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Über dieses Buch

The German Yearbook on Business History is a source of insights into the entrepreneurial economy of the 19th and 20th centuries. It contains translations of topical journal articles and informative reviews of results and trends in business history research. As in the previous Yearbooks, the authors of this volume are experts in economic theory and practice whose contributions cover a wide spectrum.



A Businessman’s Comment

The Response of the Energy Industry to Structural Transformation

The early seventies marked the end of a phase of expansion and rapid economic growth. The golden age between 1948 and 1973 was followed by stagnation and a succession of recessions and crises. In almost all industrialized nations of the West (and in the developing countries), politicians, industry and the working population have been confronted with a transformation of the economic environment only paralleled during the last one hundred years by one other, indeed even more instable period, namely the Great Depression.
Klaus Liesen

Historical Studies

The Valet, a Typus of the Court Society. His Entrepreneurial Role

Within the framework of the discussion about the industrialization process in Germany, the question of types of entrepreneurs played a remarkable role. In 1955 Wolfgang Zorn differentiated between five types according to their origins, firstly the feudal land-owners, then the middle-class as inheritors of factories and other businesses, as well as inheritors of farms, then tradesmen and bankers, craftsmen and technicians and finally researchers1. Werner Conze followed this up in his social history contribution in the second volume of the Handbuch der deutschen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte and suggested how one could socially, sectorally and regionally make the different entrepreneurial achievements “more concrete”2. In this he referred, amongst others, to Fritz Redlich’s differentiation between production branches which were capital intensive and those which were capital extensive3. Jürgen Kocka emphasized the starting position and career paths, whereby he distinguished between entrepreneurs with a commercial background, entrepreneurs with a craftsman’s background, technical entrepreneurs and “other” entrepreneurs and white-collar entrepreneurs4. The following contribution whishes to deal with an entrepreneurially active “typus” from the pre-industrialization period, the epoch of the “Ancien Régimes”.
Hermann Kellenbenz

Wealth Sharing and Capital Formation for Employees of the Robert Bosch Company between 1886 and 1945

The objective of this paper is to ascertain Robert Bosch’s concern about methods of wealth sharing and capital formation among employees. One of the incentives for this task is the contrast between the challenges of the First World War, inflation, and economic depression on the one hand, and the self-image of Robert Bosch as an entrepreneur on the other.
Jürgen Mulert

Cooperation between Business and Science in the Third Reich : The Association for the Promotion of German Industry of 1942

After several years of discussion having started in the spring of 1939 the Förderer- gemeinschaft der Deutschen Industrie (Association for the Promotion of German Industry) was established by German industrialists in conjunction with the Reichs- gruppe Industrie (Reich Industry Group) in the middle of the Second World War, on November 18,1942.
Hans Pohl

“The Worst Banking Practice in the World” Inter-Allied Discussion over American Plans to Reform the German Banking System in 1945/46

In the autumn of 1945 the Director of the Finance Division of the Office of Military Government for Germany (US) (=OMGUS), Joseph M.Dodge1, as the United States representative in the Finance Directorate of the Allied Control Authority2, presented to that body several papers3 containing precise plans for a far- reaching reorganization of the German commercial banking system. This was an initiative on four-zone level parallel to similar activities in the American zone4, the aim being to introduce the plans for reforming the German banking system worked out by OMGUS under his leadership on four-power level and win over the other allied representatives to the idea of a Control Council law based on the American concept for a future uniform banking system throughout Germany. In the most important of his three reform plans, the considerations on the “Elimination of Excessive Concentration of Economic Power in Banking” Dodge used as a political maxim for his draft a clause in the Potsdam Agreement, according to which German economic life was to be decentralized within the shortest practicable time with the objective of destroying the existing excessive concentration of economic power, particularly as manifest in cartels, syndicates, trusts and other monopoly agreements5. In banking, as Dodge stated with reference to this passage, the Big Banks represented an excessive concentration of economic power; they “have dominated banking, and through security holdings the industrial economy of Germany”6.
Theo Horstmann

Reviews of Literature

A Review of the New Literature on Business History

In 1985 the number of publications which appeared in the Federal Republic of Germany concerning Business History rose considerably. This was mainly due to two reasons: firstly the upward trend in the economy made the publication of specialist material and company records possible, and secondly, there has been a marked increase in historical interest compared with previous years. Planning for two historical museums in Bonn and Berlin was begun, although only the museum in Berlin includes aspects of business history. In addition to this, numerous technical science museums were founded or expanded which were partly funded by the state or by private companies.
Beate Brüninghaus

A Review of the New Literature on Banking History

Financial instability and the collapse of the international banking community — two thoughts that immediately spring to mind when considering public finances in the German Reich during the Weimar Republic. The author of the dissertation in question, “The Reichsbank and Public Finance in Germany”1, establishes that the causes of the banking collapse were to be found in a massive flight of German capital as well as in an unstable German money and capital market and not, as hitherto assumed, in the withdrawal of foreign credit. The interdependence of political measures and financial events become transparent, particularly in the second section of the work. The role of the Reich Government and the Reichsbank is closely examined with respect to the political manoeuvring vis-à-vis other countries and to domestic policy mistakes.
Hanne Braun

Reports on Conferences

From the Gold Standard to the Multi-Reserve-Currency System

Do we have a multi-reserve-currency standard today, or are the individual currencies subordinated to one key currency? Has there ever been a “true key currency”, say the gold standard prior to World War II? Two central questions which occupied the speakers and panel members at the 9th National Symposium of the Institute for Bank-Historical Research. Central questions, the answers to which greatly influence the assessment of historical developments and current debate.
Hanne Braun

The Public Mandate of the Savings Banks in its Historical Development

The public mandate of the Savings Banks in its historical development was the general theme of the 1985 Savings Banks’ Historical Symposium which was held for the first time by the “Gesellschaft zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung über das Spar- und Girowesen e. V.” on the 4th and 5th September 1985 at the house of the Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband in Bonn and was chaired by Professor Dr. Giinter Ashauer (Sparkassenakademie Bonn) and Professor Dr. Dr. Josef Wysocki (University of Salzburg).
Jürgen Mura

Communal Enterprises — Past and Present

Communal enterprises (companies run by local or municipal authorities) have increasingly come under crossfire. Financial losses which the city council has to bear, and often inadequate services, have made many people ask whether privatization, or at least partprivatization, would not be better. So the Society for Business History was touching a thorny subject, even if the main emphasis at this meeting was on the historical aspect of the communal enterprise, with papers covering the Middle Ages to the present.
Beate Brüninghaus

The Creation and Development of the Social Market Economy

There is disagreement even over how to write the “social market economy”, — some use a capital letter and some a small for the word “social”, depending on their standpoint. That the Society for Business History had chosen a crucial theme in economic policy discussion for its 10th public meeting in Frankfurt/M was evident from the record number of participants. Around 230 guests, mainly from business, had come to Frankfurt, attracted certainly by the speakers: Dr. Alfred Herrhausen, Spokesman of the Board of Managing Directors of Deutsche Bank AG, and Professor Dr. Joachim Starbatty of the University of Tübingen. The members of the panel for the ensuing discussion were no less distinguished: Dr. Hans Tietmeyer, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Professor Rolf Sammet, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hoechst AG, Dr. Arend Oetker, personally liable partner in Schwartauer Werke and Professor Gerhard Fels, Director of the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft.
Eva Moser

Restrictions to Competition on International Markets

Since the revival of protectionism at the beginning of the 1970s research has increasingly focussed on the problem of restrictions to competition. However, there is still no comprehensive survey on the subject of “Restrictions to Competition on International Markets”, and this was the reason for the Society for Business History to consider the problem in its historical and international development. How strong scientific interest in this theme is was evident from the number of participants, as 80 younger and renowned scholars from nine nations, almost all of whom had worked in this field, responded to the invitation to attend the 10th Research Symposium held by the Society, this time in Lüneburg. The subjects in the 15 papers covered the fields of “Economic Policy Measures” and “Cartels, Mergers and Multinational Companies”. Historically, the attention focussed on the development up to 1914, the years from 1914 to 1945 and the period from 1945 to the present.
Beate Brüninghaus
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