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'A new paradigm of British business history': A critique of Toms and Wilson


  • Roger Lloyd-Jones
  • M. J. Lewis


We provide a critical reflection of Toms and Wilson's 'new paradigm of British business history' by focusing on the logical consistency of their model, the robustness of its predictive powers, and its explanation of transitional change related to stages of business capitalism. For example, central to the paradigm is the importance of accountability and external economies of scale, assumed as exogenous parameters in the analysis of British business history. This assumption is challenged, as is the predictive powers of the analytical matrix in providing an all-encompassing model for British business evolution. In particular, the transitional processes in British business history are not simply reducible to an assessment of accountability and economies of scale and scope, but rather to enhance our understanding there is a need also to engage with the concept of personal capitalism. While business historians should engage with theoretical frameworks, it must also be recognized that firms are idiosyncratic, a feature of business organizations that should not be lost.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Lloyd-Jones & M. J. Lewis, 2007. "'A new paradigm of British business history': A critique of Toms and Wilson," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(1), pages 98-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:49:y:2007:i:1:p:98-105 DOI: 10.1080/00076790601063063

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Ball, Clifford A. & Tschoegl, Adrian E., 1982. "The Decision to Establish a Foreign Bank Branch or Subsidiary: An Application of Binary Classification Procedures," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 411-424, September.
    5. Heinkel, Robert L. & Levi, Maurice D., 1992. "The structure of international banking," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 251-272, June.
    6. Edward Brown Flowers, 1976. "Oligopolistic Reactions in European and Canadian Direct Investment in the United States," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 7(2), pages 43-56, June.
    7. Chwo-Ming J Yu & Kiyohiko Ito, 1988. "Oligopolistic Reaction and Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of the U.S. Tire and Textiles Industries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 449-460, September.
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