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Suchard and the emergence of traveling salesmen in Switzerland, 1860–1920


Rossfeld, Roman (2008). Suchard and the emergence of traveling salesmen in Switzerland, 1860–1920. Business History Review, 82(4):735-759.

Abstract

Based on theoretical findings of the new institutional economics, this examination of the history of the Swiss chocolate company Suchard (founded in 1826) and the Verband Reisender Kaufleute der Schweiz (Association of Swiss Commercial Travelers) describes the economic significance, social image, and everyday life of traveling salesmen between 1860 and 1920. By 1900, commercial travelers formed a critical link between the enterprise and the market, helping to drive the vertical integration of production and distribution. They enjoyed high standing within the company, and many were promoted to executive levels. Traveling salesmen were largely responsible for procuring information and expanding product sales in an era that preceded specialized market research and the domination of advertising companies.

Abstract

Based on theoretical findings of the new institutional economics, this examination of the history of the Swiss chocolate company Suchard (founded in 1826) and the Verband Reisender Kaufleute der Schweiz (Association of Swiss Commercial Travelers) describes the economic significance, social image, and everyday life of traveling salesmen between 1860 and 1920. By 1900, commercial travelers formed a critical link between the enterprise and the market, helping to drive the vertical integration of production and distribution. They enjoyed high standing within the company, and many were promoted to executive levels. Traveling salesmen were largely responsible for procuring information and expanding product sales in an era that preceded specialized market research and the domination of advertising companies.

Citations

1 citation in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of History
Dewey Decimal Classification:900 History
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:06 Mar 2009 10:03
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:46
Publisher:Harvard Business School Publishing
ISSN:0007-6805
Official URL:http://www.hbs.edu/bhr/archives.html

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