2023-2024 / HIST0079-1

History of business


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in history (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in multilingual communication (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in history (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)6 crédits 


Eric Geerkens

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Business history is one of discipline which contributed in a decisive way to the revival of the economic history. In an attempt to give an up-to-date overview of this discipline, the course is structured as follows :

  • Historiographic overview (the history of business history, its subjects and methods) ;
  • Strategy and structures (initially: Chandler's model, dominant management models) ;
  • Multinational firms ;
  • Beyond Chandler's model (districts, flexible production, consideration of family businesses and SMEs)] ;
  • Manager's and Businessmen ;
  • Innovation and technical progress ;
  • Work Organisation: a century of Scientific Management ;
  • Human resource management and paternalism ;
  • Corporate Financing.
Together with the students, it may be decided to focus on some points in this plan at the expense of others.

As far as possible, themes will be illustrated with local examples, but the course does not pretend to be a course in the industrial history of Liège district or Wallonia region.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By the end of the course, students will be more aware of the interdependence between the economic, technical, social and political dimensions of the life of the micro-societies which form a company.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Critical discussion of papers.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:


Recommended or required readings

Via MyULiège, students will receive each week copies of Powerpoint slides shown in class, and also articles on some topics.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

Oral exam. Students draw a set of three questions; they receive written preparation time (on the order of 10-15 minutes) for the main question and more limited preparation time (also a written preparation time, if necessary) for the two other questions.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Eric Geerkens, professor Histoire économique et sociale quai Roosevelt, 1B (Bât. A4) 4000 Liège Belgium
Tel. ULg : +32 4 366 53 59 Mail : e.geerkens@uliege.be 

Association of one or more MOOCs