MHRG Annual Workshop meeting report

For those of us who missed it, Chris Corker has kindly provided us with a short report on the Management History Research Group event, which has, like many others, gone virtual this autumn:

The 2020 edition of the Management History Research Group (MHRG) Annual Workshop took place, via Zoom, on Thursday, 1st October with two panels comprising a total of five papers presented, with participants as far away as Japan and Washington DC.

Original plans for the workshop, in the pipeline since our successful 2019 workshop in Preston, had been to head to Newcastle and continue the tradition of the MHRG to host a predominantly single-track workshop with a range of papers, either developmental or fully formed, for constructive and critical feedback.

Keen to not loose this approach, the Zoom version of MHRG followed the same focus. With a total of 20 participants, the first paper from Ayumu Sugawara (Tohoku University, Japan) explored BOLSA’s encounter with Japan in the 1960s Eurodollar market, followed by Leo McCann and Simon Mollan (University of York) on Placing Camelot: Cultivating Leadership and Learning in the Kennedy Presidency, the first panel concluding with James Fowler (University of Essex) discussing The Management, Politics and Strategic Narratives of Decline and Turnaround at London Transport 1970-87.

Following a brief recess, the second panel featured Simon Mollan (University of York), Beverly Geesin (University of Dundee), and Joel Tannenbaum (Community College of Philadelphia) work titled ‘American Caesar? Authoritarian leadership and the American Right’, and concluded with Leo McCann (University of York) and John Heath (American University, Washington DC, USA) discussing ‘A Parable about Power’: Management and Leadership in Robert McNamara’s Presidency of the World Bank.

Overall, the contributions were informative and interesting for all participants, with much discussion, debate and feedback was generated for the presenters.

Like many events across academia, the MHRG Workshop had to adapt and the Zoom approach worked for everyone involved. Still small, supportive, and constructive as prior MHRG workshops have been, the change in format worked for this year.

What was missing, as it is for every postponed or adapted conference, was the sense of community among colleagues and friends who traditionally work in a multitude of places and come together in person infrequently to catch up, talk about new projects and potential collaborations, and bring into the community new members, emerging scholars, and encourage doctoral students.

The chat in a local licensed premise, the discussions over a meal, the conversation in coffee breaks and the chance to bounce an idea among participants without the formal structure of a presentation, are what is missing.

Virtual conferences and workshops may be keeping our research alive and our discipline-specific communities together, but the informal chat, the catching up with friends and talking about family, hobbies, and all the non-research stuff, the chance to see a new town or city and the opportunity to travel are understandably absent and hard to replicate with the video conferencing format.

The world of academic conferences and workshops is likely to continue in this at distance approach for the foreseeable future in light of the devastating effect the pandemic is having on the world, but in time our communities will reform in person, drinks will be consumed, ideas exchanged, enthusiasm for research reignited, and the shared love for research experienced.

It is the hope of the MHRG committee to run a face to face workshop in September 2021. We embrace management history in all its forms, and contributions from associated sub-disciplines of history. If you would like to join our mailing list for next year, or just find out some more, please get in touch with me.

Chris Corker, MHRG Chairman

Chris.Corker@York.ac.uk

Applications are invited for one Co-Editor to join the Editorial Team for Business History

Business History
Searching for a new Co-Editor for Business History

The position is for a term of three years starting in January 2021, renewable by mutual consent for further terms at Routledge’s discretion.

About the Journal

Business History is an international journal concerned with the long-run evolution and contemporary operation of business systems and enterprises. Its primary purpose is to make available the findings of advanced research, empirical and conceptual, into matters of global significance, such as corporate organization and growth, multinational enterprise, business efficiency, entrepreneurship, technological change, finance, marketing, human resource management, professionalization and business culture.

The Journal has won a reputation for academic excellence and has a wide readership amongst management specialists, economists and other social scientists and economic, social, labour and business historians.

Business History: The emerging agenda

The core strategy of Business History is to promote business history as a sui generis scholarly discipline, engaging on an equal footing with mainstream history and the wider social sciences. To achieve this, the Journal will continue to be international, comparative, thematic and theoretically informed. In the post-Chandler world, the agenda for business history is to extend its scale and scope specifically to:

  • widen its international scope: business activities in underrepresented regions, for example Latin America, Africa and Asia
  • go back beyond the 19th and 20th centuries to include ancient, medieval and early modern eras
  • inform the policy agenda; historical examples of regulatory success and failure, nationalisations and privatisations
  • engage with the business and management agendas; entrepreneurship, competitive advantage, corporate governance
  • theoretical development; independent theory or theories of business history

All research articles in this journal are rigorously peer reviewed, based on initial editor screening and anonymized reviewing by at least two referees.

The Journal is indexed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus and numerous business journal quality lists, such as the CABS and ABDC lists. Please visit www.tandfonline.com/fbsh for additional information about the Journal and Publisher.

Job Description

We are seeking one Co-Editor to join the Editorial Team to drive the strategy for Business History, working to enhance the impact and reputation of the Journal. The Co-Editor will manage the peer-review process for papers assigned to them, recommending high quality papers to publish.

Routledge provide an annual contribution to expenses incurred by the Editorial team.

Key Tasks

The tasks to be undertaken will include but will not be limited to:

  • Working with the Editorial Team, Routledge and the Editorial Board to develop the editorial strategy and direction of Business History and acting as an ambassador for the Journal;
  • Attendance and networking at international conferences, which may be online or in person, and events to promote Business History and solicit submissions, invited contributions, and special issue proposals;
  • Responsibility for enhancing the quality and reputation of Business History, particularly in relation to the quantity, quality and timeliness of published research;
  • Commissioning topical special issues with active, well-respected Guest Editors;
  • Day-to-day manuscript and peer review management including selecting and managing peer reviewers and making recommendations for the final decision on papers assigned to you;
  • Ensuring that all reviewers and authors uphold the Journal’s code of publishing ethics;
  • Working with the Editorial Team to refresh the Editorial Board and pool of reviewers as necessary in terms of subject specialisms and geographical representation;
  • Attending Editorial Team / Editorial Board meetings annually.

Candidate Experience

We are seeking an outstanding and professional academic who is actively involved in the disciplines covered by Business History, with an international reputation for research excellence, and a passion for communication. Prior experience of editing an established journal is preferred, but not essential.

Applicants should be actively involved in networks within the field. Key qualities sought for the positions include energy, enthusiasm, managerial skills to oversee the editorial cycle, an understanding of research and publishing ethics, and the ability to meet deadlines and work effectively with Editorial Team members and a major publisher.

Application Procedure

Applications must include a letter of interest, specifically referring to why you believe you are particularly qualified for the role of Co-Editor as part of an Editorial Team for Business History, and how you see your role in the future development and direction of the Journal (maximum of 1 side of A4). CVs should also be submitted.

To submit your application, or for further details, please contact:

Anyone who wishes to discuss these positions informally with the Editors-in-Chief are welcome to contact Neil Rollings or Stephanie Decker at the email addresses given above.

The deadline for applications is Monday 16th November 2020.

Candidates who pass the initial screening stage will be invited for an interview with the Editors-in-Chief, which will be over video link.

All applications will be treated as strictly confidential. Routledge and the Editors-in-Chief will judge each on its merits without regard to the race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the candidate.

Recording of Business History Collective Roundtable on Slavery and Business History now available

To view this week’s recorded roundtable event by the Business History Colllective on Slavery and Business History, go to https://bizhiscollective.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/global0008/ .

Also note that the Business History Collective is changing its homepage to: www.jiscmail.ac.uk/bizhiscollective and email to  bizhiscollective@JISCMAIL.AC.UK .

Happy Friday everyone!

BizHist Collective: Roundtable on Slavery and Business History

Date: 14/10/2020 @ 16.00 hrs London

Speakers: Sherryllynne Haggerty (University of Nottingham), Rafael Pardo (Emory University), Stephen Mullen (University of Glasgow)

Discussant: Cheryl McWatters (University of Ottawa)

Organiser/Hosts: Nicholas Wong and Andrew Perchard (both at Northumbria University)

Register here. See session abstracts below.

‘I am so chained down by my business to this spot’ Making Money in Jamaica, 1756

Sherryllynne Haggerty (University of Nottingham)

When Gilbert Ford wrote that he was ‘so chained down by my business’, he was of course alluding to the institution of slavery by which all free Jamaicans made their money, whether explicitly or implicitly. Ford was a planter, and one of the elite, however, this paper uses a rare set of letters sent from Jamaica in autumn 1756 to focus on the non elite. It asks how did non-elite free people contribute to, and benefit from, the local, regional and Atlantic economy of Jamaica? In 1756, despite the start of the Seven Years’ War, Jamaica was at the centre of Britain’s slave ‘system’ and its largest producer of sugar. The island produced huge wealth for white plantation owners at the expense of an enslaved labour force. However, this paper will demonstrate that for non-elites, men and women, white and of colour, there was a more complicated story.

On Bankruptcy’s Promethean Gap: Building Enslaving Capacity into the Antebellum Administrative State

Rafael Pardo (Emory University)

As the United States contends with the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, should it continue to approach application of federal bankruptcy law to resolve issues of financial distress from the same perspective of the past 120 years—namely, that bankruptcy is about the resolution of private debt matters? To answer that question, this paper looks to modern U.S. bankruptcy law’s first forebear, the 1841 Bankruptcy Act, which Congress enacted in response to the depressed economic conditions following the Panic of 1837. New Orleans was among the cities that financially suffered the worst during that crisis. By the time of the Act, it was the nation’s third-most-populous city; its slave market was the nation’s largest; and its money market was one of the nation’s largest, if not the largest. This paper tells the cautionary tale about the bankruptcy administration and sale of Banks Arcade, a block-long, three-story building that was one of antebellum New Orleans’s premier commercial exchanges for auctioning enslaved African Americans. This history about how the federal administrative state restructured one component of the U.S. slavery complex should prompt us to think critically about what it means to manage the financial fallout from capitalistic excess through the bankruptcy system.

The University of Glasgow Model of Institutional Slavery Income

Stephen Mullen (University of Glasgow)

On 16 September 2018, the University of Glasgow released the report ‘Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow’ that acknowledged slave-owners, merchants and planters with connections to New World slavery – and their descendants – donated capital between 1697 and 1937 that influenced the development of the institution. In doing so, the institution became the first British university to declare historical income derived from transatlantic slavery. In response to the report, a nine-point programme of reparative justice was launched, the first British university to launch a project on such a scale. This attracted global interest and was reported in The Times of London, the Guardian, and various other outlets in the Caribbean and the United States. Report authors estimated the university historically benefitted from income valued at, depending on which comparator was adopted, ranging from £16m to £198m (2016 values). Although the historical comparators were included simply as an estimation of scale, it is an imprecise science – the three different estimates are equally valid – the media reported the highest possible values. This paper discusses ‘The University of Glasgow Model of Institutional Slavery Income’; challenges, issues with the methodology; opportunities for further research, and potential transferability to other universities and institutions more broadly.

Biz Hist Collective are looking for a new editor to join

Colleagues

We are looking for one person to join the editorial board of the the Business History Collective (Global). What follows is an invitation for you to take an active part of this initiative, a brief explanation of the initiative itself and the tasks involved. 

Expressions of interest directly to me at Bernardo.batiz-lazo@northumbria.ac.ukby Monday October 12, 2020.

Thanks

Bernardo

The Microhistory Network

For those of us interested in microhistory as an approach, there is an interested resource online that I only recently discovered: The Microhistory Network:

“The Microhistory Network was created as a loose group in January 2007 to bring together historians interested in the theory and practice of microhistory through a homepage with a bibliography, links to the members’ homepages and other relevant webpages that would give information about conferences, events, the publication of books and articles. The founding members of the Microhistory Network are Mihail Boytsov, Carlo Ginzburg, Marion Gray, Ingar Kaldal, Giovanni Levi, David M. Luebke, Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon, Sarah Maza, Edward Muir, Matti Peltonen, Guido Ruggiero, David Sabean and István Szijártó. The coordinator of the Microhistory Network is Kristóf Kovács and István Szijártó (Eötvös University, Budapest).”

I have read the work of several of these scholars with great interest, and they have just announced an online course:

ONLINE COURSE
From September 2020, Eötvös University (Budapest) offers the online course Introduction into microhistory for a limited number of students. Attending the classes is free of charge. For details see the course homepage.