NicosiaBusiness - Chapter 02 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

NicosiaBusiness - Chapter 02

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In the early 1930s, Germany faced a general political and economic crisis. That crisis reshaped politics in a very obvious and destructive way. It also resulted in profound organizational changes in corporate bureaucracies that have been largely ignored by historical analysts who often assume that there is a single agent — such as the Dresdner Bank, the Deutsche Bank, IG Farben, and so on — and are blind to the organizational complexity of institutions in a state of profound crisis. This essay investigates the way in which organizational changes affected business policy and, in particular, facilitated increased engagement and collaboration with the Nazi regime. This was an engagement that initially looked unlikely, given the anticapitalist (and especially anti–finance capitalist) direction of Nazi thinking.

As a way of focusing such a discussion, this essay considers four bankers as examples of how the practice of banking changed, as different generations of business managers succeeded each other, and of how profoundly business values changed. The first, Georg Solmssen, was a major figure in the Weimar Republic. The last, Hermann Abs, is undoubtedly the most famous German banker of the twentieth century. The other two, Ritter von Halt and Walter Pohle, are barely known.

In the early 1930s, Germany faced a general political and economic crisis. That crisis reshaped politics in a very obvious and destructive way. It also resulted in profound organizational changes in corporate bureaucracies that have been largely
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