The Netherlands: the overlooked variety of big business

Ferry de Goey, Abe de Jong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter presents an introductory and exploratory overview of the history and present state of business groups in the Netherlands, with an emphasis on large business in the twentieth century. Statistical data and overviews are complemented by case studies, in order to sketch the diversity in business groups among Dutch businesses. Although business groups were present throughout modern Dutch business history, they were never the dominant organizational form. Although some large multinationals can be classified as business groups and many smaller family businesses are business groups, little attention has been paid to the organizational form in the literature. The chapter cannot document general motivations for Dutch firms to opt for a business group structure but presents several case-specific and idiosyncratic reasons.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBusiness Groups in the West
Subtitle of host publicationOrigins, Evolution, and Resilience
EditorsAsli M Coplan, Takashi Hikino
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780198717973
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Big business
  • Business groups
  • Diversification
  • Family business
  • Netherlands

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