Managerial Failure in Mid-Victorian Britain?: Corporate Expansion During a Promotion Boom

Business History, 2015, Forthcoming

50 Pages Posted: 14 May 2015

See all articles by Gareth Campbell

Gareth Campbell

Queen's University Belfast

John D. Turner

Queen's University Belfast

Date Written: May 12, 2015

Abstract

This article examines the mid-1840s expansion of the British railway network, which was associated with a large deterioration in shareholder value. Using a counterfactual approach and new data on railway competition, we argue that the expansion of the railway companies, and their subsequent decline in financial performance, was not due to managerial failure. Rather, the promotion of new routes by established railways and mergers with other companies was part of a managerial strategy to maintain incumbent positions, and may have been preferable to not expanding whilst their competitors did.

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Gareth and Turner, John D., Managerial Failure in Mid-Victorian Britain?: Corporate Expansion During a Promotion Boom (May 12, 2015). Business History, 2015, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605675

Gareth Campbell (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

John D. Turner

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

David Leir Building
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT9 5AG
Ireland

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