This research created a database of financial and non-financial information extracted from DataStream, annual reports and accounts, company websites and other reputable sources to investigate the incidence of conglomeration amongst the largest, by market capitalisation, companies, both industrial/manufacturing and service, that comprised the London Stock Exchange FTSE100 index at the end of 1993, 1998 and 2003.\ud Categorising companies according to the 4-category Rumelt-based scheme used in previous UK research by Channon (1973, 1978) and Whittington & Mayer (2000), this research has found support for the contention, based on anecdotal evidence, that conglomeration amongst the FTSE100 has declined, especially between 1998 and 2003. Rather than confirming the evolutionary flow of companies through the Model of Corporate Development from single business to conglomerate strategies, the research shows more companies to have retreated to greater focus than advanced to wider diversification. Furthermore, the breadth of activities pursued by conglomerates fell through the research period and there was also an increase in diversified companies with a core activity generating more than 50% of their turnover.\ud Whilst acknowledging that several conglomerates were created by strong business personalities including Lords Hanson and White at Hanson and Sir Owen Green at BTR, no strong relationships were found between corporate governance and diversification. The enhancement of corporate governance Best Practice resulted in improvements across all companies.\ud Finally, this research suggests performance is not a primary driver of the trend towards focus but that financial/market and regulatory, especially competition authority, factors led to changes in diversification through a mixture of divestment, demerger, capital reduction/downsizing, acquisitions and internationalisation. The Model of Corporate Development has become multi-directional with movements influenced by generic, industry specific and company specific factors. There is also an inherent trade-off across diversification categories in the potential level of risk, growth, scale and scope benefits
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