Workshop on the history of investment diplomacy

On Monday, 24 June, Lauge Poulsen (University College London) and Jason Yackee (University of Wisonsin) hosted an interdisciplinary workshop at Goodenough College focusing on the intersection between history, international law, and international political economy. The day started with a joint paper by Marcelo Bucheli and Stephanie Decker (i.e. me) comparing historical cases of expropriation in Latin America and Africa in the twentieth century.

We continued with Jason Yackee’s paper on French Investor Protection in Congo-Brazzaville during the Cold War, which demonstrated that political solutions to reconciling host and home country interest with investor interests after expropriations were sometimes effective (if slow), even in relatively complex cases such as the sugar industry.

After a morning focusing on historical cases of expropriation, the afternoon opened with an empirically rich paper on the role of US American interventions in Latin America in the early twentieth century, when the US took over customs houses in a number of South American countries, starting with the Dominican Republic. As a tool to engender peace, stability and better revenue collection, the outcomes were perhaps more mixed than what the US politicians and investors expected. While countries became less likely to experience violent conflict and regime change, trade did not increase and fiscal revenues actually declined.

The workshop concluded with Geoffrey Gertz’s (Brookings Institute) planned book on how the US diplomats learned to love commercial diplomacy after decades of considering it lowly and uninteresting work. However, whether this focus on supporting US business interests abroad will continue to be central to US American foreign policy is in question now, due to the high number of vacancies in the State Department in addition to funding cuts under the Trump administration, which has led to a hollowing out of capacity.

The workshop was a great example of how interdisciplinary and international research connects past and present issues in the international political economy.

ToC: BH 61(5) July 2019 is now out!

The new issue of Business History is a guest edited special issue on Rhenish Capitalism

Abstract of introduction

This article examines the emergence and development of the comparative analysis of capitalism and recent debates about Varieties of Capitalism (VoC). We argue that the VoC-approach should pay more attention to change over time, and only claim to put the firm in the centre of analysis. Hence, we propose another, more historical, analytic framework, which is based on the VoC-approach and historical institutionalism, and which fits better to an analysis of Rhenish Capitalism, i.e. the German case, from a business history perspective. Keeping in mind this research agenda, we outline the history of the German economy in the second half of the 20th century.

The introduction is freely available from the publishers – please follow the link for your copy.

Introduction: Rhenish capitalism and business history
Christian Marx & Morten Reitmayer
Pages: 745-784 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2019.1583211


The concept of social fields and the productive models: Two examples from the European automobile industry
Morten Reitmayer
Pages: 785-809 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1379504

Corporate law and corporate control in West Germany after 1945
Boris Gehlen
Pages: 810-832 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1319939

Between national governance and the internationalisation of business. The case of four major West German producers of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and fibres, 1945–2000
Christian Marx
Pages: 833-862 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1284201

Financing Rhenish capitalism: ‘bank power’ and the business of crisis management in the 1960s and 1970s
Ralf Ahrens
Pages: 863-878 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1259313

Supplier relations within the German automobile industry. The case of Daimler-Benz, 1950–1980
Stephanie Tilly
Pages: 879-897 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1267143

Confrontational coordination: The rearrangement of public relations in the automotive industry during the 1970s
Ingo Köhler
Pages: 898-917 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1257001

Unlocking Archives – Unilever Historical Archives

Yesterday, Unilever kindly hosted (with additional support from the University of Liverpool) a workshop showcasing the amazing material that can be found within business archives. It was a really great day to learn more about how different researchers are using the collections and the great work by archivist who make all of this accessible to the public.

Keynote by Valerie Johnson, Director of Research, The National Archives

Business archives – a bit of a passion killer?

Valerie Johnson opened her keynote by highlighting that business archives are often seen as dull and uninteresting – to the point she was once told by a conference organizers that he had not expected her research talk about business archives to be so interesting. Nothing could not be further from the truth. For almost any subject of interest to researchers, business archives have materials, as companies were often spearheading new developments (e.g. technology), were embedded in social and cultural trends of the day (e.g. the culture of imperialism), design history (e.g. in the Board of Trade archives) to name but a few.

In a whistle stop tour through a wide range of archives, Johnson illustrated the history of women at work through an architectural map in the ING Barings Archive, and the representations of empire in the textiles archive of John Lewis, and the United Africa Company trademarks at Unilever Historical Archives.

To get a better sense of what Unilever Historical Archives do, see their
Instagram site:

Johnson closed by reiterating that business records offer magnificent materials and insights into society, technology and attitudes of the past, not just the records of business operations in the narrow sense. So she closed with highlighting the importance of:

Putting the passion back into business archives!

Snippets from archival research

The day continued with wide-ranging research presentations. The morning opened with Jeanette Strickland introducing the audience to William Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers (one half of the original Unilever), a formidable businessmen and somewhat of a micro-manager.

This was followed by Frank Thorpe, University of Liverpool, talking about advertising and beyond. His presentation is based on his doctoral thesis that investigates the changing attitudes towards personal hygiene, or “BO”, and how
products like deodorant were gendered and stigmatized at times. At Unilever, he
has researched uncatalogued material, but also used a range of online newspaper
archives to understand the context within which these adverts appeared.

Ronnie Hughes offered a different view on Port Sunlight, the location of the Unilever factory and archives, where the workshop took place, by asking a key question:

What must it have been like to live in someone else’s utopia 100 years after they died?

Walking through Port Sunlight village in the morning before the workshop, this is not unlike the question we asked ourselves – would we actually like to live here,
as beautiful as it is? As a heritage site, it has a very distinct and unique
feel, which is unlike other neighbourhoods. Hughes highlights that he has asked
communities questions about what their perfect place would look like before
starting this research project. He blogs at A Sense of Place.

Prof Matt Reed finished the morning session by outlining his search for the ‘origin story’ of the collaboration between Unilever and the University of Liverpool, which dates back to 1906, which was “multi-faceted and sporadic.”
Lever donated money to a number of departments, including Civic Design and town planning. The Department of Industrial Chemistry was particularly well aligned with Lever’s business interests. Reed finished with a reflection of the value
of searching archives versus the self-taught googling that passes for research
outside of archives.

A fascinating tour of the archives at lunchtime that featured highlights such as Marmite pants.

The afternoon sessions kicked off with Dr Rory Miller’s exploration of why David Fieldhouse’s Unilever Overseas is missing a chapter on Latin America – apparently he fell out with his research assistant. 25 years ago, Miller first visited the Unilever archives to find out what was actually available on Unilever’s business in Argentina and beyond. Perusing the directors’ visiting reports, he outlined how Argentinians rarely bought Lifebuoy soap other than to wash their dogs.

In her talk about the design process, Dr Lee Wright highlighted the potential importance of archives for the design practice and the sourcing of design ideas. In her teaching, students reference the past through images they source from Pinterest, highlighting the significance of social media sites in mediating our visual understanding of the past.

The day closed with two fascinating talks, the first by Prof Iain Jackson about the development of urban architecture in Accra, Ghana in the mid-twentieth century. While the National Archives had more material on the European settlements of Accra, within other archives, such as the United Africa Company collection at Unilever, mercantile areas such as Jamestown are much better documented. Some of his collected images are available in an online book available via (search “Accra”) here.

The workshop closed with Claire Tunstall describing their mission and how the archives has to serve many different stakeholders: internal divisions, brands and communications, outreach with schools, partnership with museums and universities and, of course, the Port Sunlight Village Trust, as well as researchers.

Hopefully, more such events, at Unilever or other major archives, will take place in the future. The workshop did not just have great presentations but also offered great opportunities to meet a wide variety of people interested in using and promoting archives.

Conference programme

10 am Registration Tea & coffee  
10.20 Welcome, introductory remarks and housekeeping
– Claire Tunstall and Jeannette Strickland    
10.30 Keynote Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research & Collections, The National Archives “What’s the use? Your research and business archives”
10.50 Q&A    
11.00 Refreshments    
11.15-12.30 Session 1 Chair: Prof Stephanie Decker, Aston University
11.15 Jeannette Strickland, Department of History, University of Liverpool, “Finding William Lever, the man behind the myth”
11.30 Frank Thorpe, Department of History, University of Liverpool, “Beyond the ad: filling gaps and finding new gaps”
11.45 Ronnie Hughes, Department of Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology, University of Liverpool, “Looking for Utopia”
12.00 Dr Matt Reed, Strategy Director, Materials Innovation Factory, University of Liverpool, “Turn every page”
12.15 Q&A    
12.30-2.00 Lunch
Tours of Unilever Archives available at 12.45 and 1.10                                                    
2.00-3.00 Session 2 – Chair: Dr Valerie Johnson, The National Archives
2.10 Dr Rory Miller, formerly Reader in the Management School, University of Liverpool, “The Missing Chapter in David Fieldhouse’s Unilever Overseas: Unilever’s Expansion in Latin America in the Mid-Twentieth Century”
2.30 Dr Lee Wright, Senior Lecturer in the History and Theory of Design, Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University, “The value of archives and their potential to impact current design practice”
2.50 Q&A    
3.05 Refreshments    
3.20-4.20 Session 3 – Chair: Jeannette Strickland, University of Liverpool
3.20 Prof Iain Jackson, School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, “Traders, speculators, taste makers: the United Africa Company in Ghana”
3.40 Claire Tunstall, Head of Art, Archives & Records Management, Unilever plc, “The research potential of Unilever Archives”
4.00 Q&A  
4.20 Summing up and closing remarks  
4.30 Optional post-workshop drink at the Bridge Inn in Port Sunlight

EGOS sub-theme 30 programme

The final programme for the EGOS sub-theme on Historical Organization Studies is out now!

EGOS 2019 Edinburgh Sub-theme 30: Realizing the Potential of Historical Organization Studies: Programme


Stewart Clegg, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Mairi Maclean, University of Bath, United Kingdom

Roy Suddaby, University of Victoria, Canada

Session I: Thursday, July 04, 11:00 to 12:30

– Parallel Stream –

Parallel Stream A: Theory 1 – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Roy Suddaby

  1. Gabrielle Durepos and Russ Vince

Toward (an) historical reflexivity: Potential and practice

Discussant: Andrea Bernardi

  • François Bastien, William Foster and Diego M. Coraiola

Historicizing strategy: Exploring differences in three Indigenous communities across Canada

Discussant: Stephanie Decker

Parallel Stream B: Theory 2 – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: Mairi Maclean

  1. Alistair Mutch

Historical explorations of practices

Discussant: Audrey-Anne Cyr

  • Richard J. Badham, Todd Bridgman and Stephen Cummings

The organisation-as-iceberg metaphor: A strong defence for historical re-surfacing

Discussant: Guy Huber

Session II: Thursday, July 04, 14:00 to 15:30

– Parallel Stream –

Parallel Stream A: Institutional Entrepreneurship – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Stewart Clegg

  1. Parisa I. Baig and Andrew Godley

A new perspective on the paradox of embedded agency: Legitimacy and its acquisition in institutional entrepreneurship

Discussant: Trevor Israelsen

  • Micki Eisenman and Tal Simons

A rising tide lifts all boats: The origins of institutionalized aesthetic innovation

Discussant: Ken Sakai

  • Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey and Roy Suddaby

Entrepreneurial agency and institutional change in the co-creation of the global hotel industry

Discussant: Tom McGovern

Parallel Stream B: Rhetorical History 1 – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: Roy Suddaby

  1. Henrik Koll and Kim Esmark

Rhetorical history as managerial strategizing: The past as an object of struggles during organizational change in a Scandinavian telecom

Discussant: John G.L. Millar

  • Eugene Choi, Ikujiro Nonaka and R. Daniel Wadhwani

Selfless quest for corporate-level oneness: Application of rhetorical history as an essential organizational praxis of wise leadership

Discussant: Stefanie Ruel 

  • Çetin Önder, Meltem Özge Özcanli and Sükrü Özen

When competitors are co-narrators: Contested rhetorical organizational history

Discussant: Simon Oertel

Session III: Friday, July 05, 09:00 to 10:30

– Parallel Stream –

Parallel Stream A: Institutions – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Charles Harvey

  1. Pamela A. Popielarz

Organizational legacy and normativity in organizations

Discussant: Gabrielle Durepos

  • Natalia Korchagina

Disrupting oppressive institutions through memory: Interstitial events as catalysts of the official commemoration of alternative memories

Discussant: Anna Soulsby

  • Grégoire Croidieu, Birthe Soppe and Walter W. Powell

How contestation buttresses legitimacy: A historical analysis of the 1855 Bordeaux wine classification

Discussant: Garance Marechal  

Parallel Stream B: Rhetorical History 2 – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: William Foster

  1. Simon Oertel, Franziska Hein, Karin Knorr and Kirsten Thommes

The application of rhetorical history in crafting an organizational identity

Discussant: Henrik Koll

  • Stefanie Ruel, Linda Dyer and Albert J. Mills

Gendered rhetorical ‘histories’ and antenarratives: The women of the Canadian Alouette I and II satellites

Discussant: Çetin Önder

  • John G.L. Millar

Rhetorical history and the competitive advantage of the Edinburgh fund management cluster

Discussant: Eugene Choi

Session IV: Friday, July 05, 11:00 to 12:30

– Parallel Stream –

Parallel Stream A: Sources and Methods – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Charles Harvey

  1. Adam Nix and Stephanie Decker

Between sources and stuff: Using digital historical sources

Discussant: Richard J. Badham 

  • Guy Huber, Andrea Bernardi and Ioanna Iordanou

Critical discourse analysis: At the intersection of sociology and historiography

Discussant: Rohny Saylors

  • Andrew Smith

Corporate archives, history as sensemaking, and strategic decision-making at a multinational bank

Discussant: Andrew Godley 

Parallel Stream B: Applied Theory – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: Mairi Maclean

  1. Thomas Davis

Two triangles: Putting Lefebvre’s ‘spatial triad’ to work in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool

Discussant: Nicholas D. Wong

  • Garance Marechal and Stephen Linstead

Kitchen magic! Early media chefs’ reconfiguration of the field of cooking

Discussant: Grégoire Croidieu

  • Sonia Coman and Andrea Casey

The enduring presence of the founder in collection museums: A historical and interdisciplinary perspective

Discussant: Alistair Mutch

Session V: Friday, July 05, 14:00 to 15:30

– Parallel Stream –

Parallel Stream A: Politics and Parliaments – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Diego M. Coraiola

  1. Sabina Siebert

‘The Churchill effect’: Parliaments and their history

Discussant: Pilar Acosta

  • Sarah Robinson and Ron Kerr

‘Remember Mackintosh!’ Historical homology in the design of the Scottish parliament

Discussant: Christiane Chihadeh

  • Priscila Almeida and Eduardo Davel

Connecting cultural history to organizational studies: Contributions from the political festivity of Dois de Julho in Salvador (Bahia, Brazil)

Discussant: Diego M. Coraiola

Parallel Stream B: Memory – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: Gabrielle Durepos

  1. Karan Sonpar, Federica Pazzaglia, Matthew Lyle and Ian J. Walsh

Memory work in response to breaches of trust: The Irish Banking Inquiry

Discussant: Andrew Smith

  • Michel W. Lander

Tainting memories: The impact of stigmatization and institutional legacies on the founding of Scotch Whisky distilleries, 1680–1914

Discussant: Ron Kerr

Rohny Saylors

  • Using microstoria to study (re)membering in the context of (dis)enchantment: Empirical insights from the history of Sears and Walmart

Discussant:  Andrea Casey

Session VI: Saturday, July 06, 09:00 to 10:30

– Parallel Stream –

Parallel Stream A: Processes and Boundaries – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Anna Soulsby

  1. Liv Egholm

Drawing the boundaries of the needy. Boundary objects and translation practices

Discussant: Vittoria Magrelli

  • Audrey-Anne Cyr

Deep rootedness: Institutionalization of reciprocity and trust in family firms

Discussant: John G.L. Millar

  • Vittoria Magrelli, Josip kotlar, Alfredo De Massis and Emanuela Rondi

Generations, evolution and rhythm in family firms: The role of mediators

Discussant: Liv Egholm

 Parallel Stream B: Entrepreneurship – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: Charles Harvey

  1. Nicholas D. Wong and Tom Mcgovern

Entrepreneurial history and firm growth: A case study of Rushworths Music House

Discussant: Micki Eisenman  

  • Trevor Israelsen, J. Robert Mitchell and Dominic Lim

Temporality and stakeholder enrollment: Memory, imagination, and rhetorical history in the context of entrepreneurship

Discussant: Parisa I. Baig

  • Ken Sakai

Confluence of multiple histories in institutional change: A case study on the management of surgical needles in Japanese hospitals (1945–2000)

Discussant: Adam Nix

Session VII: Saturday, July 06, 11:00 to 12:30

-Parallel Stream –

 A: Business and Public Sector Interface – Room: UEBS – Auditorium

Chair: Stewart Clegg

  1. Pilar Acosta and Julio Zuluaga

Rethinking the role of businesses in the provision of public goods: A historical perspective

Discussant: Priscila Almeida

  • Christiane Chihadeh

Critical grounded theory and an imagined history: Thatcherism and the privatisation of the British internal energy market, 1980–2010

Discussant: Sabina Siebert

  • Anna Soulsby

Studying the processes of managerial legitimacy and the control of former state-owned enterprises in post-communist societies: A longitudinal study

Discussant: Sarah Robinson 

 B: Religion – Room: UEBS – LT 1A

Chair: Alistair Mutch

  1. Lauri J. Laine and Ewald Kibler

Myth and organizational structure: The case of the Orthodox Christian Valaam monastery (~1200–2018)

Discussant: Jose Bento da Silva

  • Myleen Leary

Regulations, bricolage, and the development of the Jewish ghetto in 16th century Venice

Discussant: Lauri J. Laine

  • Jose Bento da Silva and Paolo Quattrone

Inscribing ambiguity into procedural logics: Insights from the diffusion of the Jesuit Spiritual Exercises (1522–1992)

Discussant: Myleen Leary

AOM MH division election results

The election results from the Academy of Management, Management History Division are in. It’s with great pleasure that I read that the following three colleagues were elected. Congratulations!!

Patricia McLaren, Wilfrid Laurier University—PDW Chair

Andrew Smith, University of Liverpool—Division Representative-at-Large

Nicholous (Nick) Deal, Saint Mary’s University—Division Graduate Student/Junior Faculty Representative-at-Large

Thank you to all who ran on the ballot this year. I greatly appreciate your willingness to serve. I hope to see everyone in Boston!

Stephanie Pane Haden

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Past Division Chair

ToC: BH 61, 4

Business History

The June issue of Business History is out!

Original Articles

The virtues of dialogue between academics and businessmen
Lise Arena & Leonard Minkes
Pages: 581-602 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1382473

Directors and syndics in corporate networks: Argentina and Italy compared (1913–1990)
Andrea Lluch, Alberto Rinaldi, Erica Salvaj & Michelangelo Vasta
Pages: 603-628 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1382474

A French migrant business network in the period of export-led growth (ELG) in Mexico: The case of the Barcelonnettes
José Galindo
Pages: 629-658 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1394666

Cadbury and the rise of the supermarket: innovation in marketing 1953–1975
Adrian R. Bailey & Andrew Alexander
Pages: 659-680 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1400012

Technical self-sufficiency, pricing independence: a Penrosean perspective on China’s emergence as a major oil refiner since the 1960s
Damian Tobin
Pages: 681-702 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1413095

History of microfinance in Bangladesh: A life cycle theory approach
Md Aslam Mia, Hwok-Aun Lee, VGR Chandran, Rajah Rasiah & Mahfuzur Rahman
Pages: 703-733 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1413096

Book Reviews

Les Européens dans les ports en situation coloniale, xixe-xxe siècles: Espaces portuaires. L’Europe du Nord à l’interface des économies et des cultures, xixe-xxe siècles: Gouverner les ports de commerce à l’heure libérale. Regards sur les pays d’Europe du Sud
Hubert Bonin
Pages: 734-736 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1191840

Geschichte und Gewinn. Der Umgang deutscher Konzerne mit ihrer NS-Vergangenheit
Simon Gogl
Pages: 737-738 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1403082

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
Jason Russell
Pages: 739-740 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1426531

Foundations of managing sporting events: organising the 1966 FIFA World Cup
Alan Tomlinson
Pages: 741-742 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1429087

Trade and technology networks in the Chinese textile industry. Opening up before the reforms
Valeria Zanier
Pages: 743-744 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1430106

Tenure-track Assistant Professorship in History at CBS

Copenhagen Business School invites applications for a vacant tenure-track assistant professorship in History at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP).

We seek applicants with excellent qualifications and expertise in business and/or economic history. The Assistant Professor will be affiliated with the Department’s Centre for Business History.

For more information, please see the CBS website here.

ToC: BH 61(3) – SI on Health Industries

Business History, Volume 61, Issue 3, April 2019 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Health Industries in the 20th century

This new issue contains the following articles:


Health Industries in the Twentieth Century
Pierre-Yves Donzé & Paloma Fernández Pérez
Pages: 385-403 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2019.1572116
Special issue on: Health industries in the 20th century

Learning from giants: Early exposure to advance markets in the growth and internationalisation of Spanish health care corporations in the twentieth century
Paloma Fernández Pérez, Nuria Puig, Esteban García-Canal & Mauro F. Guillén
Pages: 404-428 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1369528
Special issue in: Health industries in the 20th century

Thriving in the shadow of giants: The success of the Japanese surgical needle producer MANI, 1956–2016
Ken Sakai
Pages: 429-455 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1424833
Special issue paper in: Health industries in the 20th century

Challenging the Problem of ‘Fit’: Advancing the Regenerative Medicine Industries in the United States, Britain and Japan
Maki Umemura
Pages: 456-480 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1476496
Special issue in: Health industries in the 20th century

‘Importance of Germany to Countries around and to World Economy makes it impossible to ignore’ – The Rockefeller Foundation and Public Health in Germany after WWII
Sabine Schleiermacher
Pages: 481-497 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1432597


Socialisation of healthcare demand and development of the French health system (1890–1938)
Jean-Paul Domin
Pages: 498-517 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1454433
Special issue paper in: Health industries in the 20th century

China: The development of the health system during the Maoist period (1949–76)
Roser Alvarez-Klee
Pages: 518-537 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1480611
Special issue on: Health industries in the 20th century

Architects and knowledge transfer in hospital systems: The introduction of Western hospital designs in Japan (1918–1970)
Pierre-Yves Donzé
Pages: 538-557 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1418859


The genesis, growth and organisational changes of private health insurance companies in Spain (1915–2015)
Jerònia Pons-Pons & Margarita Vilar-Rodríguez
Pages: 558-579 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1374371