ToC: Business History 58, 1 (2016) now available

Please note that this issue features an editorial on the special issue policy for the journal!

Business History, Volume 58, Issue 1, January 2016 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Business Groups around the World

This new issue contains the following articles:

Editorial: special issues in Business History
Andrea Colli, Stephanie Decker, Abe de Jong, Paloma Fernández Pérez, Neil Rollings & Ray Stokes
Pages: 1-5
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1060961

Business groups around the world: an introduction
María Inés Barbero & Nuria Puig
Pages: 6-29
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1051530

The only way to grow? Italian Business groups in historical perspective
Andrea Colli, Alberto Rinaldi & Michelangelo Vasta
Pages: 30-48
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1044518

Business groups in Portugal in the Estado Novo period (1930–1974): family, power and structural change
Álvaro Ferreira da Silva, Luciano Amaral & Pedro Neves
Pages: 49-68
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1044520

Business groups, entrepreneurship and the growth of the Koç Group in Turkey
Asli M. Colpan & Geoffrey Jones
Pages: 69-88
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1044521

Imprints of an Entrepreneur and Evolution of a Business Group, 1948–2010
Mehmet Erçek & Öner Günçavdı
Pages: 89-110
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1044522

The nexus between business groups and banks: Mexico, 1932–1982
Gustavo A. Del Angel
Pages: 111-128
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1044519

‘Interlocked’ business groups and the state in Chile (1970–2010)
Erica Salvaj & Juan Pablo Couyoumdjian
Pages: 129-148
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1044517

Book Reviews
Reimagining business history
Robin Holt
Pages: 149-153
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1031325

Veuve Guérin & fils. Banque et soie. Une affaire de famille (Saint-Chamond-Lyon, 1716–1932)
Hubert Bonin
Pages: 153-155
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1016299

Historical and international comparison of business interest associations, 19th–20th Centuries
Hubert Bonin
Pages: 155-158
DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1017288

CfP Historical Research on Institutional Change, due 31 March 2016

Business History Special Issue

Historical Research on Institutional Change

 Manuscripts should be submitted at before 31 March 2016.

Guest editors

Stephanie Decker, Aston University, UK,
Lars Engwall, Uppsala University, Sweden,
Michael Rowlinson, Queen Mary University, London,
Behlül Üsdiken, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey,

Call for papers

The important role that institutions play for all forms of organizations has been recognized in a wide variety of disciplines. Douglass North’s (1990) book on the nature of institutional change in economic history was influential in both economics and history. Likewise has among others the article by DiMaggio and Powell’s (1983) been significant in sociology and organization studies. Nevertheless, the nature of institutional change has remained a heavily contested subject that has not seen the same degree of theoretical and empirical development.

Institutional change is by its very definition a process that unfolds over long time periods with fundamentally unpredictable outcomes that can only be properly evaluated with hindsight. Because institutional change is a fundamental feature in historical research, many historians do not necessarily define or reflect on this as a research phenomenon in its own right. On the other hand many research debates in organization studies have remained curiously a-historical when developing the antecedents, outcomes and mediating factors for processes of institutionalization, institutional maintenance, and deinstitutionalization (Dacin, Munir and Tracey, 2010).

Nevertheless, between these two extremes there are many processes of institutional change in organizations that develop over time periods that are too long to research with the standard methods of qualitative social science such as interviews or participant observations. Here some historical approaches based on archival research may create more interesting research designs (Wright and Zammuto, 2013). Historical theory also has different insights to offer organization studies (Rowlinson, Hassard and Decker, 2014). It is in these areas that management and organizational history could contribute by investigating phenomena from a more long-term perspective. Suddaby, Foster and Mills (2014) have similarly argued for a more historical institutionalism to address unresolved issues in institutional theory, such as the paradox of embedded agency.

Within business and organizational history, there is an increasing interest in questions of theory and methodology. Alternative approaches, not just those drawn from the social sciences, but also from historiography, such as oral history or microhistory, offer new ways of approaching research. Historians interpret institutional theory in different ways from organization scholars (Rowlinson and Hassard, 2013), which offers new avenues for interdisciplinary dialogue.

Submissions may address the following issues and questions, although this list is not exclusive:

  • The five C’s of historical thinking (change over time, context, contingency, causality and complexity) and the possibilities of institutional theory (Andrews and Burke, 2007).
  • New institutional theory in organizational sociology has lost the focus of old institutionalism on issues of politics and power. Would historical institutionalism offer a useful corrective?
  • Alternative methodologies for historical institutionalism: oral history, microhistory, ANTi-history.
  • Institutional transplants beyond legal and economic history.
  • Institutional entrepreneurs and institutional work – the return of historical actors and contingent decision-making.
  • Institutional logics or politically-motivated ideologies: old wine in new bottles?
  • Routines, practices and process vs. the eventful temporality of history.
  • Beyond path dependency in explaining long-term structural change in historical perspective.

We hope to attract papers with a long-term perspective focusing on institutions, organizations as well as on organizational fields. We envisage that papers will be empirically rich but also they are linked to current institutional theories. In addition we shall also consider theoretically or methodologically oriented contributions provided they address both historical and institutional theory concerns.

About the guest editors

Stephanie Decker is Professor of Organization Studies and History at Aston Business School, UK. As a historian working at a business school, most of her work is concerned with the relation between organization theory and history. She is co-editor of ‘Business History’ and is the recipient of the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2014-15, as well as the principal organizer of a seminar series on organizational history funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (UK). She co-authored “Research Strategies for Organizational History” (Academy of Management Review, 2014) with Michael Rowlinson and John Hassard.

Lars Engwall is Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at Uppsala University. His research has been directed towards the development of industries and organizations as well as the creation and diffusion of management knowledge. Among his publications related to the sub-theme can be mentioned Mercury Meets Minerva (2009/1992), Management Consulting (2002, ed. with Matthias Kipping), The Expansion of Management Knowledge (2002, ed. with Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson), and Reconfiguring Knowledge Production (2010 with Richard Whitley and Jochen Gläser).

Michael Rowlinson is Professor of Management and Organizational History in the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London. He has published widely on the relationship between history and organization theory in journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Business History, Human Relations, Organization, and Organization Studies. His research on corporate history concerns the representation of history by organizations, especially the dark side of their involvement in war, slavery, and racism. This has been published in journals such as Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Journal of Organizational Change Management, and Labour History Review. His current interests include the methodology of interpretive historical research in organization studies. He edited the Journal Management & Organizational History from 2008 to 2013 and he is now a Senior Editor for Organization Studies and a co-editor for the Special Topic Forum of the Academy of Management Review on ‘History and Organization Studies: Toward a Creative Synthesis.’

Behlül Üsdiken is Professor of Management and Organization at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. Previously, he was a professor at Bogazici University. He has contributed to numerous journals as well as a variety of edited collections. He has served as a Co-editor of Organization Studies in 1996–2001 and a Section Editor of the Journal of Management Inquiry in 2007–2012. His current research focuses upon family business groups, management education and universities.


Andrews, T. and Burke, F. (2007). What Does It Mean to Think Historically? Perspectives on History 45, 1: 32-35.

Dacin, M.T., Munir, K. and Tracey, P. (2010) Formal Dining at Cambridge colleges: Linking ritual performance and institutional maintenance. Academy of Management Journal 53, 6: 1393-1418.

DiMaggio, P.J. and Powell, W. W. (1983) The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review 48,2: 147-160.

North, D.C. (1990) Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rowlinson, M. and Hassard, J. (2013). Historical Neo-institutionalism or Neo-institutionalist Jistory? Historical Research in Management and Organization Studies. Management & Organizational History 8, 2: 111-126.

Rowlinson, M., Hassard, J., and Decker, S. (2014). Research Strategies for Organizational History: A Dialogue between Historical Theory and Organization Theory. Academy of Management Review 39,3: 205-274.

Suddaby, R., Foster, W. M., and Mills, A. J. (2014). Historical Institutionalism. Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. Ed. By M. Bucheli and R. D. Wadhwani. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 100-123.

Wright, A. L. and Zammuto, R. F. (2013). Wielding the Willow: Processes of Institutional change in Englısh County Cricket. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), 308–330.

Job advert: AHRC funded Studentship at Leicester University

Re-evaluating the 1980s and 1990s Through Life Histories: Politics, Privatisation and the Culture of Government Research

This project, based on oral history fieldwork, will consider how changes in the workplace that were driven by the politics of the period were linked to more general social and cultural change during the 1980s and 1990s. The specific focus will be on the working lives and careers of government scientists, whose workplace environments were transformed by commercialisation and privatisation.

This project is an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the British Library, where the student will be based.

Closing Date for Applications: 1 Dec 2015

Start Date: January 2016

Informal Enquiries

Dr Sally Horrocks, T: 0116 252 5070 E:

Further details available

Management History Membership Committee

The Management History Division of the Academy of Management has established a Membership Committee. The Committee aims to: 1. Recruit new members to the division ; 2. Retain current members by investigating what members find most valuable; 3. Develop programs to introduce doctoral students and early career researchers to the MH Division.

The members of the Committee are listed below. If you’ve got suggestions for us, or would like to be involved in some way please let one of us know. We are particularly keen to hear from you if you are an AoM member but not currently a member of the Management History Division.

MH Membership Committee
Stephanie Decker, co-chair (Aston Business School)
Dan Wadhwani, co-chair (University of the Pacific)
Marcelo Bucheli (University of Illinois)
Gabrielle Durepos (Mount Saint Vincent University)
David Kirsch (University of Maryland)
Christina Lubinski (Copenhagen Business School)
Patricia McLaren (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Natalya Vinakurova (Wharton)

The internet of historical things

The end of October has seen some historical revelations in the media. On the historic date of 21 October 2015, the very day on which Marty McFly arrived in a future USA full of hover boards and self-tying shoe laces (even though mobile phones and iPads are conspicuous by their absence…) in “Back to the Future Part 2”, a more prescient detail was revealed by the movies’ writer, Bob Gale. The movie franchise’s baddy, Biff, was apparently based on Donald Trump, who in 2015 uses his commercial and political power for evil purposes (see The Guardian). Sorry, which one are we talking about?

October was also the month in which women in the UK may have been made aware for the first time that having periods is considered a luxury pursuit. “The Great Tampon Insurrection has been a long time brewing”, according to Helen Lewis, who gleefully discussed the ins and outs of the parliamentary debate about abolishing VAT on sanitary products.

A tax system that lets someone dine on crocodile steak on their private jet without paying a penny, when we cannot survive a period without the Treasury taxing us for it, cannot be a fair one. (Paula Sherriff, MP)

Needless to say, historical inequities have been upheld, and one half of the population will continue to pay tax on golden tampax and other such luxury items.

Turning to more academic pursuits, I only recently came across Dr Scott Taylor’s blogs on The Conversation, which comments on a lot of aspects of organizational politics  and inequality in some of Britain’s “institutions” – from University Challenge to the NHS. I can’t say that I am that well-versed in the blogosphere, but this is one of a number of blogs that I like. In organizational history, a great blog is The Past Speaks, run by Dr Andrew Smith, about all things historical – and Canadian! For those interested in global and imperial history, colleagues at Exeter University run the excellent Imperial & Global Forum. And for those with a more economic history bend, there is NEP-HIS, a discussion service for historical papers distributed through the NEP list. Another interesting network is a Canadian project called the Sociology of Management Knowledge, which, among other things, looks at Canadian identity and history in management theorizing.

But this is probably not all there is out there that is of interest to organizational historians. So if you are aware of other resources, do let us know!