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Wealth Sharing and Capital Formation for Employees of the Robert Bosch Company between 1886 and 1945

  • Jürgen Mulert
Conference paper
Part of the German Yearbook on Business History 1986 book series (BUSINESS, volume 1986)

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to ascertain Robert Bosch’s concern about methods of wealth sharing and capital formation among employees. One of the incentives for this task is the contrast between the challenges of the First World War, inflation, and economic depression on the one hand, and the self-image of Robert Bosch as an entrepreneur on the other.

Keywords

High Wage Skilled Worker Hourly Wage Capital Formation Average Wage 
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References

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    Cf. Theodor Heuss, Robert Bosch. Leben und Leistung, Tübingen 1946, p.446f. General: Gerhard Weisser, Vermögen und Vermögenspolitik, in: Handwörterbuch der Sozialwissenschaften, Vol. 11 Stuttgart 1961, p. 177.Google Scholar
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    Until now I have, however, always voted socialist. I was prevented from joining the party myself by the fact that on the one side, as an entrepreneur, I would have been considered by the comrades to only be an exploiter and then the fight turned increasingly into the stream of the class-struggle. The entrepreneur with social understanding was only a hindrance. It had been written that the philanthropist merely slowed down the movement. He had to be fought against more fervently than the agitator since he was the pacemaker for the class-struggle. He helped attain the final objective. One fought from left to right, one also fought from right to left but one fought from both sides towards the centre and that was me. Robert Bosch Memoirs written on board the “Brabantis”, Königlich-holländischer Lloyd, on a journey to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, in 1921, p. 26, unpublished Ms., in: Company Archives Bosch.Google Scholar
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    As business increased in 1905 to such an extent that it could no longer be dealt with in the normal hours of work, two shifts of eight hours were provisionally implemented. Since Robert Bosch was convinced that man should work eight hours, sleep eight hours and have eight hours of free-time and additionally saw that the work achieved during the eight hours of work was exactly the same as that achieved in a nine hour day, as could be seen in the piece-rate wages achieved, he introduced the eight hour day on a permanent basis. Cf. 75 Jahre Bosch, 1886–1961. Ein geschichtlicher Rückblick (Bosch-Schriftenreihe, Folge 9), Stuttgart 1961, p.32f. While Robert Bosch is often mentioned in addition to Freese and Abbe as the third important German entrepreneur to introduce the eight hour day (Heuss, 1946, p. 169); Uta Stolle, Arbeiterpolitik im Betrieb, Frauen und Männer, Reformisten und Radikale, Fach- und Massenarbeiter bei Bayer, BASF, Bosch und in Solingen (1900–1933), Frankfurt, New York 1980, p. 153), two surveys in the Berlin metal industry in 1902 carried out by the Berliner Gewerkschaftskommission and by the Deutschen Metallarbei- terverband show that 32 businesses (3.2%) or 59 businesses (5.7%) had introduced the eight hour day. The eight hour day most commonly occured in large businesses and in enterprises with shift work (Maria Borgmann, Betriebsführung, Arbeitsbedingungen und die soziale Frage. Eine Untersuchung zur Arbeiter- und Unternehmergeschichte der Berliner Maschinenindustrie zwischen 1870 und 1914 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Großbetriebe (Europäische Hochschulschriften, Reihe III, Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften, Vol. 143), Frankfurt, Bern, Circencester/U. K. 1981, p. 94–96 ).Google Scholar
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    The proportion of female workers according to Homburg, 1978, p. 184. For the wage forms at Daimler cf. Fritz Schumann, Die Arbeiter der Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft Stuttgart-Unter-türkheim, in: Auslese und Anpassung der Arbeiterschaft in der Automobilindustrie und einer Wiener Maschinenfabrik (Schriften des Vereins für Sozialpolitik, 135,1), Leipzig 1911, p. 35–42.Google Scholar
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    Felix Waldraff, Vermögensbildung als Teil der betrieblichen Sozialpolitik, Erfahrungsaustausch am 14.1.1972 in der Hauptverwaltung der Robert Bosch GmbH, p. 2–5, in: Firmenarchiv Bosch. Bäuerle, 1931, p. 80.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte e. V., Köln 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Mulert

There are no affiliations available

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