Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 1 hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 X 2,500 WORD ESSAYS  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   60%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
a) Demonstrate familiarity with a substantial body of historical knowledge in the field of economic and business history.
b) Engage in source criticism, discussion and understanding of the changing nature of the enterprise in different national settings. Engage with the debate over the extent and impact of changes in methods of production and changing markets on a national and global scale. Students will also critically appraise the role of the state in promoting or retarding the development of the enterprise in the 20th century.
c) Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of historical techniques relevant to the understanding of the firm and its evolution.
d) Gather and sift appropriate items of historical evidence
e) Read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, in particular debates around the impact of scientific management, Fordism and Post-Fordist interpretations of historical change and the impact of the large-scale enterprise.
f) Explore the relationships between history and other disciplines, particularly business history, social history, economics and sociology.
g) Develop the ability to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of particular historical arguments and where necessary challenge them.
h) Develop oral (not assessed) and written skills which will have been improved through seminar discussions and essays
i) Work both independently and collaboratively, and to participate in group discussions (not assessed).

Brief description

This option module will chart the shaping of the modern economy and the determinants of corporate structure, success and failure, from a historical and comparative perspective, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The module will examine varying historical interpretations of changing emphases of scale, scope and strategy and will include, for example, the growth of the large-scale US corporation and multinational; anatomies of the Japanese Zaibatsu/Keiretsu systems; the Mittelstand sector of medium-sized firms in Germany and the new South-East Asian 'tigers' such as South Korea and Taiwan. The module will have an internal and external focus. In addition to examining formal industrial relations systems, for example, it will outline the cultural and social context in which these systems thrive.


This module is at CQFW Level 6