Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management by Jeffrey FearOrganizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management by Jeffrey Fear

Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management

byJeffrey Fear

Hardcover | March 31, 2005

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In a pioneering work, Jeffrey Fear overturns the dominant understanding of German management as "backward" relative to the U.S. and uncovers an autonomous and sophisticated German managerial tradition. Beginning with founder August Thyssen--the Andrew Carnegie of Germany--Fear traces the evolution of management inside the Thyssen-Konzern and the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel Works) between 1871 and 1934.

Fear focuses on the organization and internal dynamics of the company. He demonstrates that initiatives often flowed from middle managers, rather than from the top down. Shattering stereotypes of the overly bureaucratic and rigid German firm, Fear portrays a decentralized and flexible system that underscores the dynamic and entrepreneurial nature of German business. He fundamentally revises the scholarship on Alexander Gerschenkron and Germany's Sonderweg, and critiques Max Weber's concept of the corporation and capital accounting. He develops a loosely coupled relationship among enterprise strategy, organization, the structure of responsibility, and its accounting system, which links information, knowledge, and power inside the firm. This method of organizing control is central to understanding corporate governance.

Original and provocative, this work will generate much debate among historians, organizational theorists, and management and accounting scholars.

Jeffrey Fear is Associate Professor of Business at the University of Redlands.
Title:Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate ManagementFormat:HardcoverDimensions:976 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.03 inPublished:March 31, 2005Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674014928

ISBN - 13:9780674014923


Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables



Part I. Thyssen & Co., 1871-1914

1. August Thyssen, Victorian Entrepreneur

2. If I Rest, I Rust

3. Creating Management

4. Accounting for Control

5. Sustaining Innovation

Part II. The Thyssen-Konzern, 1890-1926

6. Cartels and Competition

7. Rushing Forward and Backward

8. Managing a Konzern

9. Organizing Financial Control

10. Revolutionizing Industrial Relations

11. Centralization or Decentralization?

12. The Demise of the Thyssen-Konzern

Part III. The Vereinigte Stahlwerke, 1926-1936

13. The "Rationalization Company"

14. Contested Terrain

15. Business Practice and Politics

16. Heinrich Dinkelbach, Organization Man


Appendix A: Tables

Appendix B: Accounting as Symbolic Practice



Editorial Reviews

This volume is a seminal work in the history of the Thyssen corporation as well as in German business history more generally...Organizing Control is an ambitious study of one of the most influential companies in German history. This work excels, above all, in its persuasive challenge of historiographical approaches that have dominated business history, and as such, it warrants serious attention by scholars of business history.