Former Council Members




Archives Officer, 2013-2015

John Quail

John Quail is interested in the development of the large business corporation from the later Nineteenth Century to the present. His research has largely concentrated on the UK and to a lesser extent the USA but he attempts to take into account a wider theoretical and geographical context – no corporation is an island! The construction of the viable large business corporation required a complex interwoven process of legal, conceptual, structural and administrative development. It involved difficult and protracted shifts of power between owners and managers, different professions and capital and labour. His doctoral thesis (Leeds, 1996) looked at developments in company structure and financial control up to 1939 in the UK. He has since expanded work on that period and has also done considerable archival work on post World War Two UK companies partly funded by a British Academy grant. His medium term aim is a two-book history of the evolution of the large UK corporation from the late Nineteenth Century to recent times.

He has published in Business and Economic History, Business History, The Journal of Industrial History, Accounting Business and Financial History, Business Archives and two conference collections in book form.

He came to academia after a working life in construction and housing, latterly employed as a regulator and ‘company doctor’ for housing associations in trouble. He still does consultancy work in the housing field. He is a member of the Association of Business Historians.

email: jq504@york.ac.uk