International Business and the Development of British Electrical Manufacturing, 1886-1929

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British electrical manufacturing provides important insights into international business history, and demonstrates the key role of cross-border networks and agreements in its emergence. This article analyzes the factors that shaped phases in the industry’s development and international operations. The article presents, firstly, a reappraisal of electrical manufacturing’s early decades in Britain; it shows, secondly, how a changing political landscape transformed the strategies and ownership of firms, and re-evaluates the industry’s restructuring during the war and its immediate aftermath; it questions, thirdly, accounts of British electrical manufacturing failure in the 1920s, and discusses the return to strategies of cross-border networks and agreements. It, lastly, considers the lessons of British electrical manufacturing’s emergence and subsequent consolidation, weighing the influences of firm-level, national and international factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-70
Number of pages40
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number1
Early online date10 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2017

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