Based on innovative and unique primary sources (e.g. notarial deeds) Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies looks to tell the story of the Lombardy cotton industry in the early 19th century, particularly the stories of entrepreneurs such as Francesco Turati who were able to `corner' this otherwise atomistic industry. The book looks at both the financial and strategic elements of the businesses, as well as looking at enabling technology and even the emergence of factory organization in Italy and takes a business history analysis of pre-industrial business enterprises in a developing economy by taking into account all the crucial functions of enterprise.
Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies makes important contributions to the study and research of the financing of early cotton mills, technology transfer in these entrepreneurial ventures, the organization of production, including a detailed discussion of the available technology, networks and relationships within the district. By highlighting the shift from putting-out to factory system, the crucial change of actors (both entrepreneurs and workers) and the birth of a local industrial district, exerting a long-lasting influence on the history of the area the book outlines the building of entrepreneurial networks and social hierarchies in (at the time) a new urban context.
Aimed at scholars, researchers and students in the fields of management history, development entrepreneurship and regional economics, Cotton Enterprises: Networks and Strategies answers previously non-addressable questions via innovative research methods and, as such, will be a key work in the field for years to come.
Silvia A. Conca Messina is Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Milan, Italy.