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The European CorporationStrategy, Structure, and Social Science$
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Richard Whittington and Michael Mayer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251049

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251049.001.0001

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Change, Context, and the Corporation

Change, Context, and the Corporation

(p.1) 1 Change, Context, and the Corporation
The European Corporation



Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the focus of this book which is tracing the largest industrial corporations of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom over more than forty years, from post-war recovery to the last decade of the 20th century. It also notes that this book followed these top European firms as they adopt, and sometimes abandon, new corporate strategies and as they develop new organisation structures to cope with these strategies. It outlines the arguments and data, and starts by introducing changing notions of effective strategy and structure. It connects these swings to the rise of contextualism in the study of management. Between the extremes of universalism and contextualism, it concludes for the value of a modestly generalizing social science of management.

Keywords:   France, Germany, United Kingdom, twentieth century, corporate strategies, universalism, contextualism, management

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