Pecenka, Joseph O.||Dirksen, A. J. (Professor of management)
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Management
Industries--Size; Industries--United States
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the study done by Collins and Preston concerning "The Size Structure of the Largest Industrial Firms, 1909-1958," (The American Economic Review, LI [December, 1961], 986-1011.) still maintained validity in the current business situation. This determination used the Fortune magazine annual ranking of the 500 largest industrial corporations in the United States as the prime source of information. This investigation was conducted to determine if during the period 1956-1969 there had been an increasing tendency among the 100 largest industrial corporations to become entrenched in the upper levels of the industrial pyramid by virtue of their size, and whether these firms grew in size and tended to accumulate assets as a function of their size. This was done first by determining that there had been a decline in the frequency of change in size positions and identities of the larger firms. A figure of the cumulative distribution of assets at quartile points was used as a comparison of the percent of firms and percent of total assets to determine their stability over the period. Concentration ratios also reflected stability by comparison of the percent per year of total assets of the 100 largest industrial corporations to total assets of the top firms at three selected levels. Entry-exit data reflected changes in the identity of firms throughout the period and indicated that no significant trends developed. Second, the decline in the frequency of change in relative size positions of the 100 largest industrial corporations was determined. This was done by use of correlation coefficients for asset logarithms and rank which showed an increased stability throughout the period. Also a comparison of the correlation coefficients compared to the Collins and Preston study was determined, reflecting a higher degree of stability existing in most instances. Growth rates of entering and surviving firms were then determined, showing a stable dispersion throughout the period with a consistent coefficient of variation. Linked very closely with this was the makeup of entrants and exits which indicated that natural reasons were the main cause of entrants, followed closely by acquisitions and then mergers. The causes of exits were studied and considered to occur due to managements' decisions on such items as inventories or market demand. The impact of amalgamations and dismemberments again demonstrated increased stability throughout the period of study. It was concluded that the 100 largest industrial corporations became entrenched in the upper levels of the industrial pyramid by virtue of size and that these firms grew in size and tended to accumulate assets as a function of their size.
Hartman, Michael William, "Size structure of the 100 largest industrial firms, 1956-1969" (1971). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 4931.
viii, 62 pages
Northern Illinois University
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