This corporate history of BASF offers a view of the functioning of an industrial organization that has managed to thrive and expand since 1865. Moreover, it reveals much about the reasons for the extraordinary economic dynamics of the German empire and the enormous expansion of the world economy before World War I. It permits the probing of the origins and spread of the knowledge society, in which science and research-based innovation have become the key determinants of economic growth and social development. Accordingly, BASF's history developed at the core of Germany's wartime economy during both world wars and highlights its strengths as well as its weaknesses.
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