Bearing ‘the burden and heat of the day’: the experience of business failure in Douglas and Grant Ltd

Mackie, Robin (2012). Bearing ‘the burden and heat of the day’: the experience of business failure in Douglas and Grant Ltd. Business History, 54(5) pp. 689–712.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2012.683418

Abstract

This paper looks at the role of business culture in a business failure. Using the extensive records of the Scottish engineering firm of Douglas & Grant Ltd., it explores how the choices made by the firm’s leaders were shaped by their values and assumptions. The paper argues that the failure of the firm to manage expansion in the first decades of the twentieth century was rooted in these values, which both encouraged its leaders to take risks and constrained their ability to manage change.

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