John D. Rockefeller and the Creation of Standard Oil

Posted: 11 Feb 2012

See all articles by Nancy F. Koehn

Nancy F. Koehn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Katherine Miller

Harvard University - Accounting & Control Unit

Date Written: September 20, 2010

Abstract

Reconstructs the entrepreneurial journey of John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and one of the most famous business figures in history. Traces his early career as a retailer in Cleveland through his decision to enter the oil industry in the early 1860s to his creation of Standard Oil. Pays particular attention to the critical decades of the 1870s and 1880s when Standard Oil and the larger oil business were growing at white-hot speed. Told through the words of both scholars and first-hand participants, examines Rockefeller's (controversial) strategy for securing and maintaining Standard Oil's market dominance, his organizational innovations within the company, and his responses to a myriad of competitive threats. Also, provides a close look at Rockefeller's life outside his office, including his role as a husband and father. Closes with a contemporary analysis of the ethics of Rockefeller's actions.

Learning Objective: To encourage students to analyze the life, career, and legacy of John D. Rockefeller.

Suggested Citation

Koehn, Nancy F. and Miller, Katherine, John D. Rockefeller and the Creation of Standard Oil (September 20, 2010). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management case no. 807-110, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002827

Nancy F. Koehn (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Katherine Miller

Harvard University - Accounting & Control Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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