Critically examine to what extent has the model of largescale ‘managerial enterprise’ discussed by Chandler been followed in all the world’s leading economies studied in this course?
Note: Please use USA, UK, Germany, Japan, and China as the 5 countries that are to be discussed upon.
Additional information for your reference:
The module is “Modern Business in Comparative Perspective”.
4. Chandler and Managerial Enterprise
i. Introduction. Suggest answer to the question and outline how to validate your suggested answer by clarifying the analytical structure
ii. Key Questions. You need to describe the theories of Chandler, and how they are applied in modern setting. Keep the description of Chandler to a minimum, and focus on the problems so you can develop arguments and display understanding. What is theory that suggests the relationship between strategy and structure? How do national patterns of managerial enterprise arise? Why is understanding this trend important to most of the 20th Century? Is Chandler’s analysis best suited to the US, and to the decades before the 1980s? What topics show variations from the Chandler model that are important to understanding other nations and more recent management trends? Does Chandler have a onebest way approach that ignores different national contexts?
iii. Personal capitalism. Is this really something especially British? Does family ownership prevent the emergence of complex managerial hierarchies?
iv. Business groups and networks. Chandler focuses on management and internal characteristics of firms. Yet business groups and networks have been important in the development and competitiveness of business in Japan and Germany,
although the networks are very different.
v. Chandler is also critical of holding company structures in Britain, but not every industry encourages managerial enterprise as an alternative. Holding companies also give some of the advantages of business groups, and remain
important to Europe generally. They are returning in Japan.
vi. Chandler believes that internal managerial enterprise characteristics in big business have national patterns, although this is
questionable, and ignores the idea that national factors can shape management as well as management shaping national
characteristics. Chandler ignores the state, financial systems, and labour. Moreover, the large size of the US economy
gave greater returns to scale, and so increased capital intensity and outside shareholding, professionalization, and
company size. In Britain, Germany and Japan historically, the size of the national market produced smaller sized
enterprises, and therefore smaller teams of professional management.
vii. Manufacturing and market trends reveal changes in strategy and structure. For most of the 20th century, returns to scale
and scope encouraged integrated managerial enterprises. Do more flexible technologies and segmented markets since
the 1980s require different business structures? Why have Chinese firms been slow to adopt the Chandler model?