Despite the importance of foreign investment in the creation of the Portuguese railways, the impact on governance of the imbalance between the location of operations, and the sources of capital and project management capabilities has not attracted any research. The relationship between ownership and control of long-distance business ventures has been a major topic of the literature on the development of free-standing companies during the first global economy. The Portuguese railway Companhia Real did not have the formal characteristics of a free-standing company. However, the reconstruction of the decision-making processes within this firm reveals that it faced similar challenges to accommodate the agency problems raised by the distance between holders of property rights and managers in the field. This paper sheds further light on the discussion about ownership, managerial control and location of strategic decisions in firms like railways, utilities or mining companies in peripheral countries.
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2011|
|Event||European Business History Association: Business, Finance and the State in the Twentieth Century: European Comparisons in Historical Perspective Crisis and Transformation - Athens, Greece|
Duration: 24 Aug 2011 → 26 Aug 2011
|Conference||European Business History Association|
|Abbreviated title||EBHA 15th Annual Conference|
|Period||24/08/11 → 26/08/11|
- Railways in Portugal
- international business
- ownership and control
Silva, Á. F. D. (2011). More than a brass nameplate on the door: foreign ownership and control in the Companhia Real dos Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (1870s-1880s). 1-34. Paper presented at European Business History Association, Athens, Greece.