Photo of Daniel Raff

Daniel Raff

Associate Professor

Research Interests: business history and strategy

Links: Personal Website


  • MGMT714 - Value Creation and Value Capture in American Business History

    This course concerns the history of capitalism in America viewed from the perspective of the people who operated (and in some cases owned) the firms. Its focus is on the activities of value creation and value capture and on how evolving opportunities and selection pressures have conditioned the historic development of competition, strategic analysis and initiatives, organizational structures, merger-and-acquisition activity, entrepreneurship, and the like. Accounting and control are also part of the story: the course in fact considers issues arising in a variety of different management disciplines and shows off their interrelationships. The maintenance (or otherwise) of value capture over the cycle and over time is a running theme.

    The course has a narrative element (running from Franklin's days through the early twenty-first century) but its deeper purpose is to give students some idea of how to think about the future evolution of firms and industries. It proceeds through a consideration of actual business decisions and performance in a series of challenging and otherwise interesting moments in the evolution of the American business environment. The materials are unusual for the Wharton School--they are often case-like and when possible draw on documents contemporary to the decisions such as correspondence, memoranda, minutes of meetings, old newspaper and magazine stories, and eyewitness accounts. They require thoughtful preparation. This course is much more focused on the students than many and a successful experience of its demands that the students both engage with the materials and take an active role in the class discussion. The largest single element in the grading is a substantial term paper on a topic agreeable to both the student and the instructor. For more information, please contact the instructor: raff@wharton.upenn.edu.

    MGMT225401  ( Syllabus

    MGMT714401  ( Syllabus