The corporate history of BASF spans an era of German and international economic history that began with the rise of the 'new industries' as of the late nineteenth century and continues today in their confrontation with the new economy. This book examines BASF's corporate governance, financial system, industrial relations, system of qualification and relation to other companies. A corporate history of BASF promises more than an insight into the functioning of an industrial organisation. It also reveals the reasons for the extraordinary economic dynamics of the German empire and the enormous expansion of the world economy before World War I. BASF's history stands at the centre of Germany's wartime economy during two world wars and highlights both its strengths and weaknesses. Just as the IG Farben trust helped support Germany's course of politicoeconomic autarky after 1933, so it was that BASF helped facilitate West Germany's startlingly quick return to the world market. BASF has since been among the transnational companies whose efforts at the leading edge of economic and technological progress are paradigmatic for Germany's entry into the new economy of the twenty-first century.

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