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UNTERNEHMENSLEITUNG UND KOSTENKONTROLLE IN DER RHEINISCHEN MONTANINDUSTRIE VOR 1914. DARGESTELLT AM BEISPIEL DER FIRMEN KRUPP UND GUTEHOFFNUNGSHÜTTE (TEIL II)

Wolfram Bongartz
Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte / Journal of Business History
29. Jahrg., H. 2. (1984), pp. 73-113
Published by: Verlag C.H.Beck
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40694830
Page Count: 41
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
UNTERNEHMENSLEITUNG UND KOSTENKONTROLLE IN DER RHEINISCHEN MONTANINDUSTRIE VOR 1914. DARGESTELLT AM BEISPIEL DER FIRMEN KRUPP UND GUTEHOFFNUNGSHÜTTE (TEIL II)
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Abstract

During the last third of the 19th century the most important factors for the growth of German industries and enterprises were mass production, the increased speed of capital flow, diversification of products and technological progress. Many diverse, large scale family firms were forced to reorganize in order to adapt to the changing conditions. Based on widely unknown sources in the archives of the companies Krupp and Gutehoffnungshutte (= GHH), the article points out — how in this historical context the tasks of company executives, their decision-making, and methods of enforcement changed; — how the control of the return on investment improved in these two integrated firms. The text concentrates on the 1870's, when depressions reduced the earnings in the German iron and steel industry. In 1873 and in 1878 the Haniel family, the owner of the GHH, modified the basic organizational structure of the company and between 1872 and 1874, the Krupp family modified the structure of the top management. In addition Alfred Krupp initiated a thorough reform and improvement of the accounting system as a result of a grave shortage of working capital. New guidelines were laid down for the accounting systems, a specialized bureau of calculation was established as well as a bureau for the control of times and wages and the so called 'Rechnung-Revisions-Büro' as methods of the revision of these calculations. The measures taken proved to be so elaborated and adequate to the existing conditions and the future changes in the economy, that the rival firm GHH wished to install similiar organizational reforms. Finally the author discusses some aspects of the disputes concerning the position of staff and line managers within the firms hierarchy which resulted from a factual or feared depreciation of the importance of particular departments.

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