Reinventing the Rio Tinto Company: Spain, Political Risk and Corporate Strategy Before and After the Second World War

Neil Forbes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter focusses on the organisational change experienced by the Rio Tinto Company, a British-based multinational enterprise, in the context of an extended period of extreme political risk. As a major international mining company, Rio Tinto controlled the trade in several, strategically important minerals and metals—raw materials used by the armament industries. With major interests in Spain, the company was forced to confront the rise of nationalism and then required to come to terms with the Francoist victory in the Spanish Civil War and operate in the shadow of fascist dictatorship during and after the Second World War. The chapter examines management decision-making as the company was confronted with the dilemma of how it could both protect its investments in a potentially hostile environment and simultaneously contribute to the defence of capitalism and liberal democracy. With the Spanish operations becoming both uneconomical and politically threatened in the post-war years, the company looked to dispose of most of its investments. The chapter analyses how Rio Tinto conducted business in such challenging conditions, which included the threat of expropriation, between the mid-1930s and the early 1950s, and considers how its foreign direct investments were assessed when weighed against such political risks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultinational Enterprise, Political Risk and Organisational Change
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Total War to Cold War
EditorsBen Wubs, Neil Forbes, Takafumi Kurosawa
Place of PublicationNew York and Abingdon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter6
Pages134-153
Number of pages20
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781315170572
ISBN (Print)9781138047822
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Studies in Business History
PublisherRoutledge

Fingerprint

Second World War
Corporate Strategy
Spain
Victory
1950s
Rise
Minerals
Liberal Democracy
Decision Making
Industry
Controlled
Post-war Years
Organizational Change
Foreign Direct Investment
Threat
Capitalism
Francisco Franco
Dictatorship
Nationalism
Spanish Civil War

Cite this

Forbes, N. (2019). Reinventing the Rio Tinto Company: Spain, Political Risk and Corporate Strategy Before and After the Second World War. In B. Wubs, N. Forbes, & T. Kurosawa (Eds.), Multinational Enterprise, Political Risk and Organisational Change: From Total War to Cold War (1 ed., pp. 134-153). (Routledge International Studies in Business History). New York and Abingdon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315170572

Reinventing the Rio Tinto Company : Spain, Political Risk and Corporate Strategy Before and After the Second World War. / Forbes, Neil.

Multinational Enterprise, Political Risk and Organisational Change: From Total War to Cold War. ed. / Ben Wubs; Neil Forbes; Takafumi Kurosawa. 1. ed. New York and Abingdon : Routledge, 2019. p. 134-153 (Routledge International Studies in Business History).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Forbes, N 2019, Reinventing the Rio Tinto Company: Spain, Political Risk and Corporate Strategy Before and After the Second World War. in B Wubs, N Forbes & T Kurosawa (eds), Multinational Enterprise, Political Risk and Organisational Change: From Total War to Cold War. 1 edn, Routledge International Studies in Business History, Routledge, New York and Abingdon, pp. 134-153. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315170572
Forbes N. Reinventing the Rio Tinto Company: Spain, Political Risk and Corporate Strategy Before and After the Second World War. In Wubs B, Forbes N, Kurosawa T, editors, Multinational Enterprise, Political Risk and Organisational Change: From Total War to Cold War. 1 ed. New York and Abingdon: Routledge. 2019. p. 134-153. (Routledge International Studies in Business History). https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315170572
Forbes, Neil. / Reinventing the Rio Tinto Company : Spain, Political Risk and Corporate Strategy Before and After the Second World War. Multinational Enterprise, Political Risk and Organisational Change: From Total War to Cold War. editor / Ben Wubs ; Neil Forbes ; Takafumi Kurosawa. 1. ed. New York and Abingdon : Routledge, 2019. pp. 134-153 (Routledge International Studies in Business History).
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