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Desmond Gibney and Martin Quinn

Abstract

This study details the management practices of a malting business called Bennetts of Ballinacurra (Bennetts), from approximately 1920s to the mid-1930s, a period when the Irish Free State was in its infancy. There is little extant literature on the management practices of Irish businesses of the time. Archival records, containing the company’s books, records and correspondence, were our primary source. Our findings revealed a relatively sophisticated management information system for which its merchant background and close connections to Arthur Guinness & Sons Ltd. (Guinness) were a potential explanatory factor. In addition, despite the business being small, the study revealed how management coped with issues such as business structure and industrial relations in a time of great political and economic change. There is scope for future research to utilise the archives of Bennetts, as well as other archives identified in our study.