The Library of Mistakes

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

There is increasing interest in business schools in History-as-Sensemaking (i.e., the use of history by business people to understand the present and plan for the future). Indeed, this issue was discussed extensively at the recent EGOS conference in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the site of a fascinating institution, the Library of Mistakes, which serves to make information about financial, economic, and business history available to businesspeople, especially those who are active in Edinburgh’s important investment management cluster. The Library of Mistakes is a  Scottish charity (registered charity SC040205) founded to promote the study of financial history. According to the BBC, it maintains a small but excellent library in Edinburgh that hosts talks by experts.

The company associated with the Library of Mistakes, Didasko Education Ltd, supports the teaching of a course called the Practical History of Financial Markets, which forms a unit of the Edinburgh Business School MBA programme.  The course is also taught at a private venue in London and at a business school in India.  According to a filing with Companies House, most of the people who take the course are professional fund managers. I had quick look at the teaching schedule of the upcoming course in London(31 October to 2 November 2019) and it looks fantastic.

The Library’s mission statement declares that

In recent years financial education has focused on the power of the equation to explain economic and financial forces. This distillation of complex forces into faux objectivity has created dangerous errors in financial understanding… The Library of Mistakes exists to allow students, professionals and members of the general public to study financial history to understand how finance has worked, rather than how it should work if key unrealistic assumptions are made.

Organization & Time: Understanding the Past (and Future) in the Present

EGOS Conference Hamburg, 2-4 July 2020

Sub-Theme 1 (SWG)

Convenors:

David Chandler
University of Colorado Denver, USA
david.chandler@ucdenver.edu

Majken Schultz
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
ms.ioa@cbs.dk

Roy Suddaby
University of Victoria, Canada, & University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
rsuddaby@uvic.ca


Call for Papers


Contemporary organizations operate increasingly according to a logic of speed and instantaneity, while at the same time increasing their temporal spans to either draw upon their histories or to cope with distant future challenges (Schultz & Hernes, 2013). Within widely varying “temporal depths” (Bluedorn, 2002), different organizational actors carve out wide combinations of temporal structures (Ancona et al., 2001) and trajectories (Lawrence et al., 2001) that shape the organizations themselves and their relationships with other organizational actors. Recent work in organization theory has begun the search for ways to analytically and empirically handle the temporal complexity that organizational actors face (Hussenot & Missonier, 2016). This sub-theme aims to extend this work through joint inquiry.

Within organization theory, many of the actions and outcomes we study are the result of processes that occur over long periods of time (Bluedorn & Denhardt, 1988; Goodman et al., 2001; Lee & Liebenau, 1999). These processes reach into the distant past, but also stretch into the unknown future. In spite of this, within much macro-level research, temporal issues are rarely theorized rigorously. As such, we seek to host a discussion among colleagues from across the range of organization theories to (a) more comprehensively theorize the past, present, and future in relation to organizations and organizing, and (b) stimulate work on theories of time itself (Pierson, 2004). This discussion, we believe, will have profound implications for our understanding of organizations and how they evolve. In particular, this sub-theme builds on the first sub-theme of the SWG (in 2019) to focus on the various ways the past are used in organizations and enacted in the present. We also include topics related to how expectations for the future intersect with uses of the past. Organizations draw upon their own past across widely different timespans, which may extend from a few days to centuries; they also draw upon past practices and symbols from craft, traditions, regions, or myths (e.g., Dacin et al., 2018; Schultz & Hernes, 2013).

Our goal for this sub-theme, therefore, is twofold – to more comprehensively theorize the past, present, and future in relation to organizations and organizing (e.g., fostering more complete analyses of complex temporal processes), but also to stimulate theory about the past, present, and future in a phenomenological sense. We seek to build an inclusive conversation that appeals to many theories and methods within organization theory. For example, we are not simply interested in understanding long periods of time as path-dependent processes, but in understanding things like temporal trajectories, time as a social construct, the past as a resource in the present, and the cumulative evolution of institutions and their underlying values.

The resulting discussion presents the opportunity for an exciting avenue of research that includes, but is not limited, to the following:

  • To explore the effects of “ancestry” and “legacy” on the founding, evolution, and dissolution of descendent organizations (Walsh & Bartunek, 2011).
  • To understand the role of rhetoric in constructing history that serves as a source of competitive advantage for organizations (Suddaby et al., 2010).
  • To focus on the nature of the distant past, exploring how organizations draw on historical artifacts and narratives to build authenticity and shape identity (Hatch & Schultz, 2017).
  • To understand how organizations and other social actors use history strategically to foster identification with key stakeholders (Suddaby et al., 2015).
  • To study character and values as historically-accreted commitments that create meaning for individuals within institutional contexts (Chandler, 2014; Kraatz & Flores, 2015).
  • To conceptualize how distant pasts and distant futures connect, in the present (Chandler & Foster, 2015; Schultz & Hernes, forthcoming). Distant pasts can be evoked in the present, but in a processual or pragmatist view any evoking of the past has a future orientation.

 
In this spirit, researchers across the range of organization theories are encouraged to apply for this sub-theme to help place the past, present, and future on a firmer theoretical footing. Our goal is to foster discussions that encompass theory (e.g., path dependence, sedimentation) and methodology (e.g., qualitative analysis, rhetorical analysis) to enable the more effective theorization and empirical study of the essential role of the past, present, and future in understanding organizations and organizing processes.

 

References

  • Ancona, D.G., Goodman, P.S., Lawrence, B.S., & Tushman, M.L. (2001): “Time: A New Research Lens.” Academy of Management Review, 26 (4), 645–663.
  • Bluedorn, A.C. (2002): The Human Organization of Time: Temporal Realities and Experience. Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.
  • Bluedorn, A.C., & Denhardt, R.B. (1988): “Time and Organizations.” Journal of Management, 14 (2), 299–320.
  • Chandler, D. (2014): “Morals, Markets, and Values-based Businesses.” Academy of Management Review, 39 (3), 396–406.
  • Chandler, D., & Foster, W.M. (2015): “A Present Past: A Historical Perspective on Institutional Maintenance and Change.” Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Vancouver, Canada.
  • Dacin, T.M., Dacin, P.A., & Kent, D. (2018): “Tradition in Organizations: A Custodianship Framework.” Academy of Management Annals, 13 (1), 342–373.
  • Goodman, P.S., Lawrence, B.S., Ancona, D.G., & Tushman, M.L. (2001): “Introduction to the Special Issue: Time in Organizations.” Academy of Management Review, 26 (4), 507–511.
  • Hatch, M.J., & Schultz, M. (2017): “Toward a Theory of Using History Authentically: Historicizing in the Carlsberg Group.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 62 (4), 657–697.
  • Hussenot, A.&, Missonier, S. (2016): “Encompassing Stability and Novelty in Organization Studies: An Events-based Approach.” Organization Studies, 37 (4), 523–546.
  • Kraatz, M.S., & Flores, R. (2015): “Reinfusing Values.” In: M.S. Kraatz (ed.): Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 44. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 353–381.
  • Lawrence, T.B., Winn, M.I., & Jennings, P.D. (2001): “The Temporal Dynamics of Institutionalization.” Academy of Management Review, 26 (4), 624–644.
  • Lee, H., & Liebenau, J. (1999): “Time in Organizational Studies: Towards a New Research Direction.” Organization Studies, 20 (6), 1035–1058.
  • Pierson, P. (2004): Politics in Time: History, Institutions, and Social Analysis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Schultz, M., & Hernes, T. (forthcoming): ““Temporal interplay between strategy and identity: Punctuated, subsumed and sustained modes.” Strategic Organization, first published online on April 30, 2019; https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1476127019843834
  • Suddaby, R., Foster, W., & Quinn Trank, C. (2010): “Rhetorical history as a source of competitive advantage.” In: B. Joel A.C. & J. Lampel (eds.): The Globalization of Strategy Research. Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 27. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 147–173.
  • Suddaby, R., & Foster, W.M., & Quinn Trank, C. (2015): “Organizational Re-Membering: The Use of Rhetorical History to Create Identification.” In: M. Pratt, M. Schultz, B. Ashforth & D. Ravasi (eds.): Oxford Handbook of Organizational Identity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 297–316.
  • Walsh, I.J., & Bartunek, J.M. (2011): “Cheating the Fates: Organizational Foundings in the Wake of Demise.” Academy of Management Journal, 54 (5), 1017–1044.

David Chandler is Associate Professor of Management at the University of Colorado Denver, USA. His research focuses on understanding how organizations interact with their complex institutional environments. This research has been published in ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, ‘Organization Science’, ‘Academy of Management Review’, and ‘Journal of Management’. He has also written the book “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Strategic Perspective” (Business Expert Press, 2015) as part of the UN PRME book collection and is author of the textbook “Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation” (5th edition, SAGE Publications, 2020).

Majken Schultz is Professor of Management and Organization Studies at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark, and member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. She is co-founder of the Center for Organizational Time at CBS. Her recent research focuses on temporality in organizations, including how history is used for the future, as well as how future strategy becomes meaningful through identity. She has published in ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, ‘Human Relations’, ‘European Journal of Marketing’ and co-written/edited more than a dozen books.

Roy Suddaby is Professor & Winspear Chair at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Canada. He is also Research Professor at Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, United Kingdom. His research focuses on organizational and social change and has been published in ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’, ‘Human Relations’, ‘Journal of Business Venturing’ and related leading management journals.

The Barings Archives

The Barings Archives has an extensive collection of documents located primarily in the ING building in the City of London.  

The firm that became known as Baring Brothers was established in 1762, and it quickly became one of Great Britain’s most important firms in the financing of domestic and international trade.  As you may know, Barings became insolvent in 1995 as a result of unauthorised trading by one of its employees, Nick Leeson.  ING of the Netherlands acquired the majority of the business, and in 2004, MassMutual Financial Group bought the asset management arm. 

Today the Barings Archives continues as a charitable trust.  I joined its Board of Trustees earlier this year. 

The link below takes you to the Archives’ webpage.  Its archivists are in the process of digitising as much of the collection as possible, but the vast majority of the archive is not yet digitised. 

If you are doing research on international financial institutions and/or international trade, I encourage you to click on the link below and browse the collection:   

www.baringarchive.org.uk

Best regards,

Rowena

Dr. Rowena Olegario
Co-Director, Global History of Capitalism

Oxford Centre for Global History


M +44 (0)754 5419820

rowena.olegario@history.ox.ac.uk 

https://globalcapitalism.history.ox.ac.uk/

Barclays Group Archives & the BBC’s Gentleman Jack

I am always intrigued to read about the amazing things in corporate archives, and a while back I received another excellent newsletter from Barclays Group Archives. To my delight, one of the items dealt with the BBC’s Gentleman Jack, a fascinating show that fictionalized the Life & Loves of Anne Lister . It turns out, the archivists helped the production company recreate the historic setting of nineteenth century banking:

Readers may have been enthralled, as we were, by the recent BBC TV drama Gentleman Jack, based on the life and diaries of Anne Lister (1791-1840) of Shibden Hall, Halifax.

Early in 2018, we were contacted by a TV production company with a request for props and background information giving a picture of early 19th century country banking, especially in West Yorkshire. This led to a full day’s visit by the team’s graphic designer to see what we have.

Evidence for what a country bank would have looked like at that period is surprisingly scarce, but a humorous drawing by Jonathan Backhouse dated 1829 (below), of his manager’s  office  in a comparable banking house at Durham shows the simple furniture and likely layout. Items such as ledgers, coin scales, bank notes, cheques, fire buckets, and a clerk’s high desk were all useful as models for the props.

Humorous drawing by Jonathan Backhouse of his manager’s office, 1829

The ‘scheming banker’ of the TV series, Christopher Rawson, who becomes Anne’s arch-enemy, is not based directly (we hope) on one of our predecessors in Halifax.

Our main predecessor bank in the town was the Halifax Commercial Banking Co. which evolved from various partnerships, including Rawsons, Rhodes & Briggs. The banknotes used in the TV series borrowed designs from notes featuring a sheep issued by this bank, and a beehive from the Kendal Bank.”

Fully funded Ph. D. positions at the University of Gothenburg

The University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has an open call for applications for 1-2 Ph.D.-student positions in economic history, fully funded. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2019 .

The department conducts education and research within three different subject areas; Economic History, Human Geography, and Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management of Intellectual Asset. The different subjects within the department create possibilities to carry out interdisciplinary education and research.

The Unit for Economic History conducts research and education within the field which includes studies economic and social development in a long-run perspective. The studies concern current topics relating to globalisation, the environment, migration and gender from the perspective of economic history. Classical issues relating to economic growth and distribution are also studied. The unit offers doctoral education as well as single-subject courses on Bachelor´s and Master´s level which gives the possibility to complete a Bachelor´s and Master´s degree. Several of the courses are included in educational programmes at the University of Gothenburg. For further information please click here.

For more information, please see:

https://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/job-opportunities/vacancies-details/?id=4814

Deadline approaching for BHC Doctoral Colloquium submissions!

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held once again in conjunction with the 2020 BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, March 11th and Thursday March 12th, 2020. Typically limited to ten students, the colloquium is open to doctoral candidates who are pursuing dissertation research within the broad field of business history, from any relevant discipline (e.g., from economic sociology, political science, cultural anthropology, or management, as well as history).  Most participants are in year 3 or 4 or their degree program, though in some instances applicants at a later stage make a compelling case that their thesis research had evolved in ways that led them to see the advantages of an intensive engagement with business history.

The theme of the 2020 BHC annual meeting is “Collaboration in Business and Business History.”  We welcome proposals from students working within the conference theme, as well as any other thematic area of business history.  Topics (see link for past examples) may range from the early modern era to the present, and explore societies across the globe.  Participants work intensively with a distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars (including the incoming BHC president), discussing dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and career trajectories. 

Applications are due by 15 November 2019 via email to amy.feistel@duke.edu and should include: a statement of interest; CV; preliminary or final dissertation prospectus (10-15 pages); and a letter of support from your dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor).  All participants receive a stipend that partially defrays travel costs to the annual meeting.  Applicants will receive notification of the selection committee’s decisions by the end of 2019.

The director of the Colloquium is Edward Balleisen, Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University.  Other faculty participants include:

Gustavo del Angel, Professor of Economics, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico City (Mexican and Latin American Business History)

Neil Rollings, Professor of Economic and Business History, University of Glasgow (European Business History)

Susie Pak, Professor of History, St. Johns University (American Business History)

Madeleine Zelin, Professor of History, Columbia University (Chinese and Asian Business History)

Management Learning in Historical Perspective: Rediscovering Rowntree and the British Interwar Management Movement

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

I would like to draw the attention of my readers to a superb new business-historical paper that has appeared in Academy of Management Learning & Education.  The paper Mairi Maclean, Gareth Shaw, Charles Harvey and Alan Booth develops our understanding of the history of management education at the same time as addressing a classic debate in the field of business that was initiated by the late Al Chandler’s remarks about the role of education in the relative decline of British industry.

Abstract: British interwar management (1918-1939) has been criticized as overly conservative, comprising a core of progressive firms amidst a mass of conservatively-run, family-dominated businesses. According to the dominant narrative, British firms exhibited little interest in new managerial approaches. Our study of the Rowntree business lectures and British interwar management movement challenges this view; suggesting British managers displayed greater openness to innovation than is commonly recognized. We uncover and analyse a network of British firms engaged in management education through organized peer-to-peer communication, facilitated by lectures and management research groups initiated by Seebohm Rowntree. Our primary contribution to the literature is to offer a more nuanced perspective on the evolution of British management learning in the interwar years. This reveals dynamic knowledge networks reflexively engaged in advancing and codifying practice-based learning to promote the diffusion of effective solutions to shared problems – building communities of practice, codifying management knowledge, and drawing on an ethos of ‘business as service’. By undertaking archival research to create a coherent body of documentary material, and making this available to others, we also make a methodological contribution, creating a new ‘space’ for future researchers to explore, from which they can write new management histories of their own.

One of the many great things about this paper is that the authors have adopted a variant of the Open Data principle and have shared the data (i.e., the historical documents on which the paper is based) in an online repository. I have long advocated the adoption of Open Data as a norm in the field of business history (see our paper on the subject in Business History) and I am thus very pleased to see this principle being applied here in such an excellent way. Check out all of the historical sources on the companion website for this paper, which can be found here.

The Library Company of Philadelphia: Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships, 2020-2021

by Clarissa Lowry

National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellowships support research in residence at the Library Company on any subject relevant to its collections, which are capable of supporting research in a variety of fields and disciplines relating to the history of America and the Atlantic world from the 17th through the 19th centuries. NEH Fellowships are for individuals who have completed their formal professional training. Consequently, degree candidates and individuals seeking support for work in pursuit of a degree are not eligible to hold NEH-supported fellowships. Advanced degree candidates must have completed all requirements, except for the actual conferral of the degree, by the application deadline, November 1, 2019. Foreign nationals are not eligible to apply unless they have lived in the United States for the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. NEH fellowships are tenable for four to nine months. The stipend is $5,000 per month.

Program in Early American Economy and Society (PEAES) Post-Doctoral Fellowships support research in the collections of the Library Company and other nearby institutions into the origins and development of the early American economy, broadly conceived, to roughly 1850. The fellowships provide scholars the opportunity to investigate the history of commerce, finance, technology, manufacturing, agriculture, internal improvements, economic policymaking, and other topics. Applicants may be citizens of any country, and they must hold a Ph.D. by September 1, 2020. The stipend is $40,000 for the academic year, or if the award is divided between two scholars, $20,000 per semester.

Senior scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. The Library Company’s Cassatt House fellows’ residence offers rooms at reasonable rates, along with a kitchen, common room, and offices with internet access, available to resident and non-resident fellows at all hours. All post-doctoral fellowships are tenable from September 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021, and fellows must be in continuously in residence in the Philadelphia area for the duration of their fellowships.

THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS IS NOVEMBER 1, 2019 with a decision to be made by December 15. Make just one application; you will automatically be considered for all the fellowships for which you are eligible. To apply, go to https://librarycompany.org/neh-and-peaes-post-doctoral-fellowships-application to fill out an online coversheet and upload a single PDF containing a brief résumé, a two- to four-page description of your proposed research, and a writing sample of no more than 25 pages. In addition, two confidential letters of recommendation should be submitted online in PDF format using the form provided on the application page. 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to inquire about the appropriateness of the proposed topic before applying. For more information about the NEH award, contact James Green via telephone (215) 546-3181 or e-mail jgreen@librarycompany.org. For more information about the PEAES award, email Cathy Matson at cmatson@udel.edu.

Ryan Haddad

Department of History

University of Maryland

College Park, MD

Hagley Center Grants/Fellowships Announcement

by Carol Ressler Lockman

The Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware is pleased to announce the recipients of grants and fellowships awarded July 25th, 2019. Please note that the next deadline for applications for the exploratory and Henry Belin du Pont Fellowship is October 31st. The H. B. du Pont Dissertation Fellowship deadline is November 15th. Here is the link on Hagley Museum and Library’s website to apply…. https://www.hagley.org/research/grants-fellowships.

Carol Ressler Lockman

Manager, Hagley Center

PO Box 3630

Wilmington DE 19807

Email:  clockman@hagley.org

302-658-2400, x243

Exploratory Grants:

Anthony Grasso

Assistant Professor

U.S. Military Academy

Privilege and Punishment: Class, Crime, and the Development of the American State

Louisa Iarocci

Associate Professor

University of Washington, Seattle

Bin, Bag, Box: The Architecture of Convenience

Andrew Wasserman

Visiting Assistant Professor

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Public Art of Public Relations: Creating the New American City

H. B. du Pont Fellowship

Trish Kahle

Post Doctoral Fellow

University of Chicago

The Graveyard Shift: Coal and Citizenship in an Age of Energy Crisis

Malwina Lys-Dobradin

Ph. D. Candidate

Columbia University

The Historical Trajectory of “Free Enterprise”

Sara Wermiel

Independent Researcher

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Railroad contractors and the rise of general contractors for buildings

Hagley Exploratory Research Grants

These grants support one-week visits by scholars who believe that their project will benefit from Hagley research collections, but need the opportunity to explore them on-site to determine if a Henry Belin du Pont Fellowship application is warranted. Priority will be given to junior scholars with innovative projects that seek to expand on existing scholarship. Applicants should reside more than 50 miles from Hagley, and the stipend is $400. Application deadlines: March 31, June 30 and October 31

Henry Belin du Pont Fellowships

These research grants enable scholars to pursue advanced research and study in the collections of the Hagley Library. They are awarded for the length of time needed to make use of Hagley collections for a specific project. The stipends are for a maximum of eight weeks and are pro-rated at $400/week for recipients who reside further than 50 miles from Hagley, and $200/week for those within 50 miles. Application deadlines: March 31, June 30 and October 31

Henry Belin du Pont Dissertation Fellowships

This fellowship is designed for graduate students who have completed all course work for the doctoral degree and are conducting research on their dissertation. Applications should demonstrate superior intellectual quality, present a persuasive methodology for the project, and show that there are significant research materials at Hagley pertinent to the dissertation. This is a residential fellowship with a term of four months. The fellowship provides $6,500, free housing on Hagley’s grounds, mail and internet access, and an office. Application deadline: November 15