Being unbusinesslike. Financing strategy at the Great Exhibition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This study examines financing in an alternative organisation – the Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Business aspects of the Great Exhibition have received limited attention. In contrast to the prevailing assumption that financing strategy was characterised by triumphant interventions, it is suggested that financial planning for the exhibition was problematic, and characterised by structural deficiencies, inattentive leadership, inadequate review, inconsistent approaches to assessing financing needs, unsystematic searches for financing solutions, and decision-making overly focused on minimising the personal risk of the Commissioners. It is concluded that the performance of the wealthy luminaries who oversaw the financing of the Great Exhibition was less impressive and paternalistic than is often portrayed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness History
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 May 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Great Exhibition
  • financing strategy
  • structures
  • leadership
  • risk
  • Bank of England


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