Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Avoiding Negligence and Profusion: The Failure of the Joint-Stock Form in the Anglo-Indian Tea Trade, 1840–1870

  • MICHAEL ALDOUS (a1)
Abstract

In the nineteenth century, firms operating in the Anglo-Indian tea trade were organized using a variety of ownership forms, including partnership, joint-stock, and a combination of the two, known as the managing agency. Faced with both an increasing need for fixed capital and high agency costs caused by the distance between owners and managers, the firms adapted and increasingly adopted the hybrid managing agency model to overcome these problems. Using new data from Calcutta and Bengal Commercial Registers and detailed case studies of the Assam Company and Gillanders, Arbuthnot and Co., this article demonstrates that British entrepreneurs did not see the choice of ownership as a dichotomy or firm boundaries as fixed, but instead drew innovatively on the strengths of different forms of ownership to compete and grow successfully.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Stephanie Jones . Merchants of the Raj: British Managing Agency Houses in Calcutta Yesterday and Today. London: Palgrave McMillan, 1992.

Maria Misra . Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c. 1850–1960. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

George Akerlof . “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 84, no. 3 (1970): 488500.

H. M Boot . “Real Incomes of the British Middle Class, 1760–1850: The Experience of Clerks at the East India Company.” Economic History Review 52, no. 4 (1999): 638668.

Christof Dejung . “Worldwide Ties: The Role of Family Business in Global Trade in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Business History 55, no. 6 (2013): 10011018.

Timothy Guinnane . “Cooperatives as Information Machines: German Rural Credit Cooperatives, 1883–1914.” Journal of Economic History 61, no. 2 (2001): 366389.

Ingrid Henriksen . “Avoiding Lock-In: Cooperative Creameries in Denmark, 1882–1903.” European Review of Economic History 3, no. 1 (1999): 5778.

Eric Hilt . “Incentives in Corporations: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry.” Journal of Law and Economics 49, no. 1 (2006): 197227.

Yrjo Kaukiainen . “Shrinking the World: Improvements in the Speed of Information Transmission, 1820–1870.” European Review of Economic History 5, no. 1 (2001): 128.

Rachel Kranton , and Anand Swamy . “Contracts, Hold-Up, and Exports: Textiles and Opium in Colonial India.” American Economic Review 98, no. 3 (2008): 967989.

Rafael La Porta , Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes , Andrei Shleifer , and Robert Vishny . “Investor Protection and Corporate Governance.” Journal of Financial Economics 58, no. 1 (2000): 327.

Naomi Lamoreaux , Daniel Raff , and Peter Temin . “Beyond Markets and Hierarchies: Towards a New Synthesis of American Business History.” American Historical Review 108, no. 2 (2003): 404433.

Tirthankar Roy . “Indigo and the Law.” Economic History Review 64, no. 1 (2011): 6075.

Rungta , Radhe Shyam . “Indian Company Law Problems in 1850.” American Journal of Legal History 6, no. 3 (1962): 298308.

Anthony Webster . “An Early Global Business in a Colonial Context: The Strategies, Management and Failure of John Palmer and Co of Calcutta.” Enterprise and Society 6, no. 1 (2005): 98133.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Enterprise & Society
  • ISSN: 1467-2227
  • EISSN: 1467-2235
  • URL: /core/journals/enterprise-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 41 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 172 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.