Exploring Intellectual & Business History 


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Talk: Christian Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and the Origins of Howard Bowen’s Social Responsibilities of the Businessman

Howard Bowen’s Social Responsibilities of the Businessman (1953) is a classic text in American corporate social responsibility. Yet little is known about its origins. This paper uses archival research to reveal the religious underpinnings of the book and its emergence from a collaborative and longstanding project of the National Council of Churches.

Talk: Earthly Cities: Early Common Law Corporate Ideas and the Case of Sutton's Hospital

This paper explores one of the most important common law cases in corporate law, Sutton's Hospital (1612), in which the corporation was described as soulless, and "invisible, immortal, & resteth only in intendment and consideration of the Law."

Talk: Prosecuting Smuggling in Walpole’s Britain: New Evidence from a Wide Survey

North American Conference on British Studies, Vancouver (November 17, 2019): Smugglers abounded in eighteenth-century Britain. Dealing in now familiar commodities - tea, tobacco, wine - traffickers sought to evade customs and excise officers who hunted them at every turn. What happened when they were caught? This paper uses quantitative data to explore the prosecution of smugglers during the 1720s, revealing not only that local juries were often reluctant to convict, but the government itself was careful to avoid too harsh punishments. 

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I am currently a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of History where I teach about the history of capitalism and economic thought... read more

© copyright 2020 David Chan Smith