Writing the history of British business in Latin America

  • Rory M. Miller


This paper briefly surveys the ways in which historians have studied the evolution of British business in Latin America.In the 1970s and 1980s research was dominated by questions of power, imperialism and dependency rather thanorthodox business history themes. The latter made their way into the subject from the 1980s when historians began toaddress issues of structure, organisation and governance in British firms in Latin America, and in particular utilise the conceptsof ‘free-standing companies’ and ‘investment groups’. More recently they have used ideas from international humanresource management and international political economy, and the growth in the employment of business historians inbusiness and management schools is likely to further encourage such approaches.

Keywords: British business, Latin America, historiography, business imperialism


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