Perspectives: The Strange Career of Business Groups in Industrial Development

Takashi Hikino, Marcelo Bucheli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter aims to re-examine the Chandlerian paradigm of the historical development of modern industrial enterprises in the United States by employing an analytical framework that comprehends the alternative models of corporate evolution, especially that of diversified business groups. Based on the systematic examination of the broad range of business groups that have historically developed in the United States, the chapter focuses on the two varieties of diversified business groups that historically played critical roles in that economy: those centered around overseas trading and operational firms; and those organized around banking institutions. It argues that diversified business groups played the characteristic roles of generating and reorganizing modern industrial enterprises to shape the contemporary economic landscape of oligopoly. Such roles played by the diversified business groups and their contributions to corporate and industrial development should be complemental to the Chandlerian multidivisional enterprises to configure the whole dynamics of the US economy in the long run.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBusiness Groups in the West
Subtitle of host publicationOrigins, Evolution, and Resilience
EditorsAsli M Colpan, Takashi Hikino
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780198717973
StatePublished - Apr 22 2018


  • Chandlerian paradigm
  • Diversified business groups
  • Multidivisional enterprises
  • The Boston Associates
  • The Morgan group
  • W. R. Grace & Co

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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