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Les mutations de la sidérurgie mondiale du XXe siècle à nos jours / The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the XXth Century to the Present


Edited By Charles Barthel, Ivan Kharaba and Philippe Mioche

La sidérurgie a joué un rôle moteur dans l’éclosion du monde industrialisé moderne. Quoique son importance relative par rapport à l’ensemble des économies globalisées soit aujourd’hui en recul, il n’en demeure pas moins que, grâce à un processus d’adaptation permanente aux nouvelles données d’un environnement qui change de plus en plus rapidement, elle occupe toujours une place de choix. Aussi ses innombrables implications technologiques, commerciales, politiques, diplomatiques, culturelles et sociales font-elles apparaître l’utilité de faire le point sur deux siècles de mutations dans une démarche comparative à vocation essentiellement historique, mais également ouverte à d’autres disciplines.
Changes in the world steel industry have been faster in the late twentieth century than in all previous periods. The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the Twentieth Century to the Present aims to scientifically describe and study the transformations which occurred in all areas of that industry. Its positioning in the contemporary period allows a multidisciplinary and comparative reflection about the origins and forms of these technological, commercial, political, diplomatic, cultural and social changes.
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Machine Building and Vehicle Manufacturing Within the Iron and Steel Industry (Christian Marx)


Christian MARX

Univesität Trier

In the first half of the 20th century the Gutehoffnungshütte (GHH) at Oberhausen in the Ruhr district belonged to the ten biggest iron and steel producers of German heavy industry. The German iron and steel companies were still essential for the economic development of the whole German economy and had a remarkable influence on the political field, but since the end of the 19th century the significance of new industries like the chemical industry or machine building raised enormously.1 After the First World War the GHH was diversified in a short process of expansion into several fields of processing. The vertical integration und the formation of the GHH-corporation with diverse subsidiaries has been mainly pushed by its general director Paul Reusch, who joined the GHH in 1905.2 In contrast to many other German iron and steel enterprises the GHH did not become part of the Vereinigte Stahlwerke, the world’s largest steel producer after US Steel in the 1930s, and unlike to other managers – like Friedrich Flick – Reusch did not alter the investments of the holding in the time of the Great Crash, but rather underlined his strategy of an independent and vertically ← 121 | 122 → integrated enterprise.3 Thus, there did not exist a single strategy in the German heavy industry during the Weimar Republic – like a one-best-way in organisational and developmental strategies –, although all German iron and steel producers expanded after World War I. The GHH was part of an enormous...

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