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Business & Economics Leadership

"Thanks for the Business"

K.C. Irving, Arthur Irving, and the Story of Irving Oil

by (author) Donald Savoie

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Jul 2020
Leadership, Entrepreneurship, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2020
    List Price

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Are entrepreneurs born or are they made? "Thanks for the Business" seeks to address this age-old question through the compelling stories of Maritime business tycoons Arthur Irving and K. C. Irving, and the story of Irving Oil.

As one keen observer wrote of the Irvings: "You can love them or hate them, but you have to respect them." Through countless interviews and extensive research, award-winning author Donald J. Savoie (Looking for Bootstraps) details a business success born in Bouctouche and grown from Saint John, New Brunswick, and which now operates Canada's largest refinery, along with more than nine hundred gas stations spanning Eastern Canada and New England. The company also has offices in Amsterdam and London, England, and operates Ireland's only refinery.

As K. C. Irving said, business is never given—it has to be earned, one customer at a time. "Thanks for the Business" traces the Irving family back to its roots in Scotland, covers the establishment and early years of the company, and looks at how Irving Oil is confronting current challenges. This comprehensive biography holds important lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs, for business schools, for public policy, and particularly for Atlantic Canada.

About the author

Donald Savoie is a self-effacing professor of public administration at Université de Moncton, where he holds the Clément-Cormier Chair in Economic Development. His recent books include Governing from the Centre (1999) and Breaking the Bargain (2003). When he is not writing scholarly works, he is advising provincial, territorial, and federal governments here in Canada, the United States, the OECD, and the World Bank. He golfs with premiers, prime ministers, and presidents of multinational corporations. He was born and raised in the Acadian village of Bouctouche, in rural New Brunswick.

Donald Savoie's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The book is at its best when tracing the roots of the Irvings (a genuinely interesting story) and connecting their concern for their home province and region to the considerations of comparative economic development." — Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON)

Other titles by Donald Savoie