Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2004 (Revised January 2017)

Opium and Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth Century

by Geoffrey Jones, Elisabeth Koll and Alexis Gendron


Concerns the growth of multinational trading companies in the first global economy. Examines two Scottish-owned merchant houses, Jardine Matheson and James Finlay, and shows their changing trade and investment strategies as well as their use of an organizational form later known as business groups. Also demonstrates the role of ethnic networks in globalization during this historical period. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: History; Globalized Economies and Regions; Ethnicity; Multinational Firms and Management; Groups and Teams; Trade; Social and Collaborative Networks; China;


Jones, Geoffrey, Elisabeth Koll, and Alexis Gendron. "Opium and Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth Century." Harvard Business School Case 805-010, July 2004. (Revised January 2017.)