General Electric [1]

General Electric [1] - General Electric: Annual Report 1955...

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General Electric: Annual Report 1955 The rise of General Electric as a multidivisional corporation exemplifies the typical growth pattern of American business throughout the early 20 th century, characterized by a strategic progression from horizontal to vertical integration. A detailed analysis of both the 1955 and 1956 Annual Reports reveal the extent to which extreme product diversification mandated a decentralized managerial organization in order to operate an effective and profitable business that satisfied the rapidly increasing demand for electrical power. Consequently, this decentralization led to significant improvements in the organization of production and allowed the Company to established centralized functions in research and development, resulting in a continuous application of technological advancements throughout all business sectors. Catalyzed by the growing need for sufficient technology to carry out proper electrical installations, horizontal combination involving a merger between Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company took place and led to the formation of General Electric in the late 19 th century. Following a period of extensive vertical integration and the eventual diversification of product lines, in 1955 the Company recognized a growing need to dedicate specific attention to each individual business. Producing a myriad of seemingly unrelated products from silicone chemical materials to air conditioning units, General Electric evolved into a diversified manufacturing conglomerate in which a “consolidated group of companies” operated under the jurisdiction of a single parent company. As discussed in the 1955 Annual Report,
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General Electric [1] - General Electric: Annual Report 1955...

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