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'Globalisation by Americanisation': American companies and the internationalisation of German industry after the Second World War

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After the end of the Second World War, American companies with a highly efficient industrial management system prepared the way for globalisation. To understand how 'global players' evolved, this paper investigates the influence of US companies on the internationalisation of German firms between 1945 and the early 1970s and the consequences on German corporate management and competitive strategies. To withstand the so-called 'American challenge', to recapture those markets which had been lost during the war and to enter new geographic markets, German companies resorted to new management strategies. In this context, the adoption of American know-how led to a process of catching up, which finally contributed to globalised corporate growth in German companies.
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Keywords: Americanisation; globalisation; management know-how

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Dusseldorf, Germany

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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