Webinar: Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in an Age of Global Oligopolies

Date & timeThursday, 6 May 6:00pm - 7:00pm
CostFree of charge
Booking closing date Thursday, 6 May 12:00pm
Event type Webinar

Booking for this event has now closed.

Please email alumni@trinhall.cam.ac.uk for late booking enquiries.


This May we look forward to hosting an event where Trinity Hall Fellow Commoner and Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies at the Judge Business School, Jennifer Howard-Grenville, will be joined by Professor Chris Carr (1970).

About the event

Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in an Age of Global Oligopolies: Professor Chris Carr (1970) in conversation with Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville.

Facebook, Google, Amazon, and a handful of other companies dominate the news headlines for their sheer size, industry dominance, and ability to shape not only what we consume but how many of us live our lives. But, how ubiquitous are these kinds of global oligopolists, and how concerned should we be about them?

Based on extensive research, Chris Carr will discuss the surprising pervasiveness of global oligopolies across multiple business sectors. We will explore what this means for business strategy, policy, and our everyday lives.

Bring your own questions to this interactive discussion, which will be of interest to all those concerned about economics, business, and contemporary society.


Professor Chris Carr (1970)

Chris Carr studied Engineering and Economics at Trinity Hall from 1970. He is now Professor of Corporate Strategy at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

He teaches Masters and MBA programmes at Edinburgh in Global Strategic Management. His research over the last 40 years focuses on strategic approaches to globalisation, comparing 369 companies in 22 countries worldwide through extensive field research. Each company case focuses on one major strategic investment decision and investigates the approach taken to strategy in the context of globalisation; the precise financial methods deployed; and thirdly the decision-making-processes and differences arising internationally reflecting different institutional and cultural contexts. About half of these cases are in automotive; and half are in a more representative range of sectors. Geographically the research spans the advanced “Triad” of Europe, America and Japan/South Korea; but in recent years there has been a greater emphasis on Emerging Countries, particularly China, India, Brazil, Russia, Singapore and Thailand. Recent research focuses on global concentration and global oligopolies and on cross-cultural leadership adaptations by MNC country heads in MNCs especially in Thailand, Hong Kong and India.

Previously Chris was Senior Lecturer in charge of strategy at Manchester Business School, following lectureships at Buckingham, Warwick and Bath universities. Teaching and research experience at overseas universities includes: Brazil, Russia, China, India, Thailand, South Africa, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Turkey as well as the USA as Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School working with their Global Strategy Group.

After graduating in Engineering and Economics from Cambridge University, Chris also completed their Institute for Manufacturing’s post-graduate “Advanced Course in Production Methods and Management”. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Management Accountant having worked for 10 years with British Aerospace and then GKN, two of Britain’s largest engineering companies. Following work on process and product developments, he worked international project management on turnkey projects in the USA (taking GKN drive chains global) and the Middle East.

He is author of Global Oligopoly. A Key Idea for Business and Society. Routledge (2020), two earlier books and some 40 articles in academic journals.

Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville

Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville is the Diageo Professor of Organisation Studies at the Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall. An expert in qualitative research and organisational change, she explores how people and organisations generate and navigate change related to sustainability.

Over a period of twenty years, she has conducted in-depth studies into how people make meaningful change in companies from a variety of sectors, including semiconductor manufacturing, apparel, and oil and gas. Jennifer has taught extensively on management and sustainability topics at the Executive, MBA, EMBA, doctorate and undergraduate level. She serves as Deputy Editor at one of the field’s top journals, Academy of Management Journal.

View Jennifer’s full biography

How to register

Booking for this event has now closed. Please email alumni@trinhall.cam.ac.uk for late booking enquiries.

By email: Contact alumni@trinhall.cam.ac.uk with your name and how you are affiliated with the College. If you are an alumnus/alumna of the College, please include your matriculation year.

Please register no later than midday on Thursday 6 May.

You will receive the joining instructions by 2.30pm (BST) on Thursday 6 May which will include the link to Zoom. If you have not received the link by this date and time, please check your spam box before contacting alumni@trinhall.cam.ac.uk.


If you have any queries, please contact Liz Pentlow on alumni@trinhall.cam.ac.uk.

Donations to the Student Support Fund

There is no charge to attend the webinar however, we would be incredibly grateful if you would consider donating what you may have spent on a drink on a night out to our student support funds. Donations will help students facing unexpected financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. No gift is too small as collectively, we can make a huge difference to our students. Thank you.

“When COVID-19 hit, within a week my savings all but disappeared, taking with them my ability to pay for fees, housing and groceries. Had it not been for the Hardship Fund, as well as the considerate, caring and hardworking people at Trinity Hall, I don’t know how I would have made it through these difficult times.” Current PhD student

Why not donate the cost of a drink from the Aula Bar:

£2.00 Cappuccino | £3.80 Trinity Hall Ale | £2.50 Pint of Lager
£3.00 Gin | £6.90 Bottle of wine | £18.20 a round of all the above