New book: Engineering Rules

Dear all

this post is on behalf of JoAnne Yates:

I’m happy to announce that Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting Since 1880, by JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy, is now available through Johns Hopkins University Press (it will be available on Amazon in early June). This book chronicles the engineers and organizations who have created the voluntary standards we depend on to make our world work. For a 20% discount, go to and use the code HTWN at checkout.



Symposium on Radical Business

Radical Business?

SYMPOSIUM, 28 June 2019

Radical Business? Business and the Contest over Social Norms

Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
9 am to 4:30 pm

Conveners: David Chan Smith and Rowena Olegario

This one-day symposium at the Weston Library brings together an interdisciplinary group of speakers to offer insights into how business has acted as a radical force to upset and replace social norms over time. Whether seeking to normalize new products and services, such as autonomous vehicles, or reacting to environmental or safety concerns, business is engaged in a constant negotiation with larger cultural codes. Speakers will discuss the consequences of this contest over social norms, including ethical as well as strategic implications. By bringing together researchers from across disciplines, the symposium will also explore common conceptual ground to understand the significance of this problem for the history of capitalism and management.


All are welcome to attend, but please RSVP.

David Smith is Associate Professor, Department of History, Wilfrid Laurier University, and is the Royal Bank of Canada-Bodleian Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries during Trinity Term 2019.

Presented in association with the Oxford Centre for Global History, Global History of Capitalism project, Faculty of History, University of Oxford

Confirmed speakers:

Aled Davies, University of Oxford
Stephanie Decker, Aston University
Neil Forbes, Coventry University
James Hollis, University of Oxford
Mary Johnstone-Louise, University of Oxford
Alan Morrison, University of Oxford
Anne Murphy, University of Hertfordshire
Adam Nix, De Montfort University
Will Pettigrew, University of Lancaster
David Chan Smith, Wilfrid Laurier University
Heidi Tworek, University of British Columbia
Michael Weatherburn, Imperial College London
Lola Wilhelm, University of Oxford

GHC logo

PhD & Post-Doc event: Crisis, Resilience & Risk

The Centre for Business History in Scotland (CBHS), at the University of Glasgow are holding a three-day event aimed at PhD students and early career Post-Docs on 26-28 August 2019.  The event is being organised by CBHS, Glasgow, with assistance from the department of Modern History at the University of Tuebingen, Germany.  The theme of the Summer School is, “Business beyond the Business Cycle:  Crises, Resilience and Risk Management, c.1850-2000.

Please circulate the attached Call for Papers to any PhD students or Post Docs you think might be interested in presenting a paper at the Summer School.  The deadline for applications is Monday, 10 June 2019.

Also, if you wish to attend and/or participate, please email the organisers, Dr Christopher Miller, or Dr Daniel Menning,


Reblogged from the ever brilliant Patter

Reblogged from Pat Thomson’s brilliant blog ‘Patter’:

revise and resubmit

Yep. Those dreaded words when you get the email back from the journal. R and R. Anything but Rest and Relaxation. Groan. In essence, the message says We have considered your paper and we have decided that – well it’s just not going to cut it. At this point. However, we see enough in it to give you another shot. But only oneAnd (to steal Ru Paul’s words) Don’t **** it up.

To continue reading click here.

FT on organizational memory

Managers are the guardians of company history

Institutional memory is valuable and without it we risk repeating past mistakes

Years ago, my parents decided to build a summerhouse in the garden and consulted a neighbour who had once been the property’s housekeeper. The octogenarian sucked her remaining teeth. “Mark my words: it will blow down. The last one did,” she said. “It stood for 50 years — but it blew down.”

This is the problem with tapping institutional memory. Some of your colleagues are the only people who know about the organisation’s strategic errors and successes. But like all autobiography, their recollections may be partial, and their instincts may tend to preservation rather than progress.

I was reminded of the summerhouse (still standing, by the way), when I read last week’s interview with Konica Minolta’s chief executive. Shoei Yamana found section heads, known as “bucho”, resisted his reforms. Their attachment to the status quo was founded on the group’s historical victories, but, as Mr Yamana put it, “We cannot live with past success”.

Sweep away this layer of middle management, as new brooms are wont to do, and you will quickly hear the complaint that the organisation is losing institutional memory. This is invariably self-interested. Still, a little like taking a mallet to a retaining wall, it is best to understand what you are removing before you tear it out. Otherwise, you will find yourself in the position of those new chief executives who axe a group of old hands only to have to rehire them as “consultants” because they were the only people who knew how to fix an old piece of kit, read a defunct computer language, or even (in the case of the worldwide pilot shortage) fly a plane.

For the whole article, see the FT  .


Updated bibliography on methodology for organization history

Historical Methods in Management and Organizational Research:
A Bibliography
January 2019


Balmer, J. M. T., & Burghausen, M. (2015). Explicating corporate heritage, corporate heritage brands and organisational heritage. Journal of Brand Management, 22(5), pp. 364–384.

Brunninge, O. (2009). Using history in organizations, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 22 (1), pp. 8 – 26.

Burghausen, M., & Balmer, J. M. T. (2015). Corporate heritage identity stewardship: A corporate marketing perspective, European Journal of Marketing, 49(1), pp. 22-61.

Cannadine, D. (2002). What is History Now? Houndsmill and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Carr, E. H. (1961). What is History?. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Coraiola, D., Foster, W. M., & Suddaby, R. (2015). Varieties of History in Organizational Studies. In P. McLaren & A. J. Mills (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History. London: Routledge, pp. 206-221.

Decker, S. (2013). The silence of the archives: Business history, post-colonialism and archival ethnography. Management & Organizational History8(2), pp.155-173.

Decker, S. (2015). Mothership reconnection: Microhistory and institutional work compared. In T. Weatherbee, A. J. Mills, & P. G. McLaren (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 222–237.

Dobson, M., & Ziemann, B. (2009). Reading Primary Sources: The interpretation of texts from nineteenth- and twentieth-century history. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Durepos, G. and Mills, A.J. (2012). Actor-network theory, ANTi-history and critical organizational historiography. Organization19(6), pp.703-721.

Fellman, S., & Rahikainen, M. (2012). Historical Knowledge: In Quest of Theory, Method and Evidence. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Forbes, D. P., and Kirsch, D. A. (2011). The study of emerging industries: Recognizing and responding to some central problems. Journal of Business Venturing 26(5), pp. 589-602.

Foster, W. M., Suddaby, R., Minkus, A., & Wiebe, E. (2011). History as social memory assets: The example of tim hortons, Management & Organizational History, 6(1), pp. 101-120.

Gill, M. J., Gill, D. J., & Roulet, T. J. (2018). Constructing Trustworthy Historical Narratives: Criteria, Principles and Techniques. British Journal of Management, 29(1), 191-205.

Godfrey, P.C., Hassard, J., OConnor, E.S., Rowlinson, M. and Ruef, M. (2016). What is organizational history? Toward a creative synthesis of history and organization studies. Academy of Management Review41(4), pp.590-608.

Green, A., & Troup, K. (1999). The Houses of History: A Critical Reader in Twentieth-century History and Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Howell, M., & Prevenier, W. (2001). From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.

Jenkins, K., & Munslow, A. (2003). Re-thinking history. Routledge classics. London: Routledge.

Jordanova, L. (2006). History in Practice. London: Bloomsbury.

Kipping, M., Wadhwani, R. D., & Bucheli, M. (2014). Analyzing and Interpreting Historical Sources: A Basic Methodology. In M. Bucheli & R. D. Wadhwani (Eds.), Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 305-329.

Kirk, N. (1994), History, language, ideas and post-modernism: a materialist view, Social History, 19(2), pp. 221-240.

Lipartito, K. (2014). Historical Sources and Data. In M. Bucheli & R. D. Wadhwani (Eds.), Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 284–304.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. and Clegg, S.R. (2016). Conceptualizing historical organization studies. Academy of Management Review41(4), pp.609-632.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. and Clegg, S.R., 2017. Organization Theory in Business and Management History: Present Status and Future Prospects. Business History Review91(4), pp. 457-481.

McKinley, A. (2002). Dead Selves: The Birth of the Modern Career, Organization, 9(4), pp. 595-614.

Munslow, A. (1997). Deconstructing history. London: Routledge.

Perks, R., & Thomson, A. (2016). The oral history reader. Abingdon: Routledge.

Rowlinson, M. (2004). Historical Analysis of Company Documents. In C. Cassell & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research. London: Sage, pp. 301–311.

Rowlinson, M. & Hassard, J. (1993). The Invention of a corporate cultures: A history of the histories of Cadbury, Human Relations, 46(3), pp. 296-326.

Rowlinson, M., Hassard, J., & Decker, S. (2014). Research Strategies for Organizational History: A Dialogue Between Historical Theory and Organization Theory, Academy of Management Review, 39(3), pp. 250-274.

Schultz, M. & Hernes, T. (2013). A Temporal Perspective on Organizational Identity, Organization Science, 24 (1), pp. 1–21.

Scott, J.W. (1991). The Evidence of Experience, Critical Inquiry, 17(Summer), pp. 773-97.

Spiegel, G.B (ed.) (2005). Practicing History New Directions in Historical Writing after the Linguistic Turn. Routledge, London.

Stedman Jones, G. (1996). The deterministic fix: some obstacles to the further development of the linguistic approach to history in the 1990s, History Workshop Journal, 42, pp. 19-35.

Stutz, C. and Sachs, S. (2018). Facing the Normative Challenges: The Potential of Reflexive Historical Research. Business & Society, 57(1), pp. 98-130.

Taylor, S., Bell, E. and Cooke, B. (2009). Business history and the historiographical operation. Management & Organizational History4(2), pp. 151-166.

Vaara, E. and Lamberg, J.A. (2016). Taking historical embeddedness seriously: Three historical approaches to advance strategy process and practice research. Academy of Management Review41(4), pp. 633-657.

Vernon, J. (1994). Whos afraid of the linguistic turn? The politics of social history and its discontents. Social History, 19(1), pp. 81-97.

Wadhwani, R.D. and Decker, S. (2017). Clios Toolkit: The Practice of Historical Methods in Organization Studies. In Sanjay Jain and Raza Mir (eds.) Routledge Companion to Qualitative Research in Organization Studies New York: Taylor and Francis, pp. 113-127.

Wadhwani, R. D. (2016). Historical methods for contextualizing entrepreneurship research. In F. Welter & W. B. Gartner (Eds.), A research agenda for entrepreneurship and context. Cheltenham & Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, pp. 134–145.

Yates, J. (2014). Understanding Historical Methods in Organization Studies. In M. Bucheli & R. D. Wadhwani (Eds.), Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 265–283.

Zammito, J. (1993), Are we being theoretical yet? The new historicism, the new philosophy of history and practising historians. The Journal of Modern History, 65(4), pp. 783-814.

Some Christmas reading

Before we take a break for the holidays, I thought I share some potential Christmas reading with you. I am proud to announce that Business History published advance online a new Perspectives Article that I had the pleasure to edit:

History in corporate social responsibility: Reviewing and setting an agenda
Christian Stutz
Pages: 1-30 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1543661


This piece reviews and evaluates both the research on history by CSR scholars, and the historical research on CSR issues (mostly by business historians) and draws a number of important issues. Its a great piece and it makes some important observations about the future opportunities for research in the field.

Here is the abstract:

The integration of historical reasoning and corporate social responsibility (CSR) theorising has recently received remarkable cross-disciplinary attention by business historians and CSR scholars. But has there been a meaningful interdisciplinary conversation? Motivated by this question that presumes significant limitations in the current integration, I survey existing research for the purpose of sketching and shaping historical CSR studies, ie an umbrella that brings together diverse approaches to history and CSR theorising. Drawing from the recent efforts to establish historical methodologies in organisation studies, I first reconcile discrepant disciplinary and field-level traditions to create a meaningful intellectual space for both camps. Secondly, I provide a synthesis of the history of CSR from three different meta-theoretical perspectives in the context of three maturing knowledge clusters. To bridge past and future work, I finally set a research agenda arising from current research and drawing on different sets of assumptions about history and CSR.

Happy holidays and see you bright and fresh in the New Year!

Memorialization & place – UK’s Prof Olivette Otele

Reblogged from Imperial & Global Forum:

Here is another interesting video interview about history, memory, and empire with the UK’s first female black professor in history – Olivette Otele (see: BBC News )

The ‘Bordering on Brexit: Global Britain and the Embers of Empire‘ Conference was held last weekend at Garrison Library, Gibraltar. Professor Richard Toye, Director of Exeter’s Centre for Imperial and Global History, interviews Prof. Olivette Otele (Bath Spa) on the question of contested and controversial history and memorialisation in Bristol.

Feminist Library fundraiser appeal

Our friends from the Feminist Library have moved their collections (open to researchers) and as a charity are now looking for more support:

It’s official! The Feminist Library has finally found a new home!! J

 But we now need your support more than ever. We urgently need to raise at least £30,000 to be able to fund our move to the new space, and we need to leave our current premises in Spring 2019.

 After our long struggle against eviction (read more about our struggle to save the Library here.), the move is actually quite unexpectedly exciting! We’ll have a new, (much needed!) bigger space, based within a community centre in Peckham, and named after a woman abolitionist and feminist – Sojourner Truth! The bigger space will allow us to expand our collections and run even more and bigger exciting community events.

 Yet we have no choice but to leave our current premises with little notice and next to no funds, and need to fundraise for the new space urgently – we need to raise at least £30,000 in order for us to be able to move.

 Please help us protect this vital community resource! Help save the Feminist Library! Donate to our crowdfunding campaign and read more about it here: