To what extent can Chandler’s model of large-scale, integrated managerial enterprise explain the long-term competitiveness of leading economies?

The structure:
i. Introduction. Suggest answer to the question and outline how to validate your suggested answer by clarifying the analytical structure
ii. Key Questions. You need to describe the theories of Chandler, and how they are applied in modern setting. Keep the description of Chandler to a minimum, and focus on the problems so you can develop arguments and display understanding. What is theory that suggests the relationship between strategy and structure? How do national patterns of managerial enterprise arise? Why is understanding this trend important to most of the 20th Century? Is Chandler’s analysis best suited to the US, and to the decades before the 1980s? What topics show variations from the Chandler model that are important to understanding other nations and more recent management trends? Does Chandler have a one-best way approach that ignores different national contexts?
iii. Personal capitalism. Is this really something especially British? Does family ownership prevent the emergence of complex managerial hierarchies?
iv. Business groups and networks. Chandler focuses on management and internal characteristics of firms. Yet business groups and networks have been important in the development and competitiveness of business in Japan and Germany, although the networks are very different.
v. Chandler is also critical of holding company structures in Britain, but not every industry encourages managerial enterprise as an alternative. Holding companies also give some of the advantages of business groups, and remain important to Europe generally. They are returning in Japan.
vi. Chandler believes that internal managerial characteristics in big business have national patterns, although this is questionable, and ignores the idea that national factors can shape management as well as management shaping national characteristics. Chandler ignores the state, financial systems, and labour. Moreover, the large size of the US economy gave greater returns to scale, and so increased capital intensity and outside shareholding, professionalization, and company size. In Britain, Germany and Japan historically, the size of the national market produced smaller sized enterprises, and therefore smaller teams of professional management.
vii. Manufacturing and market trends reveal changes in strategy and structure. For most of the 20th century, returns to scale and scope encouraged integrated managerial enterprises. Do more flexible technologies and segmented markets since the 1980s require different business structures? Why have Chinese firms been slow to adopt the Chandler model?
vii. Conclusion

Fulfilling the following specific criteria:

• Answering the question.
You need, naturally, fully to interpret the set question; to consider key words or phrases; to decide how all parts of the question are connected (although possibly asked in two parts, there are connections that should be reflected in your answer); to devise an analysis and/or essay structure that allows you to answer the question fully; and, through analysis and thought, to determine the key issues, debates and subject matter as opposed to the peripheral or irrelevant.

• Knowledge of Cases and Evidence.
It is impossible to gain high marks unless you demonstrate knowledge of countries, institutions, industries, firms, and organizational functions. Evidence enables you to avoid annoying generalizations and sweeping statements. While some cases may support one interpretation of an issue or question, other cases may not. Use your cases and evidence within an analytical structure designed to answer the question rather than just mentioning cases and authors in turn and without clear purpose.

• Knowledge of Theory and Literature.
You need to demonstrate an understanding of major authors and theories whenever relevant. But please avoid repeating the work of others at length. Often a short summary is sufficient, and the questions on the course direct you to critique and not exegesis. You should employ theories and concepts as a means of shaping your use of evidence, and theory and evidence should be synergic and not separate.

• Analysis and Structure.
This is the main characteristic that defines a good assignment. You are expected to know the major literature and offer evidential support as a basic part of studying for the course. The point is whether you have thought about the material, and whether you can use it to argue coherently and analytically in response to a set problem. The insights implicit in your analysis should be reflected in the design of your assignment structure, which, in turn, should be apparent to the marker.

• Comparisons.
It should be no surprise on this course that you have to offer comparisons. It is better to avoid the sequential outline of cases, by which is meant a discussion of (say) the US, Germany, the UK, Japan and China in turn and separately. The approach causes problems in the design of an analytical structure, and it is not directly comparative because you treat each example separately. Place evidence from each nation within the issues set by an analytical structure: that is, if you were to discuss comparative human resources, place choices of evidence from Germany, UK, US, Japan and China into most of the assignment sections dealing with key issues such as training, management education, employment systems, trade unions, etc.

Analysis, Structure and Comparisons

In planning your assignments, and also responses to examination questions, it is valuable to consider several issues:
• Decide on your answer to the question or your point of view before you begin. That is, interpret the set question insightfully with both full understanding of its context and implications and an appreciation of its various dimensions and issues.
• Include an analysis or description of relevant theories and concepts, blend them with (only) germane evidence and cases, and support your view with theoretical understanding, evidence and cases.
• To achieve this objective, you must plan your analytical structure carefully and be in a position to establish links between its different sections. That is, do not lose the thematic thread that unites the various aspects of your essay, and ensure that your use of theory, concepts, evidence and analytical structure lead you towards the answer you have already determined.
• To decide upon the core of your structure, that is the key points of your assignment or examination answer, you must be well read and knowledgeable about the relevant major topics on the course.

One possible answer structure is:
• Introduction. Suggest an answer to the question and outline how you intend to validate your suggested answer by clarifying the analytical structure (and maybe, therefore, the thematic thread or point of view you will pursue).
• Describe the key theories, and/or debates, and/or areas of critique surrounding the question. Keep this section as short as possible: you need to state the main concepts but you need greater space to do more in order to acquire higher order marks. Try and establish a link with your structure (in themes and ideas) and the following sections.
• Key point 1: employ empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons between cases direct and explicit.
• Key point 2: employ empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons between cases direct and explicit.
• Key point 3: employ empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons between cases direct and explicit.
• Do you need an extra section that pulls the previous sections together, or a section that follows logically from your separate conclusions you make amongst the key points? You may, for example, have analyzed late development characteristics, but might now look at one of the large implications, such as which business systems are more inclined towards long versus short termism.
• Are there other aspects of the debate that needed to be added, which could not be easily fitted into the structure, but nevertheless remain relevant? Or are there important debates you feel are ignored by the question? For example, you may have analyzed the ‘classic’ Japanese management structures, but now need to question its relevance for the last ten years. You could discuss the state, culture or any management function at a national level, but then look at the implications of globalization for any analysis that treats nation states in isolation.
• Conclusion. If possible, after summarising your answer, discuss other aspects of the debate needing investigation, or assess the reliability of current evidence and research.

An alternative answer structure is:
• Introduction. Suggest an answer to the question and outline how you intend to validate your suggested answer by clarifying the analytical structure (and maybe, therefore, the thematic thread or point of view you will pursue).
• Describe the key theories, and/or debates, and/or areas of critique surrounding the question. Keep this section as short as possible: you need to state the main concepts but you need greater space to do more in order to acquire higher order marks. Try and establish a link with your structure (in themes and ideas) and the following sections.
• Key argument 1: as proposed by one major group of analysts or one well known theorist, and as reflected in your discussion of the literature. Test with empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons direct and explicit.
• Key argument 2: as proposed by one major group of analysts or one well known theorist, and as reflected in your discussion of the literature. Test with empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons direct and explicit.
• Your resolution of the above debates, justifying your argument logically and empirically.
• Are there other aspects of the debate that needed to be added, which could not be easily fitted into the structure, but nevertheless remain relevant? Or are there important debates you feel are ignored by the question? See examples above.
• Conclusion. If possible, after summarising your answer, discuss other aspects of the debate needing investigation, or assess the reliability of current evidence and research.

One more alternative structure is:
• Introduction. Suggest an answer to the question and outline how you intend to validate your suggested answer by clarifying the analytical structure (and maybe, therefore, the thematic thread or point of view you will pursue).
• Describe the key theories, and/or debates, and/or areas of critique surrounding the question. Keep this section as short as possible: you need to state the main concepts but you need greater space to do more in order to acquire higher order marks. Try and establish a link with your structure (in themes and ideas) and the following sections.
• Proposition 1: based on your analysis of the literature, state one possible conclusion that you have devised. Test with empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons direct and explicit.
• Proposition 2: based on your analysis of the literature, state one possible conclusion that you have devised. Test with empirical information and quote cases from at least two nations but hopefully more. Make your comparisons direct and explicit.
• If both Propositions 1 and 2 are true, then it will lead you inevitably and logically to Proposition 3, which provides an answer to the set question.
• Are there other aspects of the debate that needed to be added, which could not be easily fitted into the structure, but nevertheless remain relevant? Or are there important debates you feel are ignored by the question? See examples above.
• Conclusion. If possible, after summarising your answer, discuss other aspects of the debate needing investigation, or assess the reliability of current evidence and research.
i
Knowledge of Theory and Cases
Students are advised to use the theoretical insights and the corporate and industry examples covered in both lectures and seminars.

With respect to the industry cases studied, and their relevance to particular assignment and examination topics, the following points may be noted.

• Material on pharmaceuticals is especially appropriate for R&D issues, managerial enterprise, the state and government regulation, multinational enterprise, education and human resources, national competitive advantage, culture, and to some extent other topics.
• The steel industry is especially appropriate for the state, managerial organization, late development, technology, finance, national competitive advantage, production and operations, and so on.
• Trade, banking, financial and retailing services are especially suited to national competitive advantage, state/regulation, technology, culture, multinational enterprise, human resources, finance, and so on.
• The electronics industry is especially suited to national competitive advantage, clusters, R&D, human resources, production management, finance, managerial enterprise, the state, culture, late development, and so on.
• The car industry is especially appropriate for production management, managerial enterprise, human resources, the state, multinational enterprise, finance, national competitive advantage, culture, late development, and so on.
• Aerospace is especially suited for managerial enterprise, the state, R&D, human resources, national competitive advantage, production management, culture, finance, and so on.
• Textiles is especially appropriate for clusters, culture, human resources, national competitive advantage, and so on

Furthermore, although each topic is treated and assessed separately, they inevitably share themes. For example, the late development question involves a number of other themes such as the role of the state, banking and finance systems, corporate governance and the management of key functions such as R&D or training systems. The topic of technology management involves late development, the state, human resources/training, managerial organization, and the international transfer of knowledge and FDI.

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