FT on organizational memory

Managers are the guardians of company history

Institutional memory is valuable and without it we risk repeating past mistakes

Years ago, my parents decided to build a summerhouse in the garden and consulted a neighbour who had once been the property’s housekeeper. The octogenarian sucked her remaining teeth. “Mark my words: it will blow down. The last one did,” she said. “It stood for 50 years — but it blew down.”

This is the problem with tapping institutional memory. Some of your colleagues are the only people who know about the organisation’s strategic errors and successes. But like all autobiography, their recollections may be partial, and their instincts may tend to preservation rather than progress.

I was reminded of the summerhouse (still standing, by the way), when I read last week’s interview with Konica Minolta’s chief executive. Shoei Yamana found section heads, known as “bucho”, resisted his reforms. Their attachment to the status quo was founded on the group’s historical victories, but, as Mr Yamana put it, “We cannot live with past success”.

Sweep away this layer of middle management, as new brooms are wont to do, and you will quickly hear the complaint that the organisation is losing institutional memory. This is invariably self-interested. Still, a little like taking a mallet to a retaining wall, it is best to understand what you are removing before you tear it out. Otherwise, you will find yourself in the position of those new chief executives who axe a group of old hands only to have to rehire them as “consultants” because they were the only people who knew how to fix an old piece of kit, read a defunct computer language, or even (in the case of the worldwide pilot shortage) fly a plane.

For the whole article, see the FT  .


BAM grant portal

The British Academy of Management (The Academy) grant portal for 2019 grants is now open and the deadline to submit applications through the system is Monday 15th April at 17:00 (GMT).
You can register for an account and begin your application at https://bam.grantplatform.com/

The Schemes

  • Transitions 1 – aimed at Academy members who are early in their career who hold a PhD awarded within 5 years before the closing date of the scheme, and who wish to develop an empirical research project that advances business and management scholarship and improves their research capacities. Proposals may be related to any subject area within the Academy’s intellectual remit.
  • Transitions 2 – aimed at Academy members who are experienced researchers and who wish to develop an empirical research project that advances business and management scholarship and develops their research capacities in an empirical or intellectual domain. Proposals may be related to any subject area within the Academy’s intellectual remit.
  • Management Knowledge and Education – aimed atAcademy members who want to propose a research project that informs the scholarly debate around management knowledge and education: on management learning and teaching, pedagogy, andragogy, leadership development or the generation and circulation of management knowledge and knowing.
  • ANZAM/BAM Collaborative Research Award – The purpose of this scheme is to support and advance international research collaborations between management researchers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.  The scheme is based on a partnership between the Australia & New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) and the British Academy of Management (BAM). The scheme gives priority for the development of ANZAM/BAM members who are at an early stage in their careers, defined by being less than 5 years after completing their PhD at the date of closing of applications. A noticeboard will be available on the Academy website to facilitate communication between management researchers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.


Important Information
All applications must be submitted via this grants portal.  Principal Investigators should register their application in their own name.

It is recommended that you write the application in a separate Word document in the first instance, and then copy this across to the online application portal in order to prevent the possibility of losing your work.  Late applications will not be accepted and you are advised to submit your application well in advance of the deadline.


All Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators must be a member of British Academy of Management (or Australia & New Zealand Academy of Management for Investigators from Australia or New Zealand to the ANZAM/BAM Collaborative Research Award).  Non-members wishing to apply to the scheme can join the Academy before submitting the application. Applications are invited from individuals or teams (which also includes industry partnerships).  Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators who have previously held grants must not be within two years of the completion of their previous project by the closing date for the Grant Schemes.

Academy Members can submit to only one of the Grant Schemes, whether as Principal Investigator(PI) or Co-Investigator(CI).
More information about each of the Academy Grants Schemes can be found via the following link:

If you have any questions about the Schemes, please contact the British Academy of Management Grants Administrator, Stuart Hull, at grants@bam.ac.uk

Best wishes

The British Academy of Management Grants Team

ToC MOH 13,4 (2018)

Management & Organizational History, Volume 13, Issue 4, November 2018 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special issue on War and Peace in Organizational Memory.

Guest Editors: Victoria Barnes and Lucy Newton


War and peace in organizational memory
Victoria Barnes & Lucy Newton
Pages: 303-308 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1549798

War memorials in organizational memory: a case study of the Bank of England |
Victoria Barnes & Lucy Newton
Pages: 309-333 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1534596


Good war/bad war: a war to remember, a war to forget?
Howard Cox
Pages: 334-351 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1525407


Social memory assets as a defense mechanism: the Onondaga Pottery in World War II
Stephanie Vincent
Pages: 352-372 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1525405


Amodern and modern warfare in the making of a commercial airline
Nicholous M. Deal, Albert J. Mills & Jean Helms Mills
Pages: 373-396 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1547647


Conflicting commemorations: past and present in confederate memorialization
Barbara Hahn
Pages: 397-403 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1525406


British and German SMEs and the memory of war: a comparative approach
David W. Paulson
Pages: 404-429 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1550425

ToC MOH 13,3 (2018)

Management & Organizational History, Volume 13, Issue 3, August 2018 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.


Reflections on the integration of history and organization studies
Peter Miskell
Pages: 213-219 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1550286

The contingencies of corporate failure: the case of Lucas industries
Paul Kerr Edwards
Pages: 220-235 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1534597


Varieties of capitalism and the corporate use of history: the Japanese experience
Pierre-Yves Donzé & Andrew Smith
Pages: 236-257 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1547648


Public management and organizational reform in a historical perspective: the case of Chile’s State reform and public management modernization of 1920s
Mauricio Olavarría-Gambi
Pages: 258-282 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1547646


Creating cultural heritage: three vignettes on Carl Jacobsen, his museum and foundation
Ida Lunde Jørgensen
Pages: 283-301 | DOI: 10.1080/17449359.2018.1547645

Research Assistant job

Research Assistant

Expressions of interest by 11 March 2019

What does the role entail?
As Research Assistant your main duties will include:

  • Searching for relevant literature and preparing a literature review on the key topics of the study with guidance as necessary;
  • Organising, collating and coding qualitative data;
  • Working both independently and as part of a larger team of researchers and stakeholders;
  • Supporting research activities, including contributing to research results and outputs and to the generation of independent and original ideas, ensuring a successful programme of investigation;
  • Participating in the research meetings of the research group and presenting research output where appropriate;
  • Contributing to the research culture of the School, where appropriate;
  • Continually updating your knowledge, understanding and skills in the research field.

What will you bring to the role?
As Research Assistant you will have:

  • Masters or on the final stages of the PhD in the subject areas of International Business, Management, Organisation Studies or a closely allied discipline;
  • A strong background in qualitative research;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders;
  • Well-developed analytical skills;
  • Good time management and planning skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines;
  • A proven ability to work well both individually and in a team;
  • The ability to work unsupervised and to use your own initiative.


The research assistant will work closely with Professor Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki and Dr Effie Kesidou at Leeds University Business School. For further info, please email: e.plakoyiannaki@leeds.ac.uk

Period of employment: March 15/03/2019 – 31/07/2019

Theorizing from Qualitative Case Study Research

We would like to invite you to the upcoming event ‘Theorising from Qualitative Case Study Research’ run by BAM International Business and International Management SIG & Academy of International Business, UK & Ireland

Date and Time: Thursday 25th April 2019, 12:30pm-15:00pm
Location: University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH
Event fee: Free

The aim of this workshop is to unpack the theorising potential of Qualitative Case Study Research. Emphasis will be placed on conducting Qualitative Case study Research under different philosophical orientations and its implications for theorising. In particular, the workshop with address the following questions:
• What is Qualitative Case Study Research?
• How do our paradigmatic assumptions shape Qualitative Case Study Research?
• How do we theorise from Qualitative Case Study Research?
We will critically reflect on these questions by bringing in Philosophy of Science and Methodological literatures. We will discuss the limitations of inductive theory-building, and explore the utilisation of alternative approaches to theorising that can enhance the Case Study’s explanatory power and potential for contextualisation

Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki is Professor of International Business at Leeds University Business School. She is also the Co-Chair for the IB/IM SIG of the British Academy of Management (BAM). Emmanuella is committed to raising awareness about qualitative research and has delivered relevant seminars in various Universities throughout the world. Her research interests refer to qualitative research, language (in an IB context) as well as consumer behaviour. She has published in various academic journals including the Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business and Journal of Management Studies among others.

For more information and register your place, please go to: https://www.bam.ac.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=357

Kind regards,


Linh Dang | Events Officer
British Academy of Management, 137 Euston Road London, NW1 2AA, UK
T: +44 (0)2073 837 770 | eventsofficer@bam.ac.uk
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Research Associate in Business History

Research Associate in Business History

University of Glasgow – Adam Smith Business School

Closes: 15th April 2019

Location: Glasgow
Salary: £35,210 to £39,610 per annum, Grade 7
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract

College of Social Sciences

This post is full time (35 hours per week) and has funding available until 31 August 2021.

You will make a leading contribution to the project: The Making of a Lopsided Union: Economic Integration in the European Economic Community, 1957-1992 (EURECON) led by Dr Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (See http://e-mourlon-druol.com/eurecon/ and Explanatory Document for more details). Specifically, the job requires expert knowledge in the area of postwar international/European economic and business history. Contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals and help manage and direct complex and challenging project(s) as opportunities allow.

To apply for the position, applicants are required to submit (www.glasgow.ac.uk/jobs)

  • CV
  • Three references
  • Cover letter explaining how your research experience fits the EURECON project
  • A two-page description of the research you would like to undertake during your tenure, clearly mentioning; the scope of your project, state of literature, the archival sources you would like to use; and the expected outputs. Projects should preferably have a comparative dimension; there is no preference as to the business sector or size to be investigated.

Please upload your cover letter and two-page research document as ONE document.

Interested applicants may contact Dr Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (Emmanuel.Mourlon-Druol@glasgow.ac.uk) for informal enquiries.

Visit our website for further information on the University of Glasgow’s College of Social Sciences at https://www.gla.ac.uk/colleges/socialsciences/

Apply online at https://www.gla.ac.uk/it/iframe/jobs/

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equity.

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.

Click here for Further Information

CfP: What’s new in French Business History



PARIS, 11th – 13th September 2019 – CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline for proposals for papers and sessions: 5th March 2019                                                                        

– Website : https://businesshistory.sciencesconf.org/

– Facebook : www.facebook.com/Businesshistoryparis19-523768618087014/

– Twitter : https://twitter.com/BusinessHist19



Clichés persist, which is why we are sometimes still faced with the question: Are French businesses adapted to the economic, ecological, technological or social challenges of global capitalism? Are they modern? It is true that a powerful state, imposing publicly owned companies, the specific methods of regulating the consumer market, a world of work concerned with its achievements, as well as what could be described as a special relationship with innovation, risk, funding or new technologies have left a lasting mark on France. This has yet to be analysed. Does that explain why France, its businesses, its organisations – in short, French capitalism – often seem to be ignored in recent research and publications on the history of businesses and global capitalism? In other words, in order to take stock of the history of businesses in France is it not logical to assess France’s place in the history of capitalism? Answering these questions is the objective that has been set for the Paris Congress of French Business History.

In a spirit of intellectual and disciplinary openness, the Congress aims to bring together as many researchers from different branches of social and human sciences as possible, provided that their work adopts a historical perspective or addresses issues related to the historical dynamics of businesses. Besides stimulating discussion with French as well as foreign teachers and researchers, the objective of this Congress is also to foster dialogue between the academic world and players in economic and public life who are interested in the history of the role and operation of businesses and organisations, as well as the history of those living and working in the business world. Finally, the Congress should logically also be an opportunity to reflect on how business history is written today in France, on France, but also within the French-speaking world. This will make it possible to establish where French and French-speaking historiography stands in relation to other approaches, particularly Anglo-Saxon approaches. Three main sets of questions will be addressed.


  • The role of businesses – both French and foreign – in the emergence of a form of French-style capitalism
  • Governance, types of ownership (family, joint-stock), legal status, methods of control
  • Weight and demography of different kinds of French businesses (groups, associations, SMEs, very small enterprises)
  • Existence of a French organisational and management model (strategic choices, organisational forms, management styles, specific values, training and recruitment of managerial elites, role of engineers, influence of consultants, role of professional associations, management techniques – accounting, financial or marketing practices, staff management)
  • Weight of national public institutions (state, economic policies, publicly owned enterprises, role of legislation and social laws, legal and regulatory framework, etc.)
  • French businesses and technology (production methods, ‘robotisation’ (automation), digitalisation, product technology, innovation and research)
  • The question of entrepreneurship
  • Methods of funding economic activity (banks, capital markets, monetary and financial regulation, etc.)
  • Specificities of the functioning of the labour market and social relations
  • Structure and dynamics of investment policies and policies providing support for research and innovation
  • Means of regulating the market and competition (prices, standards, norms, lobbies, cartels, business and competition law, etc.)
  • Weight of associative and cooperative organisations in economic dynamics
  • Borrowing and influence of foreign models (Great Britain, Germany, the United States, Japan, China, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, etc.)


  • French companies confronted with the challenges of globalisation and modernity
  • New or old challenges (sustainable development and pollution, ethics, information and communication technologies, new forms of work and organisation, the issue of minorities and diversity, corporate social responsibility [CSR], etc.)
  • The historical dynamics of certain French activities on world markets (pharmaceutical industry, automotive industry, aeronautics, rail transport, agri-food, tourism and the hotel business, retailers and trade, leisure industry, research, arms industry, IT, nuclear, etc.)
  • Weight and role of foreign businesses in France
  • Businesses in France’s geopolitical relations with other world economies or other cultural areas (Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America)
  • French companies in the face of crises and revolutions in history (economic, ecological or political, regional or global, military conflicts, political or geostrategic tensions, protectionism, migration, commercial traffic, political or religious movements, etc.)
  • Businesses confronted with economic or social doctrines and policies (liberalism, Keynesianism, Marxism, market regulation and deregulation, new forms of wage labour and of work, business theories, etc.)


Finally, the Congress should address important epistemological or methodological questions: the question of access to sources, of new ways in which firms themselves preserve and promote the use of records, but also the issue of publishing the work of historians in French.


  • Writing business history in France today
  • The actors in business history in France today (archivists, researchers in the human and social sciences [historians, managers, sociologists, economists, anthropologists, etc.], communication and history businesses, legal experts, journalists, magazines, newspapers, learned societies and academic associations, think tanks, etc.)
  • Business history practices (preservation of memory, promotion and communication tools, employee training, levers of change, strategy development, etc.)
  • The impact of new technologies (archiving, preservation, accessibility, communication, user and property rights)
  • Risks and challenges for business historians (accessibility of archives, control, property rights, destruction of archives, new sources, etc.)
  • Business history and interdisciplinarity
  • Historical research on companies participating in debates and societal issues (national or international visibility, usefulness, managerial or operational impact, etc.)






The organisation of the Congress brings together a wide array of public and private institutions. The Congress will be held at the Paris-Dauphine University, the Sorbonne University, and at the ESCP Europe business school in the framework of its 200th anniversary. In addition, a doctoral seminar will be organised at the Paris-Dauphine University as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. It will be open to around 12 doctoral students.


The steering committee is made up of: E. Godelier (President, École Polytechnique), D. Barjot (Université Paris Sorbonne), L. Béduneau-Wang (Ecole Polytechnique), A. Beltran (CNRS), J.-P. Bouilloud (ESCP Europe), S. Damart (Université Paris-Dauphine), L. Ducol (Saint Gobain – ASCSHS), S. Effosse (Université Paris Nanterre), G.Garel (CNAM), P. Griset (Sorbonne Université), I. Kharaba (Académie François Bourdon), M. Le Roux (CNRS – IHMC- ENS-Paris 1), A. Michel (Université d’Evry-Val-d’Essonne), R. Nougaret (BNP-Paribas, CTHS), A. Passant (PULV).


  • Proposals


Although we mainly encourage proposals on the topics listed above, papers on any other subject relating to business history, in particular those with a comparative approach, will also be examined by the programme committee. In this regard, contributions in the field of history but equally in the areas of management, sociology, law, political sciences and, where appropriate, other subject areas will also be accepted. The Congress does not intend to limit itself to research focusing exclusively on the 19th, 20th or 21st centuries. Individual or collective proposals on French or foreign businesses operating in France are admissible. This also applies to contributions looking at French or foreign companies operating abroad in relation to France (for example, in French-speaking countries or former French colonies). Both individual papers and proposals for full Congress sessions are admissible.

Individual paper proposals must include a summary of the proposal of no more than half a page (300 words) in French or English, and a half page curriculum vitae (CV, title, position, address and e-mail address).

Session proposals (in French or English) must include a covering letter indicating the theme of the session, the name of the person responsible for the session, a summary of no more than half a page (300 words) and a half page CV for each of the session participants (CV, title, position, address, e-mail address). In addition, proposals should suggest a chairperson and a commentator (to provide the closing comments) for the session as well as a maximum of three paper proposals. Each session will last a maximum of 90 minutes (10 minutes for comments and a maximum of 20 minutes for each presentation).

All proposals must be submitted on the website https://businesshistory.sciencesconf.org/user/submit in PDF format.

In addition, doctoral students (from second year) will be able to present their research in the form of a poster on the ESCP premises as of Thursday 12th September. Poster proposals must include a summary of the proposal of no more than half a page (300 words) in French or English, and a half page curriculum vitae (CV, title, position, address and e-mail address). Please specify in the proposal that it is a poster presentation.

Applicants will be informed by e-mail of whether their proposal has been accepted or rejected on 25th March 2019.

Full articles and/or presentations must be posted on the Congress website by 26th July at the latest (maximum 30,000 characters and/or PowerPoint presentation) and must IN ALL CASES be accompanied by a summary in French AND English.

Paper or session proposals must be submitted online at https://businesshistory.sciencesconf.org/user/submit

The Congress sessions will be held at the ESCP Europe business school from Thursday 12th to Friday 13th September 2019.


  • Doctoral day


A doctoral day will be organised on Wednesday 11th September on the Paris-Dauphine University premises. It will be open to 12 students. The candidates must be enrolled in the second year of a doctoral degree in business history in France. However, candidates from other fields are also admissible provided that they adopt a historical approach in their work.

The application should include a CV of no more than one page, a letter of motivation, a summary of the thesis project of no more than three pages as well as a letter of support from the candidate’s thesis supervisor. If necessary, it is possible to request financial support for Congress expenses. The application deadline is 4th February 2019.


  • Accommodation


Accommodation options will be made available on the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris campus for students (50 rooms) and researchers (10 studios). A number of partner hotels offer accommodation at varying prices (see list on the website).


  • Prizes


The organising committee plans to award three prizes:

  • Best Congress paper prize. This award is open to all Congress participants. When submitting their paper proposal, candidates must inform the organisers that they wish to be considered for the prize. The amount of the prize is 1,000 euros.
  • Young researcher prize. The prize is open to researchers who have completed a doctorate in the history of businesses and organisations in 2016, 2017 or 2018. It is not limited to doctoral graduates in history. Candidates must apply to the organisers. The award includes 1,000 euros in prize money and support with publication (3,000 euros).
  • Prize for the best business history book in French. This prize may be awarded to Francophone researchers or, as the case may be, to researchers who have published a book in French within the last three years. The jury will select books published in the last three years (2017, 2018, 2019). The prize amount is 1,000 euros.



  • Registration fees


(BEFORE 26th April 2019)

Students (on presentation of a photocopy of their student card): 20 euros

Teachers, researchers, and participants: 50 euros


AFTER 26th April 2019

Students (on presentation of a photocopy of their student card): 30 euros

Teachers, researchers, and participants: 80 euros

It is also possible to support the organisation of the Congress by making a larger contribution: Registration with supporting contribution: 300 euros (minimum)

On request, the organising committee may offer financial support, especially to young researchers and foreign colleagues. The request must be sent by 26th April 2019 at the latest.

Please send requests to register and make the online payment for the Congress to ASCSHS (Association de soutien au congrès de sociétés historiques et scientifiques).

– Website : https://businesshistory.sciencesconf.org/

– Facebook : www.facebook.com/Businesshistoryparis19-523768618087014/

– Twitter : https://twitter.com/BusinessHist19