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The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century$
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Youssef Cassis, Andrea Colli, and Harm Schröter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749776.001.0001

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The Performance of ‘Chandlerian Enterprises’

The Performance of ‘Chandlerian Enterprises’

(p.190) 12 The Performance of ‘Chandlerian Enterprises’
The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century

Harm G. Schröter

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates the so-called ‘Chandlerian industries’ (many of which are also called ‘new industries’): chemical, pharmaceutical, oil, rubber, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automobile, transport equipment, and non-metallic mineral products. Some surprising results are found. In this sector, return on equity improved over the century, but holding return did not. Firms based in small countries outperformed their competitors in large ones. The two world wars showed little effect. Longevity was very high in oils and chemicals, while it turned out to be very volatile in mechanical engineering. In electrical engineering, the technological shift from power generation to telecommunications adversely affected company longevity. Oil companies generally were over-performers and companies in transport equipment generally under-performers. Oil companies also had the best capital turnover ratios. Concerning growth of assets, the leading branch changed in each benchmark year. The number of ‘Big’ and ‘Giant’ firms was quite limited.

Keywords:   new industries, chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, oil, rubber, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automobile industry, transport equipment

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