Weetman Pearson in Mexico and the Emergence of a British Oil Major, 1901-1919

Posted: 30 Jul 2010

See all articles by Andrew Godley

Andrew Godley

University of Reading

Judith Wale

University of Reading

Lisa Bud-Frierman

University of Reading

Date Written: July 28, 2010

Abstract

British overseas investment was a powerful force behind rapid global integration before World War I. Close to half of the total was in the form of foreign direct investment. Weetman Pearson was among the most successful of Britain’s overseas-based entrepreneurs of the period. By 1919, the Pearson group of companies had become one of Britain’s most valuable industrial enterprises, having diversified from international contracting into the Mexican oil industry. The Pearson group highlights the technical competence of British entrepreneurs in managing large, complex infrastructure projects, capable of navigating their way through various political systems, and adept at turning to whichever organizational form best suited their business interests. These characteristics were far removed from the now outdated stereotype of the incompetent late Victorian entrepreneur.

Keywords: Weetman Pearson, petroleum, Great Britain, Mexico, Mexican Eagle Oil Company

JEL Classification: L71, N54, N56, N84, N86

Suggested Citation

Godley, Andrew and Wale, Judith and Bud-Frierman, Lisa, Weetman Pearson in Mexico and the Emergence of a British Oil Major, 1901-1919 (July 28, 2010). Business History Review, Vol. 84, No. 2, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1650147

Andrew Godley (Contact Author)

University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Judith Wale

University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Lisa Bud-Frierman

University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

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