In Big Business and the State Harland Prechel develops a conceptual framework that contrasts with prevailing definitions of the corporation. His analysis shows that corporate property rights and the legal basis of ownership are crucial to understanding corporate behavior. The book examines how historical transitions affected the three most significant corporate transformations in the last 110 years (1880s-1900s, 1920s-1930s, 1980s-1990s). During each period, in response to economic crisis, big business engaged in political behavior to pressure state managers to realign the institutional arrangements in which corporations were embedded. The historical multicausal method shows that economic crisis, managerial inefficiencies, dependence on external capital markets, and the political processes of redefining corporate property rights and corporate tax laws are crucial to understanding corporate transformation.