Die Vereinigte Stahlwerke A.G. und das ‘glänzende Beispiel Amerika’

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Abstract

The founding of the United Steel Works (Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG) by several major iron and steel corporations (Konzeme) in 1926 was the most famous rationalization project in Germany. Historical research has stressed specific ‘German types’ of business organization in analysing the formation of this combine. The author takes a different perspective and argues that the development of the United Steel Works until 1934 might be described as an ‘Americanization’ of the German iron and steel industry. With regard to the company's development of internal structure, new management strategies, it’s use of technology, and the transition to mass production there were many similarities to the US Steel Corp. United Steel Works in Germany developed a multi-divisional structure and aimed at return-on-investment as a measure of success. Some elements of the business strategy followed were potentially overcoming traditional German cartel structures. The modern management of this “old industry” company was as up to date as the management of the better known German electric industry companies. The crucial difference to America was that mass consumption did not seem plausible to German steel industrialists.
Original languageDanish
JournalZeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte
Volume41
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)159-186
Number of pages28
ISSN0342-2852
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996

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