The ability to take a leading role in democratic settlements largely shapes a firm’s long term success. A key requirement to occupying such a leading role is the creation of a platform for the execution of democratic principles by customers, shareholders, societal stakeholders, and political actors: the impossibility to dominate others, and the possibility of rivalry and dissent. After careful analysis of the strategies followed by Dutch and English banks, I conclude that building such a platform implies the development of six strategic abilities. Internationally, firms’ ability to take a leading role is enabled and constrained by their affiliation with (a) particular nation-state(s); in particular the geopolitical perception of a nation-state’s capacity to express the ideal of popular sovereignty and the right to self-determination. Drawing on an historical analysis of the strategies followed by the Netherlands and England since early modern times, the US and the EU (including the West-German Republic) since WWII, I clarify how nation-state leaders should go about in securing an advantageous geopolitical perception; and in maximising the possibilities of self-determination and success for affiliated firms.

England, Netherlands, analytical dualism, banks, commercial and cooperative, democratisation, dissent, freedom of domination, history, republican, rivalry, settlements, success models
Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior (jel L2), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Business Administration: General (jel M10), Personnel Management (jel M12)
A. Jolink (Albert) , S.J. Magala (Slawomir)
Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) Prof.dr. W. Hulsink Prof.dr. A. Klamer Dr. Ph. van Engeldorp Gastelaars
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Hensmans, M. (2010, May 6). A Republican Settlement Theory of the Firm: Applied to Retail Banks in England and the Netherlands (1830-2007) (No. EPS-2010-193-ORG). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from