“The History of the Corporation” Virtual Workshop

The Yale Law School and CGCG are presenting a virtual workshop on ‘The History of the Corporation’ on 10 June 2021, beginning at 9:00 EDT.  The program follows.  All are welcome to register for the event by visiting the following website:  https://bit.ly/2PeXhGL  

Naomi Lamoreaux (Yale University)
Henry Hansmann (Yale Law School and ECGI)

Shareholder Democracy under Autocracy:  Voting Rights and Corporate Performance in Imperial Russia 
Amanda Gregg (Middlebury College), Steven Nafziger (Williams College)

Legal Origins of Corporate Governance:  Choice of Company Law in Egypt, 1887-1913
Cihan Artunç (Middlebury College)

Legal Transplants and Local Custom in China: The Struggle over Apportioned Liability for External Debt of Partnerships
Madeleine Zelin (Columbia University)

Corporate Ownership and Control in the Gilded Age
Eric Hilt (Wellesley College)

Managerial Failure and Corporate Ownership in Edwardian Britain Revisited
Michael Aldous (Queen’s University, Belfast), Philip Fliers (Queen’s University, Belfast), John Turner (Queen’s University, Belfast) 

General Discussion
Tim Guinnane (Yale University)
Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (University of Amsterdam)

Concluding Remarks
Naomi Lamoreaux (Yale University)
Henry Hansmann (Yale Law School and ECGI)

PhD scholarships at University of Bristol

University of Bristol School of Management offers student-led PhD scholarships 

The School of Management is pleased to be able to offer four competitively awarded scholarships to outstanding PhD candidates. 

Applications are now invited with the deadline of Monday 10th June 2021, noon BST, to start in October 2021. The scholarships are open for any research topic broadly aligned with the school research themes. 

Award amount 

The scholarship covers the full tuition fee. It also offers a stipend of approx. £15,500 and teaching income of approximately £2,000 per annum (depending on the actual teaching undertaken). Training in teaching will also be provided through the University’s CREATE scheme and is mandatory for scholarship recipients. 


For further information please email the Postgraduate office and visit the University website.

BizHisCol Webinar – Economic histories of slavery and abolition (double feature)

08/06/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenters: Kate Ekama (Stellenbosch University) and Alexandra Garrett (Iona College)
Chair: Nicholas Wong (Northumbria University)

Profiting from Slavery after Abolition: Emancipation and the Business of Compensation in the Cape Colony

Kate Ekama (Stellenbosch University)

This paper investigates the hitherto unexplored role that agents played in claiming the £1 million the British Government allocated to former slaveholders in the Cape Colony after emancipation of the enslaved in 1834. Close analysis of the accounts of one firm, Thomson, Watson & Co., reveals the importance of London contacts to provide finance to buy claims. Within the Colony the firm, agents themselves, used commission agents to buy claims. By purchasing claims at a discount, the firm profited from slavery after abolition, which profits probably facilitated its continued success in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Virginia State Penitentiary and the Incarcerated Goods Market in Richmond, Virginia (1800-1820)

Alexandra Garrett (Iona College)

This paper uses the Records of the Virginia State Penitentiary (Library of Virginia Manuscripts) and nineteenth century Richmond newspapers to explore the relationships among prisoners, those employed by the state to control them, those who sold prisoners’ wares, those who bought prisoners’ wares, and those business owners who competed with them in the Richmond goods market. I argue that competing forms of unfree labor undergirded the Richmond market and enabled the sale of an increasingly diverse set of manufactured goods to Richmond’s inhabitants. I also suggest that through the Penitentiary, the state weakened white individuals’ attempts at manufacturing in the early Republic, despite promising economic opportunity to ex-convicts and business owners alike.

CHRONOS Distinguished Online Lecture: Martin Kornberger (23 September)

The CHRONOS research centre at Royal Holloway University of London invites you to the ‘CHRONOS 2021 distinguished on-line lecture’ with Prof Martin Kornberger, 23 September 2021, 2-4pm UK time (via MS team).

CHRONOS is the Centre for Critical and Historical Research on Organization and Society. Our guiding purpose is to uncover the social and cultural dimensions and implications of any subject matter, interrogating and questioning mainstream approaches and practices as a way to make a positive difference for organisations, markets and society. We are based at the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway, but we work with colleagues in other disciplines at Royal Holloway, especially History and Geography, and through partnerships with research groups at other institutions within and outside the UK. For more information visit our website.
Our main work streams are on:

  • Bureaucracy, Accountability and Control;
  • Critical Consumption and the Politics of Markets;
  • Identity and working life;
  • Silent Voices: Feminist and Subaltern Perspectives;
  • Space and Time in Organizations.

Director of CHRONOS: Prof. Elena Giovannoni (Elena.giovannoni@rhul.ac.uk)

Prof. Martin Kornberger will be talking about:



This manuscript reports results of a preliminary inquiry into the formation of the City of Vienna as collective social actor at the turn of the 20th century. We use computational text analysis of administrative reports from 1867 to 1913 and an archival case-study to explain drastic increases in administrative capacity and autonomy during the Fin de Siècle. In its most formative period, the city was recovering from an economic crash and bureaucratic rationality was challenged by intellectuals and illiberal politicians alike. These conditions are inconsistent with legal-rational and institutional theories that explain the formation of organizational actorhood in the contemporary era; our analysis shows that the city’s formation reflected neither expansionist ideology nor the ambitions of a political machine nor delegation from a crumbling Empire. Instead, we observe the formation of the city as a collective social actor as a process in which (1) the capacity to act of the city’s administrative apparatus develops hand in hand with (2) the city’s increasingly differentiated and complex vision of its environment. Our analysis of this feedback loop contributes to sociological theories of actorhood and the understanding of the progressive welfare model as driven by categorical differentiation. 

Short bio 

Martin Kornberger received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Vienna in 2002. Currently he holds a Chair in Strategy at the University of Edinburgh and is a visiting fellow at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. His research focuses on strategies for and organization of new forms of distributed and collective action. He can be reached at martin.kornberger@ed.ac.uk 

To attend the lecture, please email: elena.giovannoni@rhul.ac.uk 

BizHisCol Webinar – Appreciating the history of business education

25/05/2021 16.00 UK

Appreciating the history of business education

Register here

Presenter: JC Spender (Kozminski University)
Chair: Nicholas Wong (Northumbria University)

We claim BSch are ‘professional schools’ – with no demonstrable relationship between management education and managerial competence.  Critics question the entire enterprise.  History can help clarify what is going on.  I hypothesize BSchs should be understood as political entities, democratic capitalism’s madrassas, not its ‘science’ labs.  The students are institutionalized, not trained.  But how and into what?  We can compare the history of management education in the US and the UK, given the different politics, to identify differences that reveal BSchs true nature.

Khurana’s canonical US story has three phases: management as a 19th century social duty, post-WW2 managerialism, and 1980’s financialization.  Free re-engagement with duty is the proper way forward.  Contrary to BSch as private-sector institutions, the European story goes back to 17th century state-craft.  Woodrow Wilson argued public-sector Cameralist techniques could be valuable to the US private sector (Wilson 1887).  Edmund James’s 1893 ABA Report on the European schools provided plans for the local BSch that began to flourish around the turn of the century.  Note Wharton was set up as a pro-tariff BSch to counter the free-trade economics being taught.

The UK story is of little until the Franks Report in 1963 and the establishment of LBS and MBS in 1965 (I was an early MBS student).  This was a political initiative, reflecting the elitist orientation evident at the Administrative Staff College and Henley.  Commercial education, urged by Quaker business, certainly existed before WW2 but was non-U.  As UK BSch proliferated post-Franks, the staff college curriculum was displaced by the private-sector US curriculum and A-journal methods.  UK BSch merged into the Pax-Americana post-WW2 political project.  Now, with around 25% of college students doing ‘business studies’ we urgently need clarity on our community’s fundamental questions.

BizHisCol Webinar – Department stores and modernization of retail in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950s-1960s

18/05/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenter: Ivana Mihaela Žimbrek (Central European University)
Chair: Nicholas Wong (Northumbria University)

In my presentation, I would like to discuss a draft of a chapter from my dissertation, which focuses on the activities of two of the largest Yugoslav department store chains—”Na-Ma” from Zagreb and “Beograd” from Belgrade—in the period from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s as the initial phase of the institutionalization of modern retail spaces in Socialist Yugoslavia. I am particularly interested in the discussion and planning activities of the department store chains’ expert actors, their republic, federal as well as transnational spaces of exchange, and the way that category of gender played into their agency and interests. More precisely, I intend to analyze the planning and business activities of these department store chains that took place on the intersection between retail, architectural design and urban planning in order to explore the broader connection and development between modernization of retail and transformations of the urban environment under Yugoslav state socialism. I wish to argue that focusing on the spatial dimension of modern retail and its manifestation in various urban areas is crucial for understanding the particular relationship between retailing as an increasingly important professional sphere in socialist states, the physical construction of old and new urban spaces, as well as the social planning and managing of life in urban areas under state-socialism.

Check out the Hagley History Hangout

New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout.  In her book The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism, Jennifer A. Delton traces the history of the National Association of Manufacturers—NAM—from its origins in 1895 to today. She argues that NAM—an organization best known for fighting unions, promoting “free enterprise,” and defending corporate interests—was also surprisingly progressive. Delton shows how it encouraged companies to adopt innovations such as safety standards, workers’ comp, and affirmative action, and worked with the US government and international organizations to promote the free exchange of goods and services across national borders. While NAM’s modernizing and globalizing activities helped to make American industry the most profitable and productive in the world by midcentury, they also eventually led to deindustrialization, plant closings, and the decline of manufacturing jobs. The Industrialists is the story of a powerful organization that fought US manufacturing’s political battles, created its economic infrastructure, and expanded its global markets—only to contribute to the widespread collapse of US manufacturing by the close of the twentieth century. More information about the book is available here.  Jennifer A. Delton is professor of history at Skidmore College. Her previous books include Rethinking the 1950s: How Anticommunism and the Cold War Made America LiberalRacial Integration in Corporate America, 1940–1990; and Making Minnesota Liberal: Civil Rights and the Transformation of the Democratic Party. Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-4

Project Hindsight – Memory Decay

Please see the message below from Michael Weatherburn relating to his current work on “Project Hindsight”:

Hi everyone!

I hope my message finds you well.

Building on 2020’s successful ‘Memory Decay’ pilot, I’m getting in touch to let you know about Project Hindsight’s brand-new research.

We’d love to learn if and how one year of Covid-19 has changed how organisations work, function, and remember.

Click here to participate in our survey. Your valued input will be appreciated – thank you!

While I’m here, if you haven’t yet had a chance to watch Fieldwork’s A Short Film about Memory Decay (2020), featuring yours truly, you can do so here.

Speak soon,

Dr Michael Weatherburn

Project Hindsight is a strategy consultancy which uses the past to clarify the future. Our current focus is on institutional memory and forecasting.

‘Many practical lessons’
-Singapore Straits Times