Cadburys' new factory system, 1879-1919

  • Michael C. Rowlinson

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis examines the reasons for Cadburys' move from a city centre site to a greenfield site in Bournville in 1879 and the subsequent development of the factory and the Bournville community. The founding of the Bournville Village Trust by George Cadbury is discussed in relation to the Garden City movement. The welfare and personnel management policies which Cadburys adopted in the 1900s are considered in relation to welfarism in general, especially in the United States. The extent to which the idea of a `Quaker employer' can explain Cadburys policies is questioned both methodologically and empirically. The early use of scientific management at Bournville is described and related to Edward Cadbury's writings on the subject. Finally, the institution of a Works Council Scheme in 1918 is described and its uses are discussed. It is concluded that Cadburys instituted a new factory system in this period which consisted of a synthesis of ideas borrowed from elsewhere and that for a variety of reasons Cadburys was an appropriate site for their implementation.
    Date of Award1987
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJohn Child (Supervisor) & Chris Smith (Supervisor)


    • Cadburys'
    • factory system

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