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2010/2011  BA-1CHS  The Company in its Historical and International Setting

English Title
The Company in its Historical and International Setting

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course Period First Quarter
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for BSc in International Business
Course Coordinator
Martin Jes Iversen
Main Category of the Course
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
After having completed the course the students should be able to:
  • To describe the most important differences between the capitalist systems in two small European countries (Denmark and Norway) two large European economies (Germany and Great Britain) and two large Non-European economies United States and China from 1850 to 2000
  • To understand the dynamic relationship between capitalist societies, companies and entrepreneurs over time
  • To analyze capitalist development through Hall and Soskice “Varieties of Capitalism” approach, Alfred D. Chandlers concept of “Corporate Capabilities and the three pronged investments” and Joseph Schumpeters theory of the entrepreneur and adaptive/creative responses to institutional change
  • To integrate two important approaches to the concept of economic “change”: The traditional three industrial revolutions and the Russian economist Nikolaj Kondratievs Wave theory
  • To synthezise the development of capitalist societies and the relationship between societies, companies and entrepreneurs using the above mentioned theories and concepts of economic change
The Company in an International and Historical Setting
Assessment Written Exam
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship Internal examiners
Exam Period October
Aids Closed Book
Duration 4 Hours
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

To do business around the world, future business leaders must perform and achieve with a
high level of global literacy. This course I designed to provide an overview of the global
economy from the point of view of how entrepreneurs and businesses have operated inside
different variations of capitalism. The aim of the course is to provide the student with an
analytical skill capable to understand the dynamics of economic history and the development
of variant capitalist societies. The students should also learn to understand the role played
by regulators, companies and entrepreneurs in the development of modern capitalism.

From the perspective of business, the course explores such themes as entrepreneurship, the growth of corporations around the world, and globalization over time. Why are so many large firms around the world still family-owned, yet U.S. and British corporation operate with dispersed ownership? What difference does it make? We spend a fair amount of time understanding why and how different varieties of capitalism have arisen in spite of an alleged homogenizing globalization. The nearly two century-long antagonism between capitalism and communism that ended in 1989 concealed great varieties within capitalism itself, which still influence how different national economies operate—and affect what businesses can and cannot do. While the world is increasingly interconnected into global networks of communication, financial flows, and trade, the existence of distinct, regional centers undermines the idea of a unified and homogenous global system. National and regional diversity coexists with a globalizing economy. Historically, capitalist market economies have existed under both laissez faire arrangements and high tariff regimes; weak and strong state industrial policies, welfare systems, labor and union organization; cooperative rather than competitive company relations; strong individualism and virulent nationalism; and democracies and dictatorships. These varieties of capitalism developed from different historical experiences, cultural values, and national institutions.

We work on three analytical levels. Regarded in a country perspective we focus on capitalism in Great Britain, Germany, USA, Denmark, Norway and China. We combine this macro economic level with a corporate meso-level and an entrepreneurial micro-level in terms of company/entrepreneurship cases to see how successful (and less successful) businesses and entrepreneurs developed inside those countries´ capitalism.

Practical Application of Theory
The theoretical foundation for course is based upon three inter-linked sets of theories: Joseph Schumpeters theoretic concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation, Alfred Chandlers three pronged investments and Chris Freemans ideas of technological paradigms. These theories will be used to analyse economic development on respectively the macro, meso- or micro level.
Relation to a International Business and Institutional Setting
The course is basically a comparative study of the variations in capitalism including the various types of dynamics in capitalist development. Why is it that capitalism differs so much for instance between the private capitalism of the US and the state controlled systems in China? Which role did various entrepreneurs, companies and national institutions play in the development which lead to so various results?
Research Based Teaching
The course includes studies in the Nordic variation of capitalism which based upon the lectures own research. The course will also include guest lectures by various experts in for instance British and German capitalism.

Teaching Methods
The course is based on a combination of lectures, case-based discussions in smaller
groups, written assignments and student presentations. The course will actively employ e-
learning aspects through a virtual debate forum, a guest lecture mini-conference and student
expert groups

Thomas K. McCraw, Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions (1997)
Susanna Fellman, Martin Jes Iversen, Hans Sjögren, Lars Thue (eds.), Creating Nordic Capitalism: The Business History of a Competitive Periphery (2008)

Cases (available for purchase and download): HYPERLINK "http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/access/4635359" http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/access/4635359:
Forest Reinhardt, Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Debbie Freier, Patagonia, HBS Case 9-703-035 (December 14, 2004)
Jeffrey Fear and Carin Isabel-Knoop, Dr. Ing. h.c.F Porsche AG (A): True to Brand and (B) Made in Germany, HBS Cases 706-018/019 (Jan. 16, 2006)
Christopher A. Bartlett and Ashish Nanda, Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA, HBS Case 390-132 (May 7, 1990), revised July 22, 1996
Debora Spar and Jean Oi, China: Building “Capitalism with Socialist Characteristics,” HBS Case 9-706-041 (Oct 16, 2006)
Claudia Woo, Gerald Yong Gao, Jiangyong Lu, Hung Gay Fung, PORTS: China’s Walk in the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard, Asia Case Research Center, HKU-761 (June 10, 2008)
Laura Alfaro, Brazil: Embracing Globalization?, HBS Case 701-104 (May 2, 2002)
Pankaj Ghemawat, Gustavo A. Herrero, Luiz Felipe Monteiro, Embraer: The Global Leader in Regional Jets, HBS Case 701-006 (June 30, 2009)