Werner von Siemens and the Electric Telegraph

Case Solution

Geoffrey G. Jones, Bjoern von Siemens
Harvard Business School ()

This case describes the founding of the Siemens electronics company in Germany by Werner Siemens in the 19th century. Werner’s dual role as inventor and entrepreneur is explored when he founded one of the world’s first multinational corporations, the growth of which was initially based on his pioneering role in the new telegraph industry. Werner sent his brothers to the UK and Russia to start businesses, and the case examines the pros and cons of family businesses as an organizational form and the challenges that growth brings for these family businesses.

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