AOM 2021 has launched online for a second year in a row, and Business History is celebrating the continued vibrancy of research of the Management History Division with an article collection of key pieces published in the journal over the years.
While not an exhaustive list by any means, this collection curates some of the significant and unusual pieces that have contributed to a range of debates across these fields, starting with the influential special issue edited by Behlül Üsdiken und Alfred Kieser “History in Organization Studies” (2004). This has been followed by articles and key special issues such as “The Age of Strategy: Strategy, Organizations and Society” (2013), “New Business History?” (2015), “Narrative Turn and Business History” (2017), “Historical research on institutional change” (2018). Such contributions have drawn from the long-standing engagement of business and organizational historians at conferences such as the European Group of Organization Studies, Academy of Management, and the British Academy of Management, as well as from business and management scholars with a keen appreciation of the importance of history to organizational concerns.
This week, the British Academy of Management (BAM) is hosting a webinar on historical methods, 28 July 2021, 2pm – 4pm, on Zoom. The event is free for BAM members, and £25 for non-members (£15 for doctoral students).
In this webinar we will introduce participants to the basics of historical research methods and focus on how business and management scholars have integrated historical evidence and archival sources in their research. We focus on the elements of historical narrative, critical source interpretation, and how to identify and do research in archives (company archives and public archives).
Hagley’s History Hangouts continue to bring really interesting and unique subjects to light. You may want to follow this with the Netflix documentary on Atari and the nostalgia-heavy Stranger Things game on the iPhone…
Here’s the message from the Hagley team:
New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout
In this episode, Gregory Hargreaves interviews Kevin Bunch about his research into the early history of video games, and his innovative use of Hagley materials to recreate forgotten games. In support of his project, Bunch, a writer & communications specialist at the International Joint Commission, received support from the Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society. What makes a video game system commercially successful, and is it possible to resurrect failed and forgotten video games? The RCA collections at the Hagley Library hold the answer to these questions and many more, and the work of Kevin Bunch bring them to light. Combining archival research, oral history, data retrieval, and game emulation, Bunch brings forgotten aspects of twentieth-century computer and video game history to life for a new generation.
The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast.
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.
The Exchange, the weblog of the US-based Business History Conference (BHC), is now part of the website (https://thebhc.org). The Exchange was founded by Pat Denault over a decade ago, and it has become an essential channel for announcements from and about the BHC and from our subscribers and members. Announcements from The Exchange will come up on the News section of the BHC website as they did before. However, if you wish to receive these announcements via email, and you have not done so yet, please subscribe to The Exchange by:
Going to the website’s homepage (https://thebhc.org), scrolling down to the end of the page, and clicking on “Subscribe to the Latest BHC News.”
Or go to the “News” section of the website’s homepage (https://thebhc.org/), and click on “The Exchange” to subscribe. Press Subscribe once you are in the blog’s page
Now, you may have known this already, but I only recently became aware that this year’s Pulitzer Prize in History has gone to a work of business history:
Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, by Marcia Chatelain (Liveright/Norton)
As the award notice says, this is a nuanced account of the complicated role the fast-food industry plays in African-American communities, a portrait of race and capitalism that masterfully illustrates how the fight for civil rights has been intertwined with the fate of Black businesses.
Previously the book won the New York Times“Times Critics Top Books of 2020“:
From civil rights to Ferguson, Franchise reveals the untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.
The School of Social and Political Sciences is seeking to appoint a Lecturer in the Economic and Social History subject area for 24 months fixed term. You should have relevant expertise and experience to teach primarily twentieth century economic history to postgraduate level, including an existing MSc course ‘Globalisation and the Nation State’ and dissertation supervision, and to teach undergraduate students on international economic relations from the twentieth century to the present day. An ability to teach economic development in Britain, economic history relating to Asia, or British imperial and/or post-colonial economic relations would be welcome.
We are seeking hosts for NBN Economic and Business History Channel and NBN en español [English below]
Estimad@s colegas; Desde New Books Network, el pódcast más escuchado de entrevistas a escritores sobre sus libros a nivel mundial, escribimos con la intención de invitarles a unirse a New Books Network en español, nuestra plataforma de próximo lanzamiento. A continuación respondemos a algunas preguntas frecuentes que pueden surgir si aún no eres un anfitrión en un canal de New Books Network. ¿En qué consiste? En leer y grabar una conversación con sus escritores favoritos sobre los libros que acaban de publicar. ¿A quién beneficia? Es una forma de difundir la nueva publicación del autor y de ofrecer espacio en la red para promocionar su obra. También el anfitrión se beneficia porque no solo tiene la oportunidad de conversar con el autor sino que puede utilizar la entrevista también para promover su trabajo y conectar con otros investigadores y lectores. Nuestra misión es la difusión del conocimiento a través de las tecnologías digitales. Muchos anfitriones también utilizan sus entrevistas como publicaciones y por tanto como servicio a la Academia. ¿Lleva mucho tiempo realizar las entrevistas? No. Lees un libro de tu interés, haces la entrevista y lo demás lo hacen l@s editar@s de New Books Network. Cuando tu entrevista esté publicada en NBNes puedes utilizar el URL en tus redes sociales e incluso en tu página académica o de trabajo.
Dear colleagues; The New Books Network is a consortium of author-interview podcast channels dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing scholars and other serious writers to a wide public via new media. Covering 90+ subjects, disciplines, and genres, we publish 55 episodes every week and serve a large, worldwide audience. We will soon launch a new platform for interviews conducted entirely in Spanish. If you are interested in becoming a host in the NBN Economic and Business History Channel or any other, apply here https://newbooksnetwork.com/hosts/become-a-host
FAQ What will I be doing? Read books and record a conversation with your favorite authors and colleagues about the books they recently published. What are the benefits? This is a way to disseminate new ideas while promoting new books through conversations with their authors. The host can expand their network by connecting with researchers and readers, while also having the opportunity of talking in-depth with colleagues about their new books. Our mission is the dissemination of knowledge through digital technologies. Hosts can also use the interviews as publications and include them as service to the profession. It is time-consuming to collaborate? No: you read a book that interests you, schedule and conduct the interview, and the post-production process is in the hands of the editors. When we publish the interview you can post the URL on your social media or on your academic/work webpage.
Business Beyond the Abyss: Crisis Management, Institutional Memory and Learning
3-5 November 2021, Tübingen, Germany.
The University of Tübingen’s Collaborative Research Center 923 – “Threatened Orders: Societies under Stress” (Germany) – provides funding for an intensive three-day event aimed at PhD students in business history or economic history working on any topic that overlaps with the theme of the school (for more details, see “Further Notes for Applicants” below). Students will, the pandemic permitting, be hosted in the historic town of Tübingen and will present, debate and discuss their works-in-progress with leading international scholars within a world-class university.
The school will take the form of presentations from students (c.25 minutes) and workshops hosted by established experts in the field. The aims of the school are:
1) to deepen students’ understanding of current themes in historical research (and how this can inform their own work);
2) to enhance research skills through masterclasses on methods for researching and writing history;
3) to explore the main theoretical underpinnings particular to business and economic history; and
4) to provide a welcoming and convivial environment in which students can discuss their research with leading scholars and peers.
Students will benefit from the experience of academics from Tübingen and beyond. Confirmed speakers include Prof. Dr. Boris Gehlen (Stuttgart), Dr Daniel Menning (Tübingen) and Dr Christopher Miller (Glasgow). We hope to confirm additional speakers in the coming weeks and months.
Funding will cover flights and/or trains (up to an agreed limit, to be reimbursed after the school), accommodation, lunches, and the conference meal for up to fourteen students. There may also be limited space for applicants who wish to self-fund or who have received funding from their own institution.
2) a summary of their PhD (two pages maximum); and
3) a title and abstract for their desired presentation topic, which should incorporate one or more major themes of the student’s PhD (one page maximum).
While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit with their materials an example of a work-in-progress (e.g., a draft chapter, article, or working paper), preferably in English, German, or French. Please note, however, that all presentations and discussions will be in English.
The deadline for applications is 15 July 2021. A maximum of 14 funded applicants will be selected and notified shortly afterwards.
Further Notes for Applicants:
Overview of Scope and Aims of the School:
(This overview is only a guide. Students working on similar topics to those listed below are encouraged to speak to Daniel Menning and/or Christopher Miller in the first instance.)
With the COVID-19 virus spreading across the globe and many major economic countries shutting down social life and significant parts of the economy, we have been witnessing an economic contraction ensuing at an astonishing pace as well as an equally swift, though rather more varied, re- start. Though it is too early yet to estimate the effects and predict the duration of the economic difficulties (including, for example, current shortages of raw materials), it is clear that many businesses suffered and many remain in trouble. A significant number most likely will not survive, all governmental bailout packages notwithstanding. While interest in economic crises and their effects on businesses has increased over the past few years, the current conditions will likely give a new boost to research and result in a new thoughtfulness and a recalibration of research methods.
Business and economic history has been at the forefront of explaining some of the major changes in economies and societies – starting with the work of Alfred Chandler in the 1960s. (Chandler 1962, 1977). Nevertheless, with regards to the business history of crises and crisis management specifically, the literature is far less well developed. There are three reasons for this neglect. First, the tradition of business history for several decades, until comparatively recently, was to study the history of individual firms, or less frequently sectors. Indeed, business history was once considered an applied branch of economic history for scholars wishing to move beyond macroeconomic trends. The net effect has been that the literature on firms has been dominated by commissioned histories where the historian is paid by the (surviving) company and given use of its archives. While often extremely valuable, these studies can tend towards “rise and fall” narratives.
Second, where business histories have studied crises specifically, commissioned works can potentially have some further methodological problems. Most obviously, many of the firms survived until at least the point the history was commissioned. Thus, it is perhaps a case of selection bias towards success – or at the very least towards the largest and most important companies (Berghoff 2006). Related to this, the nature of commissioned studies has also drawn criticism: namely, that success is often attributed to management rather than luck, while episodes of failure are attributed to external or unpredictable factors outside of management control.
Third, the causes and aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 have generated many millions of pages of scholarship and commentary in the last decade, with the effect of prompting historians to draw comparisons with the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression. For instance, Werner Abelshauser (2009) is one of many interested in learning from economic crises explicitly through using the examples of 1931 and 2008. While not every crisis was like 2008 in cause, scale or scope, it is not necessarily a new phenomenon: the 2000 dot-com bubble was compared in much the same way. (Ojala and Uskali 2006). As a result, the stock market crash in 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression have become by far the most studied economic crisis in history, with renewed interest from 2008 (Tooze 2019), while the effect of the more regular, smaller scale, economic crises suffered by businesses before and after 1929 is largely neglected.
The current economic conditions promise to bring new momentum to the study of businesses in times of larger and smaller economic difficulties, and we are therefore inviting PhD students working in the areas of business and
The issue of long-term survival is not one often addressed in strategy, and with shorter tenures for top management teams, such long-term considerations are overshadowed by more short-term concerns. Yet the experience of the Pandemic has brought the issue of survival and strategic innovations back to the fore, as the FT cogently argues.
Business History will make this article available open access from next week.
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 from December 2020 to May 2021.
Please note that the next deadline for applications for the exploratory and Henry Belin du Pont Fellowship research grants is June 30th; we offer longer-term residential fellowships as well. For information on our full grant program, deadlines, and application requirements, go to https://www.hagley.org/research/grants-fellowships.
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
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.
The NEH-Hagley Fellowship on Business, Culture, and Society
Dylan Gottlieb is a historian of the United States specializing in cities and capitalism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and a lecturer at Princeton University. His book project, titled Yuppies: Wall Street & the Remaking of New York, under contract with Harvard University Press, examines how “young, urban professionals” wielded the cutting edge of financialization in American life. You can learn more about Dylan by visiting https://www.dylangottlieb.org/ Information and application for the NEH-Hagley Fellowship on Business, Culture and Society are on Hagley Museum and Library’s website at https://www.hagley.org/neh-hagley-postdoctoral-fellowship-business-culture-and-society .
Louis Galambos National Fellowship in Business and Politics
Salem Elzway is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Michigan, where his research focuses on STS (science, technology, & society) and political economy in the twentieth-century United States. His dissertation project is titled “Arms of the State: A History of the Industrial Robot in Postwar America.” You can learn more about Salem and his research on this episode of the Hagley History Hangout: https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-salem-elzway. Information and application for the Louis Galambos National Fellowship in Business and Politics are on Hagley Museum and Library’s website at https://www.hagley.org/research/grants-fellowships/louis-galambos
Grants/Fellowships Award/December 2020
H. B. du Pont Dissertation Fellowship
Ph. D. Candidate
Bard Graduate Center
Seminole and Micccosukee Patchwork: Craft, Sovereignty, and Settler Colonial Relations
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
John J. Raskob and the Economics of the Empire State Buidling
Univerity of Georgia
“Men and Their Guns”: The Culture of Self-Deputized Manhood in the South, 1850-1877
American Coffee: Peter Schlumbohm and Chemex Coffee Maker
Univerity of Maryland, College Park
Biomedical Research at RCA, 1960-1990
The University of Georgia
Distant Management: American Political Development at the Panama Canal, 1904-14
Bureaucracy: A Keyword in American Political History
Bridgewater State University
The Tragedy of Taft-Hartley: Interunion Rivalry, New Deal Labor, and the Emergence of Post-War Conservatism
George Mason University
The Nature of War: An Evironmental History of Industrialization in the United States During World War I
“Eight people of some talent, with so much virtue”: A Portrait of the du Pont Family at their Arrival in the United States
Toys that Teach: Computer Games in 1960s America
Aaron Van Ness
“The Restoration of What?”: From The Persistence of Inexhaustibility in Fisheries Science
Emmet von Stackelberg
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Seeing through Silver: A Material and Chemical History of Moving Images before WWII
The Repeal of the Corn Laws and US Transportation Investment
H. B. du Pont Fellowship
The Ohio State University
Nature’s Brew: An Environmental History of American Brewing
University of Maryland, College Park
The Shareholder Movement: Shareholder Activism and Activists in the 20th Century
The College of William and Mary
Corporate Semiotics: Creating US Mass Culture Pedegory, 1890-1970
Science and Self in the Modern Age of Smell
Grants/Fellowships Award/May 2021
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Representations of U.S. and Canadian Masculinity in 20th Century Seagram Advertisements
Fashion Victims: An Environmental History of the American Fur Industry, 1870-2006
Bre Anne Brisley
Examining Ernest Dichter’s International Correspondence
The Five-Star: Eventing and Event Planning During a Pandemic
Beth DeFrancis Sun
Research and Reference Librarian
The “X” Trade Patents: Rediscovering America’s Lost Inventions
Seoul National University
Employers’ Political Mobilization of Workers in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s
Unpeeling the Orange Empire: The Lasting Impact of Sunkist’s Advertising in the Twentieth Century
Partners in Design: The Architectural History of Grove City College
Grace Ong Yan
Thomas Jefferson University
Inside the Architecture of Business, Networks & Media
Jamestown Cooperage LLC
Coopers, Cooperage, and Cask Production at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
Transpacific Networks: Media, Infrastructure, and Ideology in America’s Asia
H. B. du Pont Fellowship
Saving Private Property: American Business, Economic Sovereignty and Protecting Business Assets Abroad (1950-1995)
Florida International University
Capitalism, Crops, and Cultural Change Through the Lens of the W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company, 1876-1915