Chapter

Business Strategies under Conditions of Uncertainty

Monica Keneley

in Corporate Forms and Organizational Choice in International Insurance

Published in print November 2015 | ISBN: 9780198739005
Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191802157 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739005.003.0008
Business Strategies under Conditions of Uncertainty

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The early development of Australian life insurance was marked by the failure of stock companies to successfully establish a market presence. Mutual insurers emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in response to this gap in supply. The underlying rationale behind their establishment differed but the business model adopted proved remarkably successful. Mutual life insurers dominated the market for life insurance for nearly a century. This chapter investigates mutualism as a business strategy that addressed particular problems associated with doing business in a small and underdeveloped economy. Business and social networks were important facilitators of new business. In addition, most mutual life insurers had a social/philanthropic charter and they were able to utilize this to build business. An outcome of this mix was the emergence of a particular type of entrepreneurship that fostered innovative product development and cemented the role of mutual insurers as market leaders.

Keywords: mutualism; life insurance; Australia; entrepreneurship; business strategies; mutual life insurers

Chapter.  9291 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Business ; Business History

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