Organisation of Industry and Commerce

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A Lectureship in Organisation of Industry and Commerce was created in 1918 as part of the newly formed Department of Commerce. It was endowed by subscriptions from members of the Edinburgh and Leith Chambers of Commerce, from the Merchant Company of Edinburgh, the Leith Shipowners, the Accountants' Society, and the Bankers Institute. These bodies, and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in particular, had been instrumental in persuading the university to introduce a Degree in Commerce to meet the challenges facing the country at the conclusion of the First World War. In 1925, the Lectureship was raised to a Chair, with William Oliver (1885-1962) as the first appointee.

Organisation of Industry and Commerce was taught within the Faculty of Arts until 1964 when it transferred to the newly created Faculty of Social Sciences. Since 2002 it has been taught at Edinburgh University's Business School, part of the College of Humanities and Social Science.

Professors of Organisation of Industry and Commerce


  • Alexander Falconer Giles, 'The Faculty of Arts', in History of the University of Edinburgh 1883-1933, ed. A. Logan Turner (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1933), pp. 164-238.