CFP: Uses of the Past – Perspectives, Forms and Concepts in Business History

CBS Paper Development Workshop

Business History Conference, Charlotte, NC, March 12, 2020

Submission deadline: January 10, 2020

In thepast years, uses of the past hasbecome a prominent research theme for business historians and organizationscholars alike. Studies on the usefulness and appropriation of the past haveappeared across diverse fields such as business history, organization studies,marketing, learning & education, and CSR. Uses of history is fashionable. Butwhere will the field go in the future?

In the CBSPDW we seek to focus on questions that have yet to asked, and we would like toexplore the theories and methods that might take the field forward.

The workshop offers an opportunity to getfeedback and generate ideas of how to develop concrete paper drafts that deal,one way or the other, with uses of the past. In addition, the PDW will serve asa forum where we can discuss future directions and opportunities (and potentialdead ends) going forward with a ‘uses-of-the-past’ agenda. What are thequestions and research that are yet to be explored, and what are the role forbusiness historians in shaping a ‘uses-of the past’ research agenda?

Themes to be explored in the papers could include,amongst others:

  • Uses of the past for branding, strategy and identity purposes
  • Corporate and public museums
  • The use (andabuse?) of organizational anniversaries
  • Uses of historyin action
  • The role and practices of historical consultancies (e.g. WinthropGroup, The History Factory andothers)
  • Historical CSR
  • Theoretical andmethodological perspectives connected to uses of the past.
  • Criticalperspectives on uses of the past

Submitted texts could take form asextended abstracts or full paper drafts. The important thing is that readers canidentify the key arguments, theories and empirical material, for them toprovide useful feedback, suggestions and comments.

Depending on the submitted abstracts andfull papers, the participants and organizers could potentially explore theopportunity of a subsequent special issue on uses of the past in arelevant academic publication, such as, for example Business History. 

Participants are expected to read allcirculated papers. Please submit a paper draft or extended abstract before January10, 2020 to the workshop organizers.

Anders Ravn Sørensen, ars.mpp@cbs.dk

Morten Tinning, mti.mpp@cbs.dk

ToC QROM 14,4 (2019)

Just out, Volume 14, Issue 4 of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

Visualizing community pride: engaging community through photo- and video-voice methodsEric Ping Hung Li, Ajnesh Prasad, Cristalle Smith, Ana Gutierrez, Emily Lewis, Betty Brown

The purpose of this paper is to consider the potential of visual (i.e. non-textual) research methods in community-based participatory research.

Using template and matrix analysisNicholas Burton, Peter Galvin

The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative research method using oral history interview data that may advance new types of methodological inquiry in management…

Challenges in accessing research sites in Ghana: a research noteTheophilus Azungah

Despite the crucial role of gaining access for successful research in social and management studies, very little has been written on issues and challenges associated with…

Sensemaking through a storytelling lensMichele Heath, Tracy Porter

Drawing from the extant literature on sensemaking theory, the purpose of this paper is to understand how physicians view health information exchange (HIE) implementation…

Positioning, conflict, and dialogue in management teamsPasi Hirvonen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the dynamics of social positioning and interpersonal conflicts in management teams. This paper utilizes positioning theory to…

Empiricism, epistemology and modern postmodernism: a critiqueBradley G. Bowden

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it seeks to trace the origins of the various strands of postmodernism within German philosophic idealism; traditions of…

Phenomenal differencesSimon Mollan

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues related to a recent article by Bradley Bowden published in QROM titled “Empiricism, and modern postmodernism: a critique”…

Jean Helms Mills & Albert J. Mills

Co-editors, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journalhttp://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=qrom

Capri Summer School – Research Methods in Management

Aim

Capri Summer School was born on the impulse of AIDEA (the Italian Academy of Business Administration and Management). The overall aim of the summer school is to enhance participants’ research capabilities.

Capri Summer School provides a chance for doctoral students and early career researchers to develop their understanding of research methods in management studies, benefiting from an interdisciplinary setting, under the guidance of a panel of internationally renowned scholars.

The school is organized in cooperation with the British Academy of Management (BAM).

Audience and Method

The course is aimed at doctoral students and early stage researchers in the areas of management, interested in qualitative studies of accounting, management, finance, organization, etc. Candidates who are developing interesting ideas but who still have time to be influenced by participation in the summer school will receive the strongest consideration. Admission will be on a competitive basis.

About 30 participants will be admitted: in addition to overall quality of content, factors such as position within the doctoral process and institutional representation will be taken into account. Participants will be selected by the faculty together with the organizing committee. Lectures will cover epistemological issues, data collection methods and analytic techniques such as content and discourse analysis.

Venue

The summer school will be held on the Island of Capri at Villa Orlandi, a seventeenth century villa re-stored by the University of Napoli Federico II. The Villa, surrounded by a nice park, is particularly suited for study and  includes all essential facilities. Over ten desks equipped with PCs and Internet connections are available.

How to apply

Applicants are invited to submit a single PDF file consisting of:

  1. A 4-page extended abstract of their thesis project/research idea. Clearly specifying :
    1. Originality and importance of their intended topic;
    2. Contribution of the work (expected);
    3. Methodological perspectives or epistemological positions they would think as useful to discuss during the summer school.
  2. CV;
  3. motivation letter explaining the reasons behind the application.

All materials should be sent as a single PDF file by 2nd May 2020. An email receipt of the letter will be sent to acknowledge submissions.

Fees will be limited to Euro 460,00 for each participant (not including transports and accommodation).

Apply online at:  http://www.caprisummerschool.it/

Feminist Library reopens after successful fundraising

After a successful fundraising campaign earlier this year and over a year of hard work, the Feminist Library is very pleased to announce that it has now signed the lease and has the keys to its new building – the Sojourner Truth Community Centre at 161 Sumner Road in Peckham. We’re planning to open for our first ever event on the 31st January. More details about that coming soon. 

You can read more about the good news here

Coleman Prize 2019 goes to Joseph Lane

Coleman Prize 2019

From the ABH Newsletter:

The Coleman Prize 2019 was awarded at the Association’s Annual Conference hosted at Sheffield Hallam. This year’s finalists were Joe Lane who completed his PhD at the London School of Economics and Leigh Gleason who completed at De Montfort University. They both presented key findings for their PhD Dissertations in a plenary session. Joe’s dissertation entitled, Networks, innovation and knowledge: the North Staffordshire Potteries, 1750-1851, whilst Leigh’s is, Canvassed and Delivered: Direct Selling at Keystone View Company, 1898-1910.
The panel selected Joe Lane as the winner of the 2019 Coleman Prize! Congratulations to him and Leigh for two excellent dissertations and presentations.

Reflections on ABH 2019

Joseph Lane, Coleman Prize Winner 2019

The Steel City shone brightly this summer for the Association of Business Historian’s Annual Conference. Sheffield Hallam University, and in particular, John Singleton, hosted delegates for two days of academic discussion on business history topics ranging from trade, risk and war in the Early Modern period, and digital disruption from the late twentieth century. Nestled amongst striking architectural reminders of Sheffield’s historic relationship with business and industry, the modern Cantor building served as a hub for the conference, and a venue for lively conversation over refreshments and lunches. As a northerner and researcher of industrial clusters, I couldn’t help but notice the aptness of the site of one of the most iconic historic British industrial clusters (and my old stomping ground as a kid) was the setting for a gathering of business historians engaged in discussion, debate and collaboration. I feel it is my duty to invoke Marshall: business and industry were once again ‘in the air’.

This was my second ABH conference after my introduction to the association at the 2016 conference in Berlin as a PhD student. Having missed two years, I was pleased to be back in at the deep end attending as a panel co-chair and presenter, and potential Coleman Prize nominee (my thanks to the Association for selecting my work as the winning thesis!). A jam-packed schedule over both days emphasised why we gather each year: to promote and celebrate the study of business history, in all its varieties. This year did not disappoint; a total of fifty-nine papers were presented across twenty panels alongside a Keynote, and book-ended by the Tony Slaven Doctoral workshop and the Corley Paper Development Workshop for Early Career Researchers. A truly eclectic conference programme.
Top marks to the organising committee who selected the timely conference theme, ‘Business Transformation in an Uncertain World’, that captured and framed research on topics including the complexities and uncertainties of warfare and its aftermath, trust (or lack thereof) in the upper echelons of management and attempts to rebuild it, and female entrepreneurship and family firms in nineteenth-century Britain.

2007 Coleman Prize Winner Professor Stephanie Decker delivered a thought-provoking Keynote (an incentive for me to work hard!). Her lecture spoke directly to the conference themes of uncertainty and transformation. An intriguing delve into African advertising at Barclays Bank DCO in the 1950s revealed corporate strategy and legitimisation practices in the context of decolonisation and Africanization. A lesson in the value and use of corporate archives.
I was sad to miss the session devoted to innovative methods in business history (my own session ran at the same time). One of the characteristics that first attracted me to business history, and continues to do so, is the multiplicity of approaches that business historians are willing and able to adopt and draw on. Papers on transatlantic trade were rich with detail from seventeenth-century personal correspondence, close case studies of armaments and shipbuilding in Britain and Finland used photographic evidence from the first half of the twentieth century, and the appointment diaries of Margaret Thatcher were analysed using quantitative network analysis.

All this thought-provoking talk and research left delegates hungry and thirsty, which stood us in good stead for a short trip across the city for our reception and dinner on the first day. A good meal and chance to unwind after a long day sparked off interesting and wide-ranging conversations. Of the many conversations I had at the conference, two stand out – one about the importance of research grants and the digitisation of archival sources, and another about Harry Potter studio tours (I’ll leave the readers to determine which was with an old PhD colleague and which was with an ABH committee member!) The main point being the ABH is a place where PhD students, archivists and business historians (novice and experienced) meet and dispense with formalities to discuss that which we do and love: interpretation of the past.

My final reflection on this year’s conference is one of collegiality and warmth. From the many cups of coffee enjoyed with others during the breaks, to the reception and dinner, by way of rigorous and intriguing paper presentations, it was easy to find a friendly face. As the new academic year begins, I look forward to Nottingham in 2020 and my role as chair of the Coleman Prize Committee. Save-the-date for what promises to be another judicious conference theme: ‘Bubbles and Crises; Mayhem and Misery; Corruption and Disruption’

The Library of Mistakes

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

There is increasing interest in business schools in History-as-Sensemaking (i.e., the use of history by business people to understand the present and plan for the future). Indeed, this issue was discussed extensively at the recent EGOS conference in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the site of a fascinating institution, the Library of Mistakes, which serves to make information about financial, economic, and business history available to businesspeople, especially those who are active in Edinburgh’s important investment management cluster. The Library of Mistakes is a  Scottish charity (registered charity SC040205) founded to promote the study of financial history. According to the BBC, it maintains a small but excellent library in Edinburgh that hosts talks by experts.

The company associated with the Library of Mistakes, Didasko Education Ltd, supports the teaching of a course called the Practical History of Financial Markets, which forms a unit of the Edinburgh Business School MBA programme.  The course is also taught at a private venue in London and at a business school in India.  According to a filing with Companies House, most of the people who take the course are professional fund managers. I had quick look at the teaching schedule of the upcoming course in London(31 October to 2 November 2019) and it looks fantastic.

The Library’s mission statement declares that

In recent years financial education has focused on the power of the equation to explain economic and financial forces. This distillation of complex forces into faux objectivity has created dangerous errors in financial understanding… The Library of Mistakes exists to allow students, professionals and members of the general public to study financial history to understand how finance has worked, rather than how it should work if key unrealistic assumptions are made.

The Barings Archives

The Barings Archives has an extensive collection of documents located primarily in the ING building in the City of London.  

The firm that became known as Baring Brothers was established in 1762, and it quickly became one of Great Britain’s most important firms in the financing of domestic and international trade.  As you may know, Barings became insolvent in 1995 as a result of unauthorised trading by one of its employees, Nick Leeson.  ING of the Netherlands acquired the majority of the business, and in 2004, MassMutual Financial Group bought the asset management arm. 

Today the Barings Archives continues as a charitable trust.  I joined its Board of Trustees earlier this year. 

The link below takes you to the Archives’ webpage.  Its archivists are in the process of digitising as much of the collection as possible, but the vast majority of the archive is not yet digitised. 

If you are doing research on international financial institutions and/or international trade, I encourage you to click on the link below and browse the collection:   

www.baringarchive.org.uk

Best regards,

Rowena

Dr. Rowena Olegario
Co-Director, Global History of Capitalism

Oxford Centre for Global History


M +44 (0)754 5419820

rowena.olegario@history.ox.ac.uk 

https://globalcapitalism.history.ox.ac.uk/

Deadline approaching for BHC Doctoral Colloquium submissions!

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held once again in conjunction with the 2020 BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, March 11th and Thursday March 12th, 2020. Typically limited to ten students, the colloquium is open to doctoral candidates who are pursuing dissertation research within the broad field of business history, from any relevant discipline (e.g., from economic sociology, political science, cultural anthropology, or management, as well as history).  Most participants are in year 3 or 4 or their degree program, though in some instances applicants at a later stage make a compelling case that their thesis research had evolved in ways that led them to see the advantages of an intensive engagement with business history.

The theme of the 2020 BHC annual meeting is “Collaboration in Business and Business History.”  We welcome proposals from students working within the conference theme, as well as any other thematic area of business history.  Topics (see link for past examples) may range from the early modern era to the present, and explore societies across the globe.  Participants work intensively with a distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars (including the incoming BHC president), discussing dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and career trajectories. 

Applications are due by 15 November 2019 via email to amy.feistel@duke.edu and should include: a statement of interest; CV; preliminary or final dissertation prospectus (10-15 pages); and a letter of support from your dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor).  All participants receive a stipend that partially defrays travel costs to the annual meeting.  Applicants will receive notification of the selection committee’s decisions by the end of 2019.

The director of the Colloquium is Edward Balleisen, Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University.  Other faculty participants include:

Gustavo del Angel, Professor of Economics, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico City (Mexican and Latin American Business History)

Neil Rollings, Professor of Economic and Business History, University of Glasgow (European Business History)

Susie Pak, Professor of History, St. Johns University (American Business History)

Madeleine Zelin, Professor of History, Columbia University (Chinese and Asian Business History)

Management Learning in Historical Perspective: Rediscovering Rowntree and the British Interwar Management Movement

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

I would like to draw the attention of my readers to a superb new business-historical paper that has appeared in Academy of Management Learning & Education.  The paper Mairi Maclean, Gareth Shaw, Charles Harvey and Alan Booth develops our understanding of the history of management education at the same time as addressing a classic debate in the field of business that was initiated by the late Al Chandler’s remarks about the role of education in the relative decline of British industry.

Abstract: British interwar management (1918-1939) has been criticized as overly conservative, comprising a core of progressive firms amidst a mass of conservatively-run, family-dominated businesses. According to the dominant narrative, British firms exhibited little interest in new managerial approaches. Our study of the Rowntree business lectures and British interwar management movement challenges this view; suggesting British managers displayed greater openness to innovation than is commonly recognized. We uncover and analyse a network of British firms engaged in management education through organized peer-to-peer communication, facilitated by lectures and management research groups initiated by Seebohm Rowntree. Our primary contribution to the literature is to offer a more nuanced perspective on the evolution of British management learning in the interwar years. This reveals dynamic knowledge networks reflexively engaged in advancing and codifying practice-based learning to promote the diffusion of effective solutions to shared problems – building communities of practice, codifying management knowledge, and drawing on an ethos of ‘business as service’. By undertaking archival research to create a coherent body of documentary material, and making this available to others, we also make a methodological contribution, creating a new ‘space’ for future researchers to explore, from which they can write new management histories of their own.

One of the many great things about this paper is that the authors have adopted a variant of the Open Data principle and have shared the data (i.e., the historical documents on which the paper is based) in an online repository. I have long advocated the adoption of Open Data as a norm in the field of business history (see our paper on the subject in Business History) and I am thus very pleased to see this principle being applied here in such an excellent way. Check out all of the historical sources on the companion website for this paper, which can be found here.

Hagley Center Grants/Fellowships Announcement

by Carol Ressler Lockman

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 July 25th, 2019. Please note that the next deadline for applications for the exploratory and Henry Belin du Pont Fellowship is October 31st. The H. B. du Pont Dissertation Fellowship deadline is November 15th. Here is the link on Hagley Museum and Library’s website to apply…. https://www.hagley.org/research/grants-fellowships.

Carol Ressler Lockman

Manager, Hagley Center

PO Box 3630

Wilmington DE 19807

Email:  clockman@hagley.org

302-658-2400, x243

Exploratory Grants:

Anthony Grasso

Assistant Professor

U.S. Military Academy

Privilege and Punishment: Class, Crime, and the Development of the American State

Louisa Iarocci

Associate Professor

University of Washington, Seattle

Bin, Bag, Box: The Architecture of Convenience

Andrew Wasserman

Visiting Assistant Professor

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Public Art of Public Relations: Creating the New American City

H. B. du Pont Fellowship

Trish Kahle

Post Doctoral Fellow

University of Chicago

The Graveyard Shift: Coal and Citizenship in an Age of Energy Crisis

Malwina Lys-Dobradin

Ph. D. Candidate

Columbia University

The Historical Trajectory of “Free Enterprise”

Sara Wermiel

Independent Researcher

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Railroad contractors and the rise of general contractors for buildings

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

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