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An introduction to the history of businesses in canada

Business History

The state exercised a formative role from the beginning. In this light, Confederation may be viewed as the equipping of the federal government with powers to create a transcontinental commercial nation.

The 20th century has seen the elaboration of the established pattern of staples exploitation nickel, iron ore together with the introduction of new technologies automobiles, aviation, electronics.

Historians have interpreted these developments in a variety of ways. The central role of staple trades attracted early attention. Lawrence 1937 and H. On a microeconomic level, Canadian business historians have produced a varied collection of company histories and biographies which range from hagiography to credible scholarship. Woods's, The Molson Saga 1983 set a high standard.

Journalistic company histories, such as those of Merrill Denison The People's Power, 1960 frequently verge on uncritical exercises in public relations. The Banks, The Government and Dome, 1983display competence but often treat historical research as a backdrop to examining present business problems.

Few industry studies exist, an exception being O. Main's 1955 study, The Canadian Nickel Industry. Howe, 1980serve to reverse the past tradition of business biography as puffery. Research in business history has generally been impeded by business suspicion, academic condescension and archival neglect. Furthermore, the writing of business history in Canada has tended to focus too exclusively on the forward and backward linkages of the staple trades, ignoring other areas of economic growth eg, the spread of Canadian banking and electric utilities abroad.

Despite the contributions of expatriate Canadians such as N.

  1. Lawrence 1937 and H. Five Centuries of Canadian Business 1987 ; D.
  2. Despite these advances, no journal of business history or dictionary of business biography exists in Canada.
  3. Selected Studies, 1497-1971 1972 ; G. Macmillan, ed, Canadian Business History.
  4. The Montreal Business History Project est 1976 is the first collective attempt to chronicle the evolution of business in one of Canada's leading commercial centres.
  5. Innovative work has nonetheless been produced.

Gras 1884-1956 and H. Many gaps exist; studies of business failure, individual companies, business-government relations, the role of foreign investment, the evolution of corporate law and management and labour relations all merit attention.

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Innovative work has nonetheless been produced. Labour historians frequently touch on business concerns, such as the fractious labour-management relations of the Cape Breton steel industry. The Montreal Business History Project est 1976 is the first collective attempt to chronicle the evolution of business in one of Canada's leading commercial centres. Despite these advances, no journal of business history or dictionary of business biography exists in Canada.

  • Macmillan, ed, Canadian Business History;
  • Research in business history has generally been impeded by business suspicion, academic condescension and archival neglect;
  • Gras 1884-1956 and H;
  • Woods's, The Molson Saga 1983 set a high standard.

Future development will depend on greater interest and co-operation from the business community, the pursuit of academic excellence in the field and, possibly, the growth of business history as "public history" eg, corporate archives, use of business history as a facet of business administration programs.

Five Centuries of Canadian Business 1987 ; D. Macmillan, ed, Canadian Business History: Selected Studies, 1497-1971 1972 ; G.