SI CFP: Microhistory

Microhistory in Management History and Organization Theory

Management & Organizational History

Manuscript deadline: 17 February 2023

Special Issue Editors:

Liv Egholm, Copenhagen Business School
le.mpp@cbs.dk

Michael Heller, Brunel Business School
michael.heller@brunel.ac.uk

Michael Rowlinson, University of Exeter Business School
m.c.rowlinson@exeter.ac.uk

There has been a resurgence of interest in microhistory. The classic texts associated with the subject remain immensely popular: The Cheese and the Worms (Ginzburg, 1992[1976]); The Return of Martin Guerre (Zemon Davis, 1983); and The Great Cat Massacre (Darnton, 1984). These provide a reference point, which has provided the basis for increasing reflection on the theoretical significance and methodological distinctiveness of microhistory (Magnússon & Szijártó, 2013), such as the special issue of Past and Present on ‘Global History and Microhistory’ (Ghobrial, 2019). Attention has also been paid to microhistory from management and business history as well as organization studies (Bourguignon & Floquet, 2019; Decker, 2015).

Microhistory offers an opportunity to reconceptualise relationships which lie at the heart of historical research and historiography: the historical nexus between the particular and the general, agency and structure, the micro and the macro. Microhistorians are known for their methodological habit of reading sources forensically in their search for historical clues. It implies reading historical sources ‘against the grain’ (Decker & McKinlay, 2020, pp. 26-27), or as Levi (2019: 41) puts it, ‘beyond the edge of the page’, carefully looking for what Ginzburg refers to as “unintended evidence” (Ginzburg, 2016). The use of microhistory as a magnifying glass can be seen as the equivalent of a detective’s tool. Sherlock Holmes´ working methods are often used as a metaphor for microhistory’s careful readings and detection of clues (Ginzburg, 2013 (1979)), often within “exceptional normal” cases (Grendi, 1977).

For this reason, the trademark of microhistorical methodology is to trace sources and clues throughout and across archives (Ginzburg, 2013). The names of actors, places, concepts, events, or objects are used as concrete entry points to show how previously unrelated spaces, temporalities, and fields are woven together in practice. This mapping demonstrates great potential in revealing unnoticed relations between, for example, family life and entrepreneurship (Popp & Holt, 2013), religious practices and trade (Trivellato, 2019), or philanthropic gift giving and the establishment of the welfare state (Egholm, 2021).

The purpose is not to argue for the universal value of the exceptional; it is to show, rather, how discrete historical events challenge our conceptualisations of the universal, and provide essential clues to what can be considered as normal (Ginzburg, 1979; Peltonen, 2001). Accordingly, the reduction of scale is not the study of the “microness” of a phenomenon (Levi, 2019, p. 38). The reduction of scale, rather, provides the historian with a heuristic tool to craft new theories by distorting or amending metanarratives and reformulating historical concepts and relations. Without explicitly mentioning microhistory, a series of organizational phenomena have been reconceptualized from a close reading of sources, with notable examples being the career (McKinlay, 2002), and entrepreneurship (Popp & Holt, 2013. Thus, microhistory shows how, “history is a discipline of general questions and ‘local’ answers” (Levi, 2019, p. 45).

The historic turn (Rowlinson, Hassard, & Decker, 2014) has pushed for a revised understanding of past context as offering more than simply temporal variables for universal theorising (Van Lent & Durepos, 2019). Historical phenomena often remain, however, reduced to consequences or affectations of particular contexts. In contrast, microhistory calls out for a grounding and explanation of the past through analyses of how actors, places, concepts, events or objects interact and are woven together in contradictory and often different fields and interests. In so doing, microhistory exposes how both individuals and social structures of all kinds are produced simultaneously through relationships and processes.

This special issue’s scope is to explore the methodological, ontological, and empirical strengths of microhistory to advance management history and organization studies. Therefore, we invite both theoretical, and theoretically informed empirical submissions that will further the contribution of microhistory in business history, management, and organizational history, as well as management and organization theory.

Questions and topics of interest for the special issue may include:

  1. How does the use of microhistory question, elaborate, or develop macro theories or broader conceptualisations from within the confines of discrete and particular historical studies
  2. How do microhistorical methodologies of reading “beyond the edges of the paper” contradict and undermine broader historical narratives in business and management and organizational history such as Marxism, functionalism, institutionalism, neo-liberalism, the resource-based view of the firm, and economic path dependency?
  3. What are the advantages and concerns for the use of historical archival research, source criticism, triangulation, and historical interpretivism when innovative microhistorical methodologies work with “dissonant sources” and “unintended evidence”?
  4. What is the impact of microhistory in relation to archival ethnography and the employment of micro historical sources (e.g., letters, diaries, postcards, travel accounts, scrapbooks, and memoirs)?
  5. What is the way in which local knowledge and local environment historically create organizational, business, and entrepreneurial opportunities?
  6. How does a microhistorical approach reconceptualise the relationship between agency and structure in business and management and organizational history?
  7. What is the relationship between the different scales of history? In particular, to what extent do microhistories develop historical accounts that reflect on a granular scale broader organizational and business historical environments and trends?
  8. How can we account for generalisation by using a microhistorical approach? How can local answers reply to general questions by showing complex and often ambiguous connections in historical archives?

CfP: Enterprising York

Call for Papers

Enterprising York: Histories of Business, Management and Society in a City of Heritage

York, England

15-16 September 2023

Deadline for submission: 30 November 2022

More than eight million tourists flock to the city of York each year to celebrate its heritage, gaining brief glimpses into the city’s long history as an important centre of private trade and public enterprise. From bustling mediaeval markets to industrial railways, chocolate manufacturers, and luxurious teahouses, the history of enterprise in the city of York is widely recognized as a valuable resource of particular significance to small businesses and public organisations. Yet unlike larger cities in northern England, York’s business and management history has received very little scholarly attention. Despite being recognized since the Roman conquest of Britain as an important and well-connected commercial city and site of public administration, an important mediaeval and early-modern trading centre, and a pioneering hub at the forefront of 19th-century industrialisation in transport and manufacturing, the city of York is now largely overlooked as a site critical to the development of the British economy. This conference seeks to address the apparent paradox of a city that, economically, always seems simultaneously behind and ahead of its times.

As the institutional home to one of the largest concentrations of business and management historians in the UK, the University of York’s School for Business and Society invites proposals for original research presentations that reconsider the history of York’s private and public enterprise. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The conflicted legacies of colonialism, slavery and philanthropy in York’s chocolate industries
  • Papers drawing on the rich archival materials of the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York
  • York’s pioneering role in public administration of government, religious, military, and nonprofit enterprises
  • Histories of retailing, hospitality, tourism and consumer culture in York
  • Transportation and trade from the Roman and Viking eras through mediaeval and early-modern commerce, industrialization and to the post-industrial present
  • Gender, race, diversity and inequality in work and employment, labour-management relations, and corporate governance 
  • Entrepreneurship in a local context, including the successes and challenges faced by women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBT+ communities
  • The role of rural enterprise and rural development in the North Yorkshire economy
  • The historical relationship between the University of York and local and regional private and public enterprises

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and a one-page C.V. to Shane Hamilton (shane.hamilton@york.ac.uk) by 30 November 2022. Conference presenters will be asked to submit complete versions of their papers by 15 August 2023. Presenters will receive accommodation, meals, and compensation for their travel costs. The conference organisers are planning an edited publication based on a selection of revised conference papers. The program committee is composed of Shane Hamilton, Matthew Hollow, Stephen Linstead, Simon Mollan, and Kevin Tennent.

CfP: Capitalism and Informality

Submission deadline: 15 September 2022

Conference dates: 14–15 April 2023

The Menard Family George Washington Forum (GWF), which has its home at Ohio University, invites paper proposals for a conference and subsequent special journal issue on the capitalism and informality. The conference will be held at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, on 14 and 15 April 2022. Plenary lectures will be delivered by Kellee Tsai (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Friederike Welter (Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn), and Justin Webb (University of North Carolina at Charlotte).

More than a half-century of developmental discourse has portrayed informality as a signal of economic “backwardness”. From the writings of Max Weber to those of Clifford Geertz, Keith Hart, and Alfred Chandler, social scientific theories have suggested that as economies modernize, hierarchical and rationalized forms of economic organization will displace the “unorganized, unincorporated enterprises” and anomic agents of the informal economy. However, contrary to such predictions, informality remains the global norm. The informal economy continues to comprise at least half of all enterprises, a sizable majority of all jobs, and as much as 20 percent of gross domestic product in developed economies and 60 percent in emerging markets.

A recent generation of scholarship has begun to challenge the idea of the informal economy as a “little people’s alternative” — a static realm of simple, disorganized activity that exists outside of history. Studies have shown that, across different societal contexts, participation in the informal economy is driven by opportunity as well as by necessity, informal organizations can also structured and hierarchical, and informal entrepreneurship can play a powerful role in the reshaping of institutions. Scholars have also highlighted the interdependency of formal and informal economies. Informal enterprises and workers continue to supply critical labor, goods, and services that are used across the formal economy and most are intrinsically linked to formal firms. The informal economy is even facilitating the rise of new industries and new economic forms: artificial intelligence systems depend on “ghost laborers” to code the big data from which AI learns; offshore financial centers rely upon informal networks to arrive at understandings of acceptable practices; and sharing economies operate efficiently because of the services of informal middlemen. The informal thus remains inextricably interwoven with even the most modern elements of economies.

This conference will examine the persistence of informal economies and their relationship with economic transformation. It will explore how informal economies have developed complex organizational structures, have co-evolved in tandem with new industries and modes of production, and have shaped the broader economic and social contexts in which they are embedded.

The conference explicitly aims to bring together a diverse group of scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds who work on a range of societal contexts. We especially welcome contributions from anthropological, sociological, historical, and managerial perspectives. Examples of relevant topics include:

  • The socio-cultural construction of formal/informal boundaries and their evolution over time
  • The structure of organizations and enterprises in the informal economy, both contemporary and historical
  • Processes of informal economic organization
  • Informal innovation (i.e. the novel recombination of labor, capital, and knowledge in the informal economy)
  • Interactions between informal enterprises and the formal economy
  • Informal economies in post-socialist and post-colonial contexts and their relationship to economic transition
  • The role informal organizations play in the rise of new industries and sectors (e.g. digital economy) as well as the functioning of old ones (e.g. finance, real estate, manufacturing)
  • Governance and policymaking related to informal economy

Limited funds will be made available to participants to offset the costs of travel and lodgings.

Expectations

The purpose of the conference is to collect and workshop a series of papers that will potentially contribute to a future special issue. The special issue call will be open and competitive.

To apply, please send an abstract (no more than 500 words) of your prospective paper to the conference organizer, Adam Frost (af.mpp@cbs.dk), and to Robert G. Ingram (ingramr@ohio.edu) by 15 September 2022.

Participants will be expected to produce a full draft of the article to be disseminated to all other participants one month prior to the conference (15 March 2023).

CfP: Historical Accounting for Enterprise and Society in Africa

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the Call for Papers on the theme “Historical Accounting for Enterprise and Society in Africa” which is to be guest edited by Professor Grietjie Verhoef and Dr Olayinka Moses. The call can be found at https://journals.sagepub.com/home/ach, in the call for papers section.

Accounting systems and institutions significantly influence the development of enterprise and society. Our understanding of these systems often omits the subtleties of difference, complexity, and contestation in Africa. Early interaction with markets outside Africa developed dynamically from the eighth century and with subsequent expeditions from metropolitan Europe and Asia. African societies through engagement with the global systems have facilitated different trajectories for market integration, and social development in their quest for independent statehood and post-colonial control. Owing to its evolution across enterprise and society, including engagements with global markets, and institutions, Africa has gained scholarly traction. Yet, the role of accounting and accounting systems in Africa’s societies and economies, but equally so in Africa’s engagement with international markets and the wider world, remains inadequately explored. This Special Issue seeks to understand the history and legacy of accounting and accounting systems in the development of enterprise and society in Africa. It directs attention to all traditions of accounting through the long history of African indigenous economies and cultures.

Author(s) are encouraged to submit their papers for peer review, with the final date for submission of papers to the special issue being 30 September 2023. Potential contributors are welcome to contact the Guest Editors to discuss their proposed topics at: Grietjie Verhoef (gverhoef@uj.ac.za) and Olayinka Moses (yinka.moses@vuw.ac.nz)

All submissions must follow the journal’s style guidelines found on the SAGE website:https://journals.sagepub.com/author-instructions/ACH

Best wishes.

Carolyn, Carolyn and Laura

Carolyn Cordery, Carolyn Fowler and Laura Maran

Editors, Accounting History

CfP: Building Ecosystems/Selling Natures

Proposals are invited for the conference

Building Ecosystems/Selling Natures: At the Edge of Environments and Economies

Friday, October 28, 2022

Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society

Hagley Library, Wilmington, Delaware

In everyday life we are embedded in ecosystems and economic systems that interact with one another, and indeed, are mutually constitutive. For a conference, “Building Ecosystems/Selling Natures,” we invite proposals that interrogate the interaction of various dualities: commerce and nature, firms and the earth’s resources, productive activity and the built environment. Our notion of ecosystems is expansive. It includes the many interactions among water, minerals, and geophysical features; biological systems within and between animals, plants, and microorganisms; and human-made settings such as buildings, cities, and transportation networks. We welcome papers that seek to blur the binary dualism between the many forms of nature and the institutions and social relations generated by economic activity.

We hope for proposals from a range of disciplinary perspectives, inspired as we are by scholars researching agriculture, mining, energy, water, enviro-tech, the built environment, evolution, and the biosphere (to name a few). Their scholarship explores the shared spaces that we hope to interrogate through this conference. In particular, we hope to create panels that bring together scholars working in different subjects, themes, and disciplines to see how they can cross-fertilize each other’s work, including researchers engaged with concepts like “Anthropocene” and “Capitalocene” and their efficacy. 

We are interested in original, unpublished, empirical papers that are conceptually informed and historically framed addressing the above and related topics. We hope to consider proposals that may benefit from engagement with collections and experts from Hagley, an institution that has a wealth of resources from the mid-1800s to the recent past. However, we also welcome papers that span earlier time periods, use collections from other institutions,  and encompass international cases. We particularly encourage proposals that consider the following questions:

  • How have economies and technologies generated new capacity to alter and exploit the environment?
  • How are features of nature turned into capital?
  • How is nature marketed and sold?
  • How do human creations, such as buildings, become ecosystems?
  • How has the materiality and/or human understanding of nature framed economic behavior?

Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and a one-page C.V. to Carol Lockman at clockman@Hagley.org by June 15, 2022. Conference presenters will be asked to submit complete versions of their conference papers by Oct. 7, 2021. The conference is planned as an in-person event but will adopt a virtual format if necessary. Presenters will receive lodging in the conference hotel and compensation for their travel costs. The conference organizers are planning an edited volume based on a selection of revised conference papers. The program committee is comprised of Tim LeCain, Nicole Welk-Joerger, Greg Hargreaves, and Roger Horowitz.

JMS Online Workshop | CFP Occupations and Memory in Organization Studies

Call for Abstracts

OCCUPATIONS AND MEMORY IN ORGANIZATION STUDIES

Abstract submission deadline 23th May 2022 at https://tinyurl.com/yz98e82m

You are invited to submit an extended abstract (maximum 2,000 words) of your working paper to an online development workshop for the JMS special issue on Occupations and Memory in Organization Studies.

The workshop will be held on Zoom on June 15th 2022 (4pm CEST).

In the first half-hour of the workshop, the guest editors will introduce the special issue and talk about their expectations for the submissions. For the remaining hour, authors will be divided into breakout rooms to receive feedback from one of the editors and from other authors.

The full call for papers is available here https://tinyurl.com/mrxmrsxc

Full Paper Submission Deadline: 30 November 2022

4th Workshop on Business History in Central and Eastern Europe 

Call for papers: Firms, Wars, and Ethics in the Business History of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia 

Place: Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice 

Date: October 21-22, 2022 

Organizers: Ulf Brunnbauer (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Regensburg), Valentina Fava (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Alfred Reckendrees (Copenhagen Business School), Thomasz Olejniczak (Kozminski University, Warsaw), Volodymyr Kulikov (The Ukrainian Catholic University).

The workshop series is supported by the European Business History Association.

For this 4th Workshop on Business History in Central and Eastern Europe, the organizers invite scholars, including Ph.D. students of any relevant discipline to submit paper proposals on a broad range of topics related to business actors & corporate behavior in (and after) armed conflicts during the 20th century. 

The workshop will particularly draw on historical research on the two World Wars and their aftermaths to provide tentative answers to several questions evoked by the Russia-Ukraine war of 2022. 

The aim is to explore the relationship between business and geopolitics from a long-term historical perspective focusing on the economic and social consequences of the war, including (de)globalization processes. 

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, causing thousands of deaths among civilians, colossal damage in the infrastructure, and forcing over 10 million people to leave their homes. In response, democratic states have demonstrated unprecedented unity and imposed extensive economic sanctions on Russia. The combination of military conflict, economic warfare, and humanitarian crisis has had an enormous impact on the economic environment, including the disruption of global supply chains, commodity price shock, increased market volatility, and making the world’s economic development, already hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, even more unpredictable. 

As a result, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected both the multinational companies as well as the domestic firms operating in Central-Eastern Europe. Within just a few weeks, companies running in CEE faced challenges rarely dealt with at business schools. Companies face ethical dilemmas and feel strong pressure from their shareholders and stakeholders, forcing them to make decisions that go well beyond usual business thinking and strategizing. Thousands of companies have decided to divest, withdraw, or scale down their operations in Russia. In contrast, others justify their decision to stay with their responsibility towards their employees in Russia and their unwillingness to deprive Russia’s population of essential goods such as food and medical supplies. The events unfolding in the last weeks in Ukraine and CEE have presented business historians with serious questions: 

The role of business in military conflicts and post-war development.

What are the various roles firms play in armed conflicts? 

How is the role of companies decided in conflicts? 

How and why can some companies benefit from war while others suffer disruption and destruction in their production and distribution networks? 

Why do some companies embrace the role of humanitarian actors providing welfare and assistance, while others that of political actors using their activities to build bridges for peace? 

Which role can business enterprises play in post-war development? 

How fast do companies return to the countries affected by war, and how do their previous decisions impact the post-war future? 

How does organizational resilience manifest itself in the aftermath of war? 

What can we learn from the experience of the First and the Second World Wars? 

Business ethics vs. unethical corporate behavior.

What does (business) history teach us about ethical behavior in times of war? 

How does public pressure affect corporate behavior and reputation? 

To what extent can ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility contribute to solving the humanitarian crisis? 

How do firms/managers decide what they perceive (un)ethical? 

Who are the main actors in this process? 

Corporate lessons from uncomfortable pasts.

Most historians do not embrace the naïve view of “learning from history” as history does not repeat itself. However, is there something that we can learn from corporate entanglement in wars and corporate strategies after armed conflicts? 

Are there implications after the war for companies operating in belligerent countries who perceive their activities as neutral? 

What are the advantages of staying or leaving for firms trying to rebuild their business abroad after a war? 

What role, if any, does corporate memory and corporal forgetting play in facilitating conflicts? 

Who decides and who should decide what to remember and forget, especially in the case of uncomfortable or dark heritage? 

We invite fellow scholars to discuss corporate behavior during past wars and humanitarian crises to contribute to our understanding of the Russia-Ukraine war and its possible consequences for business in Central and Eastern Europe from a historical perspective. The workshop is aimed to engage in a debate about the behavior of business actors and to understand whether and how firms’ behavior during and after wars has changed over time and across regions. The call is open to all topics that fit the general scope of the workshop. Although our focus is Central Eastern Europe, we welcome studies concerning other regions if they contribute to deepening our understanding of the topic. 

To apply, please, send an abstract of 500 words presenting the subject, the conceptual framework, the analytical approach, and the controversial issue(s) to tackle within the discussion, along with a maximum two-page-long CV by April 28, 2022, to Valentina Fava valentina.fava@unive.it

Papers for presentation will be selected following a peer-review procedure. The format of the workshops is designed to support a comprehensive discussion on selected topics. We welcome both panel proposals dealing with conceptual and methodological questions and brief contributions. 

Participants are invited to submit a written paper (not exceeding 6,000 words) three weeks before the workshop. We will distribute these texts among the workshop participants prior to the workshop. 

The organizers are currently applying to foundations for financial support to cover the costs of workshop participants. Colleagues from Central and Eastern Europe will be prioritized.

Business history panel at the German Studies Association Annual Conference

You are invited to submit a proposal to the seminar “Made in Germany: Myths and Materiality of an Exporting Nation”, which takes place as part of the GSA annual conference 15-18 September in Houston, TX. Details of the seminar follow below:

Made in Germany: Myths and Materiality of an Exporting Nation

GSA Seminar Proposal (Houston, Sept. 16-18, 2022)

a-b. Conveners

William Glenn Gray, Associate Professor, Purdue University (wggray@purdue.edu)

Katrin Schreiter, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in German and History, King’s College London (katrin.schreiter@kcl.ac.uk)


c. Seminar Description

This seminar invites participants to consider the centrality of export activity to society, culture, and politics in the German-speaking lands. Long before the “Made in Germany” label was affixed to the products of imperial Germany, international trade fairs were a central feature of German economic life; and the 19th and 20th centuries brought an even greater concentration on production for export. How did an orientation toward distant markets inflect business innovation, product design, foreign relations, and political priorities? How did concerns about market share shape currency alignments, labor practices, and the domestic economy? What histories can be told about the lives of German commercial agents abroad, and what narratives did Germans craft about their most iconic exports? And how did German products impact societies abroad? The conveners welcome contributions from design history, material culture, literary studies, business history, labor history, and international relations, as well as contemporary social sciences. Perspectives featuring Austria or Switzerland as exporting nations are also welcome.


d. Format Description

Participants will prepare brief research-based contributions (approximately 10 double-spaced pages) in response to the seminar’s guiding themes and a set of assigned readings. Each morning the seminar will discuss a selection of these contributions in a roundtable format.


e. Goals & Procedures

The goal of the seminar is to develop a more focused vocabulary and research program for considering the significance of exports and trade in German history and culture. More generally, the conveners hope to reinvigorate the salience of economic themes at the annual conferences of the German Studies Association. The prospects for the publication of expanded seminar papers, whether as an edited volume or a journal special issue, will feature in the seminar’s closing discussion.

Applicants should submit a one-page (300-word) proposal by March 15, 2022. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 15; the conveners will convey copies of the assigned readings. Completed 10-page seminar contributions should be submitted by August 15, 2022, one month in advance of the conference.


f. DEI Statement

With a focus on trade and export, oversea markets naturally come into view. The conveners specifically welcome proposals that employ (post)colonial perspectives to address Germany’s formal and informal imperialism as well as dependencies after decolonization across the last two centuries.

g. Audio/Visual

Given the difficulty of integrating a/v presentations into roundtable discussions, participants with visually oriented material are encouraged to attach all relevant images to their research contributions.

h. Auditors

Pending space, the conveners would welcome auditors, so long as they agree to read the pre-submitted seminar contributions and attend all three sessions.

Building Ecosystems Conference

Proposals are invited for the conference

Building Ecosystems/Selling Natures: At the Edge of Environments and Economies

Friday, October 28, 2022
Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society
Hagley Library, Wilmington, Delaware

In everyday life we are embedded in ecosystems and economic systems that interact with one another, and indeed, are mutually constitutive. For a conference, “Building Ecosystems/Selling Natures,” we invite proposals that interrogate the interaction of various dualities: commerce and nature, firms and the earth’s resources, productive activity and the built environment. Our notion of ecosystems is expansive. It includes the many interactions among water, minerals, and geophysical features; biological systems within and between animals, plants, and microorganisms; and human-made settings such as buildings, cities, and transportation networks. We welcome papers that seek to blur the binary dualism between the many forms of nature and the institutions and social relations generated by economic activity.

We hope for proposals from a range of disciplinary perspectives, inspired as we are by scholars researching agriculture, mining, energy, water, enviro-tech, the built environment, evolution, and the biosphere (to name a few). Their scholarship explores the shared spaces that we hope to interrogate through this conference. In particular, we hope to create panels that bring together scholars working in different subjects, themes, and disciplines to see how they can cross-fertilize each other’s work, including researchers engaged with concepts like “Anthropocene” and “Capitalocene” and their efficacy. 

We are interested in original, unpublished, empirical papers that are conceptually informed and historically framed addressing the above and related topics. We hope to consider proposals that may benefit from engagement with collections and experts from Hagley, an institution that has a wealth of resources from the mid-1800s to the recent past. However, we also welcome papers that span earlier time periods, use collections from other institutions, and encompass international cases. We particularly encourage proposals that consider the following questions:
• How have economies and technologies generated new capacity to alter and exploit the environment?
• How are features of nature turned into capital?
• How is nature marketed and sold?
• How do human creations, such as buildings, become ecosystems?
• How has the materiality and/or human understanding of nature framed economic behavior?
Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and a one-page C.V. to Carol Lockman at clockman@Hagley.org by June 15, 2022. Conference presenters will be asked to submit complete versions of their conference papers by Oct. 7, 2021. The conference is planned as an in-person event but will adopt a virtual format if necessary. Presenters will receive lodging in the conference hotel and compensation for their travel costs. The conference organizers are planning an edited volume based on a selection of revised conference papers. The program committee is comprised of Tim LeCain, Nicole Welk-Joerger, Greg Hargreaves, and Roger Horowitz.

Industrial History Review Special Issue Call

Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review (RHI–IHR)

QUANTITATIVE BUSINESS HISTORY

Workshop of the RHI– IHR at the EBHA 2022 Congress

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Revista de Historia Industrial-Industrial History Review would like to invite you to submit a paper proposal for a session at the forthcoming European Business History Association Congress (Madrid, June 22-24, 2022). It will be organized by Veronica Binda (Bocconi University) and Anna Spadavecchia (Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde). 

In a provocative article published in 2010, Jari Eloranta, Jari Ojala, and Heli Valtonen discussed whether the relation between quantitative methods and Business History was an “impossible equation”. Their investigation into the use of quantitative methods in the articles published by the two premier journals in business history in the 1990s, highlighted a frequent use of basic quantitative tools, such as charts and tables, and a very limited use of advanced statistical methods. Furthermore, the key question, whether the articles based on quantitative analysis influenced the academic debate more strongly than those adopting qualitative methods, did not lead to a clear-cut answer. The use of quantitative methods per se had no significant, or even negative, impact on the citations of the articles. However, the use of quantitative methods in conjunction with the length of the articles (Business History Review) or theoretical focus (Business History) led to a higher number of citations, thus indicating a greater impact of these articles on the debate within and across disciplines. (Eloranta, Ojala and Valtonen, 2010). 
The adoption of quantitative methods in Business History was explored in further detail and integrated in a comprehensive discussion on methodological approaches in Business History in its post-Chandlerian phase. One significant output of this debate is the Special Issue (SI) edited by Abe De Jong and David Michael Higgins published in Business History in 2015. This SI gathered contributions which explicitly engaged in theory-building and theory-testing in business history using a diverse range of methodologies and perspectives. The opening article by Abe de Jong, David Michael Higgins and Hugo van Driel explains how quantitative methods, such as necessary conditions analysis and variable-based techniques, in addition to qualitative methods, could be used to test hypotheses and elaborate theories. These aims resonate in Walter Friedman and Geoffrey Jones’ editorial where they encourage business historians “to make use of […] rich empirical data in order to build broad generalisations” (Friedman and Jones, 2011). One of the discipline’s future paths identified by Geoffrey Jones is based on the use of quantitative tools and construction of databases in order to test hypotheses, as well as developing methodologies to analyze small samples and qualitative data (Jones, van Leeuwen, Broadberry, 2012). These indications are far from imply that the discipline should be dominated by one specific methodology, but rather they stress the need for a plurality of rigorous methodologies. Indeed, as Stephanie Decker, Matthias Kipping and R. Daniel Wadhwani reflected, testing hypotheses is only one of the aims of the discipline, in addition to “uncovering sequences and processes, or synthesising complex developments related to the phenomenon being studied” (Decker, Kipping and Wadhwani, 2015).
After more than a decade from the inception of this debate there have been many developments in and around the field of Business History. This workshop aims to discuss and assess:
– the current diffusion and typology of quantitative methods in the discipline;
– the aims and purposes that these methods serve vis-à-vis research questions that are not suited to quantitative analysis;
– how the discipline has been impacted by the diffusion of quantitative methods in relation to cognate disciplines, such as economic history, management and business studies;
– updates to the existing literature on this topic, which has previously considered only leading British and American journals. 

We thus especially welcome contributions which can broaden and enrich the current body of work on this topic. These include theoretical articles and original empirical contributions based on a diverse range of quantitative methods.
After a process of double-blind review, to be carried out after the congress, five of the accepted papers will be selected for a Special Issue of the Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review edited by Veronica Binda and Anna Spadavecchia, scheduled to be published in 2023. The remaining contributions, if accepted in the peer review process, can be published in regular issues of the journal.
Deadlines:
– Applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words outlining their proposal and a short CV by February 28, 2022 to Veronica Binda (veronica.binda@unibocconi.it) and Anna Spadavecchia (anna.spadavecchia@strath.ac.uk).
– Applicants will be informed of the selection process by March 15th, 2022. 
– Participants to the RHI-IHR Session at EBHA Congress 2022 will have to follow the registration process established by the organizers of the Conference.
– The congress paper, or a long abstract of 2000 words, should be sent by May 15, 2022.
– The final version of the manuscripts for the Special Issue review process must be sent by September 30, 2022.

References:

Stephanie Decker, Matthias Kipping and R. Daniel Wadhwani. ‘New business histories! Plurality in business history research methods’, Business History, 57:1, 2015, pp.30-40.
Abe De Jong, and David Michael Higgins. ‘New business history?’, Business History, 57:1, 2015, pp. 1-4.
Abe De Jong, David Michael Higgins and Hugo van Driel. ‘Towards a new business history?’, Business History, 57:1, 2015, pp. 5-29.
Jari Eloranta, Jari Ojala and Heli Valtonen. ‘Quantitative methods in business history: an impossible equation?’, Management and Organizational History, 5:1, 2010, pp.79-107.
Walter E. Friedman and Geoffrey Jones. ‘Business History: time for debate’, Business History Review, 85:1, 2011, pp. 1–8.
Geoffrey Jones, Marco H. D. van Leeuwen and Stephen Broadberry. ‘The future of economic, business, and social history’, Scandinavian Economic History Review, 60:3, 2012, pp. 225-253.
Christopher Kobrak and Andrea Schneider, ‘Varieties of Business History: Subject and Methods for the Twenty first Century’, Business History 53:3, 2011, pp. 401-424
Jari Ojala, Jari Eloranta, Anu Ojala & Heli Valtonen. ‘Let the best story win – evaluation of the most cited business history articles’, Management & Organizational History, 12:4, 2017, pp. 305-333.
Andrew Perchard, Niall G. MacKenzie, Stephanie Decker & Giovanni Favero. ‘Clio in the Business School: Historical Approaches in Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship’, Business History, 59:6, 2017, pp. 904-927.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us through the following contact addresses: veronica.binda@unibocconi.it and anna.spadavecchia@strath.ac.uk, copying r.historiaindustrial@ub.edu

The Editorial Board of the Revista de Historia Industrial – Industrial History Review (RHI-IHR)