History of Management and Organizations Colloquium

25th Colloquium of the History of Management and Organizations

March 26th and 27th 2020 / Lyon
Organised by the French Association for History of Management and Organizations (AHMO) and the Institute for Education and Research in Healthcare and Social Service Organizations (IFROSS, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3), with the collaboration of the Centre for Historical Research Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA, UMR 5190) and Triangle (UMR 5206).

The Colloquium in History of Management and Organizations (JHMO) is the annual, international and interdisciplinary colloquium organised by the French Association for History of Management and Organizations (AHMO). It gathers scholars in history, management studies, sociology, economics and other
related fields, who share the historical approach of AHMO research topics: organisations, managerial thought and practice, and the field of management studies.

As in previous years, the 25th JHMO is divided in two sessions. The general session is open to any papers dealing with managerial matters using historical methods. The thematic session focuses on “paths and networks”.

General Session

The general session is open to any proposal dealing with AHMO topics (history of the field of management studies and its disciplines, history of organisations, history of managerial thought and practice), with a special interest in accounting history, which has been the foundation of the AHMO community.
Proposals should use historical methods and privilege empirical data, in every sense: archives, textual corpus, interviews, etc. The novelty and originality of the research results will be appreciated.

Thematic Session: paths and networks

The thematic session concerns all topics, issues or methods which utilise the concepts of path or network in the history of organisations and management studies. From a historical perspective, the notions of path and network are deeply linked. Every path is a movement inscribed in time and (geographical, social, economic …) space, which might be described as a network (between locations, people, interests …). Reciprocally, every network is the representation of the relations between people or objects at a given time, and those relations are the consequences of a temporal evolution.

The concepts of path and network are powerful entry points for the history of organisations and management studies. The objective of the thematic session is to bring examples of the use of the concepts of path and network together. Proposals should move beyond the metaphorical use of such concepts, either by focusing
on concrete paths or networks, or by relying on methods based on paths and networks.

a) Taken as concrete historic objects, paths and networks concern every historical period and a variety of topics, such as:

  • banking and financial networks;
  • trade networks (see the study of French merchant networks in the 18th century by Pierre Gervais, Yannick Lemarchand and Cheryl S. McWatters1);
  • colonial networks;
  • professional networks and corps;
  • consumers networks; and
  • family, clan, and diaspora networks.

This list is non-exhaustive and we welcome proposals on any topic related to paths and networks.

b) Paths and networks are also central concepts in quantitative methods which developed in disciplines such as sociology, demography or geography since the 1970s. Despite the adoption by history, and notably economic history, of long-run statistical series throughout the 20th century, the discipline has remained relatively closed to such methods. Nonetheless, in 2008 Claire Lemercier and Claire Zalc underscored the interest of quantitative approaches in their “taking particularly into account the phenomenon of networks and paths that has been put on the agenda of historical research since the 1990s”. Such methods are indeed powerful tools for description and interpretation, but also for hypothesis testing (such as deconstructing ordinary representations relayed in archives or discourses), or even as a heuristic for unveiling “definition problems easier not to mention if one sticks to qualitative methods”. The thematic session is open to any proposal using such quantitative methods for describing and analysing paths and networks in any historical period, such as:

Career paths: the concept of career is of prime importance in the history of organisations and management. Qualitative methods such as biography focus on such a concept, but quantitative methods have also developed to analyse professional trajectories. Primarily used in ancient and medieval history, prosopography has developed particularly in contemporary history for studying the élites or in sociohistorical approaches relying on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu, for example for studying scholars. Other methods such as event history analysis7 are used to study careers in sociology. How might such tools be applied to the history of organisations and management?

History of organisations: the concepts of path and network can be applied equally at the organisational level, especially with social network analysis. For example, the study of interlocking directorates (which “occurs when a person affiliated with one organization sits on the board of directors of another organizations”) is now a classic approach for analysing organisations, particularly the largest US firms. It mainly developed in the field of sociology, economics and management studies, occasionally in a longitudinal perspective based on cross-section analysis, as for example on the British industry in the 20th century. From a historical perspective, this method provides first-rate material for understanding the forms of capitalism and their evolution. What insights could such methods offer to the history of organisations and management, for example on forms of governance or the evolution of strategy?

Diffusion of knowledge: social network analysis has largely spread in social sciences and humanities, notably in history. It provides quantitative tools for studying the dissemination of knowledge in scientific fields or communities (see for example the research programme proposed by Catherine Herfeld on history of economics). For instance, the analysis of co-authorship or citations network has considerably developed since the seminal works of Eugene Garfield who is one of the creators of the bibliographic database Web of Science and the rise of bibliometric analysis of citation impact.

Possibilities offered by such methods remain largely unexplored in the history of the various scientific fields dealing with organisations and managerial practices. How could the concepts of path and network, or the methods based on those concepts, be used to study the diffusion of knowledge within organisations?

This list of topics is non-exhaustive. Proposals adopting other methods based on the concepts of path and network are welcome, for instance, more qualitative approaches relying on actor-network theory.

The Joseph Colleye Prize

The first Joseph Colleye Prize in accounting history, in the amount of €1,500, will be awarded during the 25th Colloquium in the History of Management and Organizations. The call for applications for the prize is available at ahmo.hypotheses.org/2808.

Submission instructions

Proposals should be 1 to 2 pages (5,000 signs, references excluded) and include explicitly:

  • Research question;
  • Sources (archives, textual corpus, interviews, field of observation…);
  • Methods; and
  • Main results if available.

Proposals may be written in French or English. A summary in both French and English should be provided. Proposals are to be submitted to jhmo2020@univ-lyon3.fr or on the website of the conference: jhmo2020.sciencesconf.org

Important deadlines:

  • Submission of proposals: 31 October 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: 18 November 2019
  • Final version of papers (20 to 25 pages, 30 to 40,000 signs, references excluded): 2 March 2020

Proposals will follow a double-blind review process.

Presentation format

Presentations will be organised into sessions of 3 to 4 presentations depending on the topic. The oral presentation should be 20 minutes in length, and will be followed by a 20-minute discussion period. Participants should send a final version of their paper before 2 March 2020 in order to distribute papers to the other participants of their session. Oral presentations may be in French or English.

Date and location

The 25th Colloquium in History of Management and Organizations will be held on Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th of March 2020, in Lyon. The morning of Thursday the 26th will be dedicated to the doctoral workshop. The colloquium will begin on Tuesday the 26th at 14h00 and end on Friday the 27th at 16h00.


Email: jhmo2020@univ-lyon3.fr / Website: jhmo2020.sciencesconf.org