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Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c.
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Maria Misra

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207115.001.0001

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The Partnership Firm and its Critics

The Partnership Firm and its Critics

(p.66) (p.67) 2 The Partnership Firm and its Critics
Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c. 1850–1960

Maria Misra

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines criticisms of the partnership firm, looking at the structure of the managing agency, sources of capital, internal organisation, and the managing companies. Evidence suggests that whatever the potential advantages of the managing agency system, they were never fully exploited. The chapter argues that by the inter-war period, the structure of these firms had begun to damage the profitability of the companies managed by the agencies, and undermined the future of the managing agencies. Despite its shortcomings, the managing agency system, based on the small private partnership firm, gave partners autonomy and status, and allowed them to resist the encroachments of the state, their employers, and shareholders. By the late 1930s the partnership structure of the agencies and the relationship between agencies and the managed firms, had become outmoded and contributed to the deterioration of its economic and political viability.

Keywords:   partnership firm, managing agency, capital, internal organisation

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