European Acquisitions in the United States:Re-examining Olivetti-Underwood Fifty Years Later
AbstractWhile Italy's catch-up in the course of the 20th century has been nothing short of extraordinary, it has failed to produce a large number of global business players. Nonetheless, half a century ago an Italian company concluded what was at the time the largest-ever foreign takeover of a US company. The paper analyzes the Olivetti's acquisition of Underwood and frames it in the broader picture of the literature on the management and performance of foreign companies in the United States. We provide a historical narrative focused on three main issues: 1) head office control and subsidiary autonomy; 2) Olivetti's adaptation to the American business system; 3) the development of internal knowledge resources within the subsidiary. Lessons and implications are relevant for business historians and management scholars in general.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) with number 2.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
FDI; acquisition; control; adaptation; knowledge resources; Olivetti; Underwood;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
- M4 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Accounting
- N60 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - General, International, or Comparative
- N80 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - General, International, or Comparative
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
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- Federico Barbiellini Amidei & John Cantwell & Anna Spadavecchia, 2011. "Innovation and Foreign Technology in Italy,1861-2011," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 07, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Giuseppe Berta & Fabrizio Onida, 2011. "Old and new Italian multinational firms," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 15, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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