Jeff Fear

Degrees: Ph.D. Stanford University, History; 1993, B.A. University of Michigan


Areas of Expertise

  • International Business
  • Strategy
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business History
  • Varieties of Capitalism
  • Globalization
  • Economic History
  • German/European History

Professional Background

Jeff has taught in the History Department and the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He also taught Creating Modern Capitalism and Business, Government and International Economics at the Harvard Business School. He has written on international cartels, comparative accounting and banking systems, management history, and organizational learning. His book on August Thyssen examined how German management and institutional practices differed from that of the United States. At present, he is writing articles and an edited collection comparing different aspects of U.S. and German capitalism that seeks to place business history in dialogue with “varieties of capitalism” literature of political science.

Courses Offered at Redlands

  • Bus 336 International Business
  • Bus 450 The European Union: The Business of its Future
  • Bus 459 Business Policy and Strategy (Capstone)
  • Bus 369 Entrepreneurship, Business, and Global Capitalism
  • Bus 369 Stuff: The Making and Meaning of Everyday Things
  • Bus 470 Germans-Jews and the Business of Genocide (independent study)

Previous Teaching Experience

Harvard Business School Courses:

  • Business, Government and International Economy (MBA)
  • Creating Modern Capitalism (MBA)
  • Globalizing Capitalism, Globalizing Business (Doctoral)

University of Pennsylvania Courses:

  • Comparative Capitalist Systems (Huntsman Program—SAS/Wharton)
  • Europe since 1945: Living under the Shadow of the Bomb
  • World in Revolt: 1968
  • European Social History in the 29th Century: Capitalism and Culture
  • Comparative Industrializations: Europe, the U.S, Latin America, and East Asia
  • German History since 1815
  • From Marketplaces to a Market Economy in Early Modern Europe 1200-1800

Awards, Honors and Grants

  • University of Pennsylvania Faculty Research Fellowship
  • Harvard-Newcomen Research Fellowship in Business History
  • Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Travelling Fellowship, Harvard Business School
  • German Academic Exchange Service Research Fellowship (DAAD)

Selected Publications


Jeffrey Fear. (2005). Organizing Control: August Thyssen and the Construction of German Corporate Management Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.


Jeffrey Fear. (2008). "Cartels". The Oxford Handbook of Business History, 268-292.

Jeffrey Fear. (2008). "Erich Potthoff: Gedanken über die Mitbestimmung mit warmen Herzen und klarem Verstand". Erich Potthoff: Thinking about Codetermination with a Sympathetic Heart and Sharp Reasoning, Geschichte—Unternehmen--Archive, 397-423.

Jeffrey Fear and Christopher Kobrak. (2006). "Diverging Paths: Accounting for Corporate Governance in America and Germany". Business History Review, 1-48.

Jeffrey Fear and Christian Ketels. (2006). “Cluster Mobilization in Mitteldeutschland”. Harvard Business School Case 9-707-005.

Jeffrey Fear and Carin-Isabel Knoop. (2006). “Dr. Ing. Hc. F. Porsche AG (A) True to Brand and (B) Made in Germany." Harvard Business School Cases 9-706-018, 9-706-019.

Jeffrey Fear. (2006). The Neglected Power of Old-Fashioned Face-to-Face Communication in the Firm and Factory: BMW in Conversation [in German]. Ferrum, Nr. 78, 100-111.

Jeffrey Fear. (2003). Banking on Germany? Harvard Business School Case 9-703-028.

Jeffrey Fear. (2001). "Thinking Historically about Organizational Learning". Handbook of Organizational Learning, (eds.) M. Dierkes, A. Berthoin Antal, J. Child, and I. Nonaka, 162-191.

Jeffrey Fear. (1997). “Constructing Big Business: The Cultural Concept of the Firm,” Big Business and the Wealth of Nations, (eds.) Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. and Takashi Hikino, 546-574.

Jeffrey Fear. (1997). "German Capitalism". Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions, (ed.) Thomas K. McCraw, 135-182.

Jeffrey Fear. (1997). “August Thyssen and German Steel.” Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions, (ed.) Thomas K. McCraw, 185-226.

Jeffrey Fear. (1987). "Die Rüstungsindustrie im Gau Schwaben". Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 193-216.

Recent Presentations

“Divergent Paths: Savings Banks and the Structure of National Banking Systems,” with Per Hansen and R. Daniel Wadhwani, Congreso Internacional de Historia de las Cajas de Ahorros [International Congress for the History of Savings Banks], October 16-18, 2008, Murcia, Spain.

“German and American Populism: Divergent Effects on Banking Regulation after World War I,” Wissenschaftliches Symposium zum Gedenken Gerald D. Feldman [Scholarly Symposium in Memory of Gerald D. Feldman], October 23-24, 2008, Berlin, Germany.

“Banks on Board: Banks in German and American Corporate Governance, 1870-1914,” with Christopher Kobrak, Business History Conference, April 10-13, 2008, Sacramento, California.

“Making Capitalism Respectable: The Political and Cultural Origins of German and American Corporate Governance 1873-1914,” with Christopher Kobrak, Conference on Trans-Atlantic Capitalism: Financial and Intellectual Flows, Columbia University’s Chazen Institute, April 2-3, 2008.

“Origins of German Corporate Governance and Accounting 1870-1914: Making Capitalism Respectable,” International Economic History Association, with Christopher Kobrak, University of Helsinki, August 21-25, 2006, Helsinki, Norway.

“Die Zukunft der Vergangenheit: Deutscher Kapitalismus aus der Sicht von Rhein und Ruhr [The Future of the Past: German Capitalism from the Viewpoint of the Rhine and Ruhr],” Speech at the Industrie-Club Düsseldorf, April 27, 2006.

“Streaming Knowledge—A Hidden History of Codetermination: The Schmalenbach Society and the Dinkelbach School of German Management,” Political Economy of Capitalism Seminar, Sven Beckert, April 4, 2006, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Professional Affiliations

Business History Conference

  • Trustee 2006-2009
  • Program Organizing Committee for Milan 2009 Conference on Business and Fashion
  • Chair of the Program Organizing Committee for Athens, Georgia 2010
  • Kerr Prize Committee 2005-2007

European Business History Association
Academy of Management
American Historical Association

Business History Review (editorial board)

Cogeneration Plant
Cogeneration Plant

The state-of-the-art power facility enables the University to produce a majority of its own energy and has reduced the campus’s carbon footprint by 33 percent.

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