Eugen Schmalenbach

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Eugen Schmalenbach (20 August 1873 – 20 February 1955) was a German academic and economist. He was born in Halver, and attended the Leipzig College of Commerce starting in 1898. That college later became part of Leipzig University, only to emerge again as the Handelshochschule Leipzig.

Schmalenbach is best known as a professor at the University of Cologne, and as a contributor to German language journals on the subjects of economics, and the emerging fields of Business Management and financial accounting. He retired from active university life in 1933; one reason for this was to avoid attention, since his wife, Marianne Sachs, was Jewish. The couple had two children, Marian and Fritz. He died in Cologne in 1955.

Schmalenbach was the founder of the Schmalenbach Society, which works for closer links between research in business economics and the world of business. It still exists, after fusing with another organisation in 1978.[1]

He is known in sociology for his concept of the bund, which provides a third alternative to Tonnies' gemeinschaft and gesellschaft in the form of the bund, an elective association based on a common goal or a common ritual experience of communion. This concept has influenced sociologists such as Kevin Hetherington ('The Contemporary Significance of Schmalenbach's Concept of the Bund'), Abby Peterson ('Contemporary Political Protest'), Greg Smith ('Ties, Nets and an Elastic Bund'), T.G. Bickerstaffe ('The Significance of the Common Bond in Credit Unions') and Ronald Wild ('Community, Communion and the Counterculture'), in theorising contemporary social life and social movements.

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