Business Groups

Geoffrey Jones

in Merchants to Multinationals

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199249992
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596483 | DOI:
 Business Groups

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This chapter shows how British trading companies built extensive and complex business groups to facilitate diversification. They employed a variety of institutional and contractual modes—including contracts, equity, debt, cross‐directorships, and repeated trading transactions—and inside them, there were flows of managerial, financial, and trading information and relationships. The network‐style business groups contained multiple conflicts of interest, but rent‐seeking behaviour was constrained, and they had some positive benefits.

Keywords: business groups; conflict of interest; contracts; cross‐directorships; debt; diversification; networks; rent‐seeking

Chapter.  15440 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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