This conference of historians, business historians, management scholars, and business practitioners will study the corporate entity as it has changed over the past four centuries. Corporations started their lives as social, political, as well as commercial entities. By the nineteenth century, corporations became less accountable to the societies and states and became more self-consciously economic, private, and financial organizations. Since then, many interests have attempted to reintroduce the social purpose of corporations. The conference will offer participants the opportunity to place present day corporate activity into an instructive historical context and to discuss how corporate actors in the past addressed challenges and problems parallel to those facing corporations today.
The meeting is being sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust, with co-sponsorship by the Centre for the Political Economies of International Commerce (PEIC), University of Kent, and the Business History Group, Rotman School of Management.