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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Tony Proctor

The purpose of this paper is to examine a particular aspect of the history of the watchmaking industry during the eighteenth century. Attention is drawn to overlooked…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a particular aspect of the history of the watchmaking industry during the eighteenth century. Attention is drawn to overlooked ideas and inventions and how years later they may become profitable business opportunities for entrepreneurs. The approach adopted allows examination of the development and commercialisation of a watch escapement mechanism, the rack lever, within the context of the development of other escapements. The rack lever was an escapement which was initially overlooked in the early part of the eighteenth century but which many decades later was reinvented and became a commercial success in the early nineteenth century.

Design/methodology/approach

Reference is made to the literature on entrepreneurship and acquisition of knowledge in the eighteenth century and the nature of watchmaking in the same epoch. The literature on entrepreneurship produces a framework for examining the actions that were taken to bring the rack lever escapement to market. The historical context within which the innovations occurred was examined to establish the events and circumstances surrounding the times when commercialisation took place. An account of the commercialisation of the rack lever escapement is presented.

Findings

The entrepreneurial opportunity examined in this article relates to a need to satisfy consumers with a reasonably accurate and reliable portable time piece. The historical context within which commercialisation took place was found to be significant. Attention to the escapement mechanism in watches was identified as the key to improving performance, and the focus of the paper is placed upon how this opportunity was satisfied through the means provided by the rack lever escapement. Alertness to the potential of already discovered but undeveloped ideas appears to be an additional feature behind the entrepreneurial activity. The paper shows that innovation can be a discontinuous process. It also indicates the relevance of modern-day knowledge brokers in facilitating the process of new product innovation.

Originality/value

Entrepreneurship and innovation along with research and development are all intrinsically linked in producing goods and services to satisfy customer wants and needs. Together, they represent a cornerstone which helps to establish a business and maintain its continued survival. Importantly, the development of new products is a key contributor to this end and innovation and entrepreneurship play their part in bringing this about. The paper suggests that new ideas can occur which may be deemed unsuitable for commercialisation at one period in time but which can at a future time be considered a temporary solution to meet an unfulfilled need in the market place. It argues for the case for reserving judgement on new ideas that are not commercialised and ensuring that knowledge of them is kept for posterity and made accessible to future generations.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Book part
Publication date: 16 November 2006

Jun Seong Ho and James B. Lewis

Since 1997, a quantitative revolution has swept Korean economic history and generated a new paradigm. From 1700 to 1900 the Korean economy expanded and contracted along…

Abstract

Since 1997, a quantitative revolution has swept Korean economic history and generated a new paradigm. From 1700 to 1900 the Korean economy expanded and contracted along lines suggested by Adam Smith. Economic expansion was based on productive land and a stable commodity market. The direct result was high real skilled wages. Economic contraction became clear from the mid-nineteenth century when the value of land declined, commodity prices rose, and real skilled wages fell. The contraction was apparent before the appearance of Japanese imperialism and the absorption of Korea into the international commodity market after 1876.

Details

Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-344-0

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2014

Warwick Funnell and Robert Williams

The paper aims to extend research which has sought to explain Britain's early success as an industrial power by identifying the influence of religious doctrine of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to extend research which has sought to explain Britain's early success as an industrial power by identifying the influence of religious doctrine of the Dissenting Protestant churches on the development of accounting practices in the factory. The concern is not with specific accounting practices but with the social and moral environment which provided the incentives and permissions that encouraged late eighteenth century English industrialists to develop the practices that they used.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the highly influential writings of social theorists such Weber, Sombart and Tawney to identify the religious doctrines that both motivated and justified the rational, ideological business practices of prominent businessmen.

Findings

The rise of accounting as a powerful tool of control and discipline was significantly assisted by the teaching of the Dissenting Protestant churches on “calling”. Religious beliefs provided permissions, justifications and incentives which underpinned the entrepreneurial energies, opportunities and successes of the early industrialists. Accounting could be seen to assume almost the aura and nascent legitimacy of a religious practice, a means of sanctifying practices which were otherwise reviled by social elites.

Originality/value

Despite encouragement from accounting researchers for histories of accounting which give greater credence to the reflexivity between accounting and society, this has yet to find a significant presence amongst the searches for beginnings in cost accounting where economic and management factors remain the overwhelming focus. Religious beliefs are shown to have been especially influential in the adoption of accounting practices by early industrialists who were frequently members of the Dissenting Protestant churches.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

John C. Crawford

Reviews Leadhills Library, Britain’s first subscription library and also the first subscription library in Britain to have a working‐class base. It originated the ideology…

Abstract

Reviews Leadhills Library, Britain’s first subscription library and also the first subscription library in Britain to have a working‐class base. It originated the ideology of mutual improvement as applied to libraries in Scotland, which has clear links with the social philosophy of the period and formed an organizational model for others to follow. Its book selection policy was both progressive and independent and much of its early stock still survives in situ in a building which has probably been occupied since the late eighteenth century. It functioned actively as a library from 1741 until the mid‐1960s and is still available for use today. The surviving stock, catalogued in 1985, totals about 2,500 volumes.

Details

Library Review, vol. 46 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Details

Burial and Death in Colonial North America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-043-2

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2014

Mary McCarthy

The aim of this paper is to examine the nature of newspaper advertisements published in the Irish newspaper The Freeman's Journal. This is approached by examining the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the nature of newspaper advertisements published in the Irish newspaper The Freeman's Journal. This is approached by examining the construction of a selection of printed advertisements, including the strategies used in each, which appeared in The Freeman's Journal between 1763 and 1924.

Design/methodology/approach

The central primary source used is The Freeman's Journal and the selected advertisements. A number of primary and secondary sources are employed in the analysis of the featured advertisements in respect to the format, language and marketing strategies used in each.

Findings

The case study finds that there were a number of constants in the advertisements examined, as well as a number of advertising strategies employed from the eighteenth century onward, that have more commonly been associated with the 1918 to 1939 interwar period. It also found that the use of illustrations did not solely depend on twentieth century printing advances, but that printing developments did much to expand and progress advertising in Ireland.

Originality/value

This case study explores a little researched area in Irish advertising history.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Tonya Chirgwin

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Reference Reviews, vol. 19 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2009

Claire Buckley

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Details

Reference Reviews, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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Book part
Publication date: 15 September 2017

Loïc Charles and Christine Théré

In this chapter, we investigate the physiocratic claim that political economy is a new science and shows that it covers a sophisticated and nuanced range of discourses and…

Abstract

In this chapter, we investigate the physiocratic claim that political economy is a new science and shows that it covers a sophisticated and nuanced range of discourses and practices. François Quesnay, the founder of physiocracy, displayed a complex and original conception of science based on the entanglement of abstract knowledge with skilled practices and the importance of rooting science in the realm of bodily sensations. We show how he applied consistently this conception to physics (medicine), political economy, and geometry. We conclude by comparing the epistemology of some of his main disciples, especially Butré and Du Pont de Nemours, to that of Quesnay.

Details

Including a Symposium on the Historical Epistemology of Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-537-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Martin Guha

Abstract

Details

Reference Reviews, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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