ToCs: BH 59,6

Business History, Volume 59, Issue 6, September 2017 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Original Articles

Corporations as agents of social change: A case study of diversity at Cummins Inc.
Heidi Reed
Pages: 821-843 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1255196

‘A highly successful model’? The rail franchising business in Britain
Robert Jupe & Warwick Funnell
Pages: 844-876 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1270268

Reaching for global in the Japanese cosmetics industry, 1951 to 2015: the case of Shiseido
Maki Umemura & Stephanie Slater
Pages: 877-903 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1274735

Clio in the business school: Historical approaches in strategy, international business and entrepreneurship
Andrew Perchard, Niall G. MacKenzie, Stephanie Decker & Giovanni Favero
Pages: 904-927 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1280025

Business success and the architectural practice of Sir George Gilbert Scott, c.1845–1878: a study in hard work, sound management and networks of trust
Sam McKinstry & Ying Yong Ding
Pages: 928-950 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1288216

Religious minority in business history: The case of Old Believers
Danila Raskov & Vadim Kufenko
Pages: 951-974 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1288217
Book review

Histoire de l’emballage en France, du xviiie siècle à nos jours
Hubert Bonin
Pages: 975-976 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1129777

La doyenne des «Sénégalaises» de Bordeaux: Maurel et H. Prom de 1831 à 1919, tome I. De l’édification à la période africaine; tome II. Maurel & H.Prom en Afrique
Hubert Bonin
Pages: 977-979 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2015.1130252

El Banco de Barcelona, 1874–1920. Decadencia y quiebra
José L. García-Ruiz
Pages: 979-981 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1276676

Family multinationals. Entrepreneurship, governance, and pathways to internationalization
Hans Sjögren
Pages: 981-983 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1306349

Innovation and creativity in late medieval and early modern European Cities
Pamela H. Smith
Pages: 983-985 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1307166

New article in Organizational History

On the back of recent and significant new debates on the use of history within business and management studies, we consider the perception of historians as being anti-theory and of having methodological shortcomings; and business and management scholars displaying insufficient attention to historical context and privileging of certain social science methods over others. These are explored through an examination of three subjects: strategy, international business and entrepreneurship. We propose a framework for advancing the use of history within business and management studies more generally through greater understanding of historical perspectives and methodologies.

New article on MOH

History Research in Management and Organization Studies

Editors’ Picks: History Research in Management and Organization Studies

Edited by Gabrielle Durepos and Albert J Mills


This Editors’ Picks provides an occasion to celebrate the momentum that doing history research in management and organization studies (MOS) has gained since the calls for more history in the early 1990s (Zald, 1993, 1996; Kieser, 1994; Üsdiken and Kieser, 2004). Organization is an especially appropriate venue to do so given the dedication of the journal to disseminating critically oriented scholarship. The initial calls for more history work in MOS suggested, in varying ways (empirical, epistemological) and degrees, that doing history could act as a vehicle for critique. Indeed the articles selected for this Editors’ Picks are not only evidence of the growing momentum for more history in MOS but each in its own vein engenders history as a vehicle for critique. The theme is exemplified well by Cooke (1999) who provides a critical reconstruction of the Management of Change literature with a focus on redressing the silences surrounding the role of the ideological left in the disciplines’ own accounts of its past. In his assertion that all management and organization theory is shaped by past processes and are nonetheless viewed through a political lens formed by contemporary concerns, Cooke calls for greater awareness in the historical construction of representations of management and organization theory. Though Cooke (1999) does not use the terms ‘critical history,’ his article teaches us that a ‘critical history’ (as envisioned today) might imply acknowledging the historicity of management theory as a precondition for taking responsibility to change its (self- )representations that are uncontested, naturalized and un-reflexive.

To read the full introduction, please click here.

AOM PDW: Frontiers of Digital History Methods

Academy of Management Meeting, Atlanta

PDW Workshop

Frontiers of Digital History Methods and Tools for Management, Organization, and History Scholars

Friday, Aug 4 2017 2:00PM – 4:00PM
Session Type: PDW Workshop
Submission: 16488
Sponsor: MH
Scheduled: Friday, Aug 4 2017 2:00PM – 4:00PM at Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Hanover Hall E

Organizer: Robin Gustafsson, Aalto U.
Organizer: Mirko Ernkvist, Ratio Institute
Presenter: Charles Edward Harvey, Newcastle U.
Presenter: Mirko Ernkvist, Ratio Institute
Presenter: Mairi Maclean, U. of Bath
Presenter: Johann Peter Murmann, U. of New South Wales
Presenter: Michael Rowlinson, U. of Exeter
Presenter: David A. Kirsch, U. of Maryland

This PDW This PDW sets out to provide a broad overview and insights to management, organization, and history scholars at large on the current research forefront in how digital databases, methods and tools could contribute to the integration of management, organization, and history research. Overall the PDW centers on the idea for outlining opportunities and current frontier work with digital methods and tools for systematic digital reconstruction of historical sources, rigor and transparency of analysis and inference from evidence. These methodological advances enable new forms of scholarship and research groups collaborations. This PDW will: (1) introduce the participants to the historical developments of digital databases, tools and methods; (2) provide perspectives by forerunner management, organization, and business history researchers on methodological advantages, challenges and opportunities with digital history methods and tools for the integration of management, organization, and historical research; (3) present leading recent research work with digital methods and tools using large-scale digitized historical sources and evidence; (4) provide ample of time for Q&As and open discussions.

New Book: The Emergence of Routines (Raff and Scranton)

Business historians Dan Raff and Phil Scranton have published an interesting new edited collection that explores the intersection of business history, business strategy, and entrepreneurship. Published by OUP, The Emergence of Routines includes a series of historical case studies examining the origins of organizational order in firms. The book includes a conceptual introduction and an intriguingly titled concluding chapter on “learning from history” that should be of interest to readers of this blog.

From the OUP Site’s Description:

This book is a collection of essays about the emergence of routines and, more generally, about getting things organized in firms and in industries in early stages and in transition.

These are subjects of the greatest interest to students of entrepreneurship and organizations, as well as to business historians, but the academic literature is thin. The chronological settings of the book’s eleven substantive chapters are historical, reaching as far back as the late 1800s right up to the 1990s, but the issues they raise are evergreen and the historical perspective is exploited to advantage.

The chapters are organized in three broad groups: examining the emergence of order and routines in initiatives, studying the same subject in ongoing operations, and a third focusing specifically on the phenomena of transition. The topics range from the Book-of-the-Month Club to industrial research at Alcoa, from the evolution of procurement and coordination to project-based industries such as bridge- and dam-building and the governance of defence contracting, and from the development of project performance appraisal at the World Bank to the way the global automobile industry collectively redesigned the internal combustion engine to deal with after the advent of environmental regulation. The chapters are vivid and thought-provoking in themselves and, for pedagogical purposes, offer excellent jumping-off points for discussion of relevant experiences and cognate academic literature.

Deadline tomorrow! PhD course in ethnography

PhD Course: Doing ethnography of reforms in public organizations 

The PhD course is founded by The Ethnographic Research into Public Sector Reforms (The Danish Council for Independent Research, Culture and Communication) at Center for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University in collaboration with University of Liverpool

Aim of course:

The aim of the PhD course is to bring together PhD students with disciplinary backgrounds such as anthropology, sociology, political science, public management, and business administration who share an ethnographic approach to the study of public sector reform and development. In doing that, we are part of an emerging trend to study politics, policy implementation, and public administration through ethnographic fieldwork. This approach has long been used by scholars of international development (Mosse 2004; Scott 1998), but only recently have political science and public administration turned to ethnography (Auyero & Joseph 2007). These works highlight a growing scholarly interest in understanding political and administrative systems by exploring the everyday practices of their multiple actors. Further, these studies demonstrate that the ethnographic research methods are well suited to examine both organizational contingencies and the processes through which micro-actions relate to, feed into, and ultimately transform macro-level structures. In the PhD course, we will examine and theorise the shared and country-specific ways in which the reform pace influence the work life and service delivery of public employees.

 Course objective:

The course is primarily targeting PhD students, who have applied or are going to apply ethnographic methods to study public organizations. In this course, we have a particular focus on ethnographies of political and administrative reforms and their implications for everyday practices. That is how new demands are perceived, translated and enacted in various local, organizational settings. The overall objective of the course is to assist the PhD students to:

  • Identify and discuss (potential) benefits and challenges applying an ethnographic approach to studies of reforms in public organizations.
  • Unpack field work material and identify potential analytical issues and how to contextualize these.
  • Discuss the development of analytical concepts and ideas.
  • How to write academic texts on the basis of ethnographic field work.

ECTS:  5 ECTs if all days are followed

Deliverables: Submission of up to 10 pages description of PhD project and subsequent assignment based on workshops at day 3

Dates: 29th-31st August 2017

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 6th June 2017. Please note, that there is a limited amount of participants in this course (16 students). Therefore, please send an abstract of no more than 200 words to Bagga Bjerge: Based on the submitted abstracts, 16 participants will be chosen by the organizers of the workshop.

Venue: Manchester, United Kingdom

Preparation for the course:

Prior to the course participants are requested to submit a description of their ideas of and reflections on how to apply ethnographic methods in their study or a description based on their actual experiences of applying these methods and the data collected (up to ten pages). Within 14 days after the PhD course, the students are required to hand in an assignment based on insights and inspirations gained from the course.

Day 1

Head of session: Mike Rowe, University of Liverpool, Liz Turner, University of Liverpool, Nina Holm Vohnsen, Aarhus University, Bagga Bjerge, Aarhus University,

Considering the present speed of reform in public organizations it is reasonable to say that legislative change and organizational reconfiguration have turned into a permanent condition for many public organizations. As a result, in many areas of intervention (e.g. policing, social work, tax inspection, and education) the work lives of public employees are characterized by the need to reconcile and adapt to competing programs and constantly revised legislation. The literature in anthropology, political science, and public administration all stress that the cooperation of public employees is vital for the implementation of national legislation and reforms. Yet little has been written about how public sector employees learn about the content of new acts and reforms; and how they navigate the various demands made of them and deliver their services within the framework of public organizations characterized by such perpetual change. Thus, the focus of this session is on the benefits and challenges of applying ethnographic methods, when studying political and administrative reforms in public organizations in the everyday practices of public sector employees. Further, by taking our point of departure from the PhD students´ papers, the sessions also focus on and identify potential analytical issues and how to contextualize these drawing on the readings for the course as well as supplementary literature. By thorough reading and feed-back from peers as well as senior researchers, the session aims to discuss the development of analytical concepts and ideas of each paper.


Day 2

On the second day, there are two workshops.

Starting out in the Field

Head of session: Mike Rowe, University of Liverpool, David Weir, Edge Hill University, Bagga Bjerge, Aarhus University

For those students at an early stage in their thinking and planning, this workshop will consider the familiar hurdles of ethical approval, gaining access and the little considered practicalities of venturing into unfamiliar terrain.  Supported by experienced researchers, the principal aim of the session is to dispel some familiar anxieties and instill some of the sense of excitement that we feel as practitioners every time we are privileged to share someone else’s space and thoughts.

 Theorising from data

Head of session: Nina Holm Vohnsen, Aarhus University, Manuela Nocker, University of Essex, Liz Turner, University of Liverpool

For those students who have begun or completed their fieldwork, this workshop will consider approaches to analysis of your fieldnotes, interviews, secondary materials and other data.  Supported by experience researchers, the session will discuss different approaches to analysis.  Some are more systematic, some are more intuitive.  We will explore the process of making sense of your data, connecting with theory and developing your own contribution to knowledge.  We will also discuss the challenges of then presenting that deep and rich understanding as a written text, a thesis.

 Day 3

On the third day, there is one workshop.

 Writing Workshop

Head of session: Mike Rowe, Matthew Brannan and Manuela Nocker, Editors of the Journal of Organizational Ethnography

This session is a writing workshop in which PhD students and other participants are invited to discuss their experiences of writing for, submitting to and receiving feedback from journals (as distinct from writing a thesis).  While the discussion is intended as an opportunity to learn about the processes of writing for publication, we will also seek to develop support for students through peer review and feedback on written submissions to the workshop.  In the spirit of encouraging experimentation, we will also consider the potential that the increasing use of on-line access has for publishing in new formats in academic journals.  Specifically, we will explore the use of sound and moving images embedded in texts.

Head of sessions:

Dr Mike Rowe, Management School, University of Liverpool

Dr Liz Turner, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Liverpool

Professor David Weir, Business School, Edge Hill University

Dr Manuela Nocker, Business School, University of Essex

Dr Matthew Brannan, Management School, Keele University

Assistant Professor Nina Holm Vohnsen, Anthropology, Aarhus University

Associate Professor Bagga Bjerge, Center for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University

 Additional information

There is no fee for PhD students. The PhD course is run before and parallel with the 12th Annual Ethnography Symposium: Politics and Ethnography in an Age of Uncertainty in association with the Journal of Organizational Ethnography and Ethnographic Research into Public Sector Reforms, Aarhus University. PhD students are encouraged to participate in the symposium free of charges. For further information on the Symposium see:

 Readings (app. 200 pages)

Auyero, J. and Joseph, L. (2007). Introduction: Politics under the Ethnographic Microscope, in Joseph, L., Mahler, M., and Auyero, J. (Eds.): New Perspectives on Political Ethnography, New York: Springer: 1-13.

Bjerge, B. (2012). Structural Reform as New Public Management Policy. Three Dilemmas in Danish Substance Misuse Treatment, in Hellman, M., Roos, G., and Wright, J. v. (Eds.): A Welfare Policy Patchwork – Negotiating the Public Good in Times of Transition. Stockholm, NVC: 181-201.

Bjerregaard, T. (2011). Co-existing institutional logics and agency among top-level public servants: A praxeological approach. Journal of Management and Organization 17(2): 194-209.

Boll, K. (2015). Deciding on Tax Evasion: Front Line discretion and Constraints. Journal of Organizational Ethnography. 4: 193-207.

Ferdinand, J., Pearson, G., Rowe, M., and8 Worthington, F. (2007). A different kind of ethics. Ethnography, 8(4): 521-544.

Mosse, D. (2004). Is good policy unimplementable? Reflections on the ethnography of aid policy and practice. Development and Change, 35(4), 639-671.

Rhodes, R. A. W. (2011). Everyday Life in British Government. New York: Oxford University Press. Chapter 1.

Stevens, A. (2011). Telling Policy Stories: An Ethnographic Study of the Use of Evidence in Policy-making in the UK. Journal of Social Policy, 40(2): 237-255.

Tsoukas, H. & Chia, R. C. H. (2002). On organizational becoming: rethinking organizational change. Organizational Science, 13(5): 567-582.

Turner, E. and Rowe, M. (forthcoming), ‘Police culture, talk and action: exploring narratives in ethnographic data’, European Journal of Policing Studies

Vohnsen, N. H. (2015). Street-level planning; the shifty nature of `local knowledge and practice´. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 4(2): 147-161.








Ethnography Symposium Manchester 2017

Ethnography symposium

History & Ethnography Track

Stephanie Decker & John Hassard


Thursday 31 August 2017

14:00-15:30         Session 1 – Ethnographies of Work, Workplaces, and Space

Guel Oczan (University of Istanbul): “At the Interface of History and Ethnography: Doing Research on Craftspeople, Shopkeepers and Apprentices in Istanbul”

Hiral Patel (University of Reading): “Exhibitions: Sites of intersection between history and ethnography”

Smitha Sebastian, Alison Hirst, Simon Down (Anglia Ruskin University) “Making sense of workplace and organizational ethnographies: A historical perspective”

Friday 1 September 2017

10:00-11:00         Session 2 – History and Ethnography in research practice

David Weir (York St. John’s University) “I have been here before:  reflections on the New Industrial Strategy”

Stella Stoycheva, Giovanni Favero (Ca’Foscari University, Venice) “Research strategies for ethnostatistics in organization studies”

11:00-11:30         Coffee break

11:30-13:00        Session 3 – Historicizing Ethnography

Budhaditya Das (Ambedkar University Delhi) “Coercion, concessions and trusteeship: a historical anthropology of state rule in post-colonial central India”

Marie Leth Meilvang (Univeristy of Copenhagen) “Historicizing professional practice”

Stephanie Decker, John Hassard: Closing remarks

13:00-14:00         Lunch

TOC BH July 2017 issue (59,1)

Original Articles

Managing political imperatives in war time: strategic responses of Philips in Australia, 1939–1945
Pierre van der Eng
Pages: 645-666 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1259311

The genesis of the electricity supply industry in Britain: A case study of NESCo from 1889 to 1914
Tom McGovern & Tom McLean
Pages: 667-689 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1261827

‘A fraud, a drunkard, and a worthless scamp’: estate agents, regulation, and Realtors in the interwar period
Mark Latham
Pages: 690-709 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1261828

Bring in the brewers: business entry in the Swedish brewing industry from 1830 to 2012
Marcus Box
Pages: 710-743 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1269751

Pioneering strategies in the digital world. Insights from the Axel Springer case
Gianvito Lanzolla & Alessandro Giudici
Pages: 744-777 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1269752

The making of the modern retail market: economic theory, business interests and economic policy in the passage of the 1964 Resale Prices Act
Helen Mercer
Pages: 778-801 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1270267

The decline in the British bank population since 1810 obeys a law of negative compound interest
J. J. Bissell
Pages: 802-813 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1301430

Banks, births, and tipping points in the historical demography of British banking: A response to J.J. Bissell
Philip Garnett, Simon Mollan & R. Alexander Bentley
Pages: 814-820 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1301429