The Origins of the Modern Firm

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Origins of the Modern Firm

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Business, Business Administration, Business Management, Economics, Financial Management, Marketing

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    - To learn the concepts, models and basic theories to understand what role play entrepreneurs and firms in economic growth.
    - To know the different types of business organizations.
    - To understand the dynamics of change in business organizations and its relationship with the transformation of markets, technology and institutions.
    - To apply the comparative analysis to understand the current business problems, identifying similarities and differences across space and time.

    - The students will develop the ability to research, process and communicate information clearly.
    - The students will develop the ability to work together.
    - The students will develop the ability to pose questions about the firm and resolve them with the use of economic theory and quantitative methods.


    - An open-minded attitude towards the alternative approaches for studying the organization of firms.
    - A flexible attitude to criticize constructively with academic rigor and to accept criticisms.
    - An open attitude to seek answers to current problems of the firm.
    - Encourage students' curiosity to address complex issues.


    1. Concepts: The role of firms and entrepreneurs
    2. Preindustrial firms: guilds, merchants and bankers
    3. The beginnings of the factory system: The new organization of work and business
    4. Technology and Firms
    5. The new companies in services industries: trade, banking, and railways
    6. The Enterprise during the Second Industrial Revolution
    7. The emergence of managerial capitalism and the US model
    8. Management
    9. Large and Dominant
    10. The alternative types of firm: Europe
    11. The alternative types of firm: Japan
    12. The Family Firm
    13. Multinational Enterprises


    The knowledge skills and attitudes will be acquired by students by means of:
    - Lectures
    - Readings and class discussion of the compulsory and complementary readings
    - Writing of several essays on the readings.
    - Class presentations of readings, and
    - Participation in the discussions that the teacher organizes around readings.
    The skills will be worked out between the instructors and students with previous meetings, the
    exhibitions in the classroom, and debates. The attitudes are learned through readings, group work and active participation in class. The course will have the following development: at the beginning of the course will establish a set of basic readings for each topic. As you develop the course will have access to the layout and graphics used in class by the teacher. The aim of the teacher's lectures is that students receive an introduction to each topic, where he summarize the main ideas, concepts, theories and models necessary for its understanding. The theoretical problems posed by the teacher, together with the required readings and individual work of students in search of information, constitute the material that will be articulated in class discussions. The class presentation intended that the student develops the ability to condense an idea and to transmit it in public in a clear, concise and understandable to the rest of his teammates. And to develop their abilities to answer questions about the topic that has worked. The understanding of the theory is secured by the readings, group work and participation in class discussions. The weekly tutorials help to the students in preparing their works, presentations and to enlarge their understanding of the lectures.


    Student assessment will be done throughout the course, given the organization and objectives of the course. 30% of the final grade is for oral participation in class and group oral presentation, 30% of the outcome of the essays conducted throughout the course, and another 40% final exam. The student will know your score as the course has elapsed, to allow the student to assess their performance.

    % end-of-term-examination: 40
    % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals?): 60

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.