Updated Special Issue policy for Business History

Business History publishes three or four special issues each year. Check out the SIs from 2021:

The Rise of Indian Business in the Global Context in the Twentieth Century

Bank-Industry versus Stock Market-Industry Relationships

Business-Government relations and national economic models: how do varieties of capitalism emerge and develop over time?

There are two open calls at the moment, see here: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/fbsh20

If you wish to send a proposal for a Special Issue, check out the updated policy below

Special issue information [policy]

Proposals for special issues are considered by the editorial team twice a year, once in June and once in December, to allow for a more systematic decision-making process. The deadline for submitting a special issue proposal is the first Friday in June and December. 

Proposals should be submitted to the Managing Editor (businesshistoryeic@gmail.com) and copied to the Joint Editors-in-Chief, Stephanie Decker (Stephanie.Decker@bristol.ac.uk) and Neil Rollings (Neil.Rollings@glasgow.ac.uk). Guest editors remain free to submit proposed SIs at any point in the year but the proposals will not be considered until the next deadline. Guest editors will receive a decision shortly after the deadline. The expectation is that up to two special issues will be approved in any round averaging to three being commissioned each year, assuming that they are regarded as of suitable appeal. Decisions will be relayed to the applicants with feedback early in the New Year and the summer depending on the relevant deadline. 

Submitted proposals must be fully worked out in advance of submission. Editors remain happy to advise on proposed SIs in advance of any submission but that any revisions requested by the editorial team after submission are expected to be minor. To this end it is important that potential guest editors acquaint themselves closely with the requirements for a SI proposal. The guidance below is a slightly amended and abridged version of the 2016 editorial on Special Issues. That editorial still forms the basis of our approach to Special Issues but the guidance below reflects our experience since 2016 on the way the process has worked. Rejected proposals can be resubmitted to the next SI competition but only if invited to do so and after significant and substantial revision in line with any feedback offered.

Special Issue Proposal Guidance

  • Presentation of the topic and the questions to be addressed.
  • Justification and relevance of the topic. It is important to explain why the proposed Special Issue fits within the remit of Business History, its contribution to business history as a field and why business historians would be interested in the proposed theme.
  • One to two pages providing a short synthesis of existing debates and the state of literature in the field, research gaps in that field and how the special issue will contribute to fill these gaps. This part should include references.
  • An outline of the mechanisms to be used to attract high quality articles. This could take the form of an open Call for Papers or an indication of invited contributions emerging from specialised workshops or sessions in conferences or congresses. It is important to show how this process has endeavoured to be inclusive.
  • Acknowledgment that all the articles proposed for the special issue, including the introductory essay, have not previously been published and are not under consideration elsewhere.
  • Acknowledgement that all articles will be submitted through the ScholarOne electronic platform for the journal in order to be peer-reviewed before acceptance for publication.
  • A proposed timetable with deadlines for completion of key milestones, which is to be monitored by the Guest Editors in close coordination with the member of the editorial team assigned to oversee progress on the special issue. The timetable should generally include: the date when a Call for Papers (if relevant) will be published or the dates of a workshop or session in the case of invited articles; the deadline for authors to submit the first version of their article to the ScholarOne website for peer-review evaluation (including the introductory article, which will be handled by the Associate Editor in charge of the special issue); the expected deadline for completion of the peer review process; and a suggested date for final publication. Please note that the final decision on this publication date will be in the hands of the editorial team, who need to take into account other articles accepted for publication in the journal and other special issues.
  • Guest Editor details, including names, academic affiliation, address and email, accompanied by a short biography with indication of most important research conducted by guest editors, and citations for the last two or three relevant publications related to the topic of the proposed Special Issue.

Hagley Seminar on Business, Culture, and Politics

Building on the 30-year legacy of the Hagley Research seminar, the Hagley Seminar on Business, Culture, and Politics features original and creative work in progress essays that make use of business history sources. 

All seminars are held on Zoom between noon and 1:30 p.m. Eastern USA time. Seminars are based on a paper that is circulated in advance. Preregistration is required and space is limited. To find registration links as well as additional information on the seminars, please go to https://www.hagley.org/research/research-seminars. Questions may be sent to Carol Lockman, clockman@Hagley.org

2022 Spring Seminar series

February 23, noon-1:30

Kelly Goodman, West Chester University, “’Let’s Freeze Government Too’: The Business Campaign for Tax Limitation”

Comment: Ben Waterhouse, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

March 23, noon-1:30

Dylan Gottlieb, Hagley Library NEH Fellow, “Good Taste: Yuppie Gourmet Culture in the Age of Inequality”

Comment: Amy Bentley, New York University

April 20, noon-1:30

Karen Mahar, Sienna College, “Eugenics and the Creation of the Business Executive, 1900-1920”

Comment: Wendy Gamber, Indiana University

May 18, noon-1:30 

Salem Elzway, University of Michigan, “Marxist Manipulators: Robots on the Line at Lordstown”

Comment: Nelson Lichtenstein, University of California, Santa Barbara

Business History Studies Network Virtual Bulletin

The Business History Studies Network (REHE, by its acronym in Spanish) is pleased to be publishing this thirtieth issue of its virtual bulletin. Divided in six sections, the bulletin presents a thorough review of this year’s most important publications and events amongst the business history discipline in Latin America. 

Debates (pp. 2-3) reviews the recently published book on Latin American business history. Edited by Andrea Lluch, Martin Monsalve and Marcelo Bucheli, the book compiles 13 chapters about Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Perú and México. It also includes chapters on green businesses, women, criminality and violence, transport, family business, business groups and multinationals. 

In Novedades (pp. 4-12), eight books are introduced: (2021).The Emergence of Modern Hospital Management and Organisation in the World 1880s-1930s by Fernández, História de empresas no Brasil by Goularti & Macchione Saes (2021), Los reyes del vino. Los Arizu y el esplendor de la Mendoza vitivinícola by Mateu (2021), El viejo y el nuevo poder económico en la argentina del siglo XIX a nuestros días by Schorr (2021), Estado, industria y desarrollo. Atucha II y la senda del Programa Nuclear Argentino (1979-2014) by Rodriguez (2020), Montevideo al Trote. Historia de sus tranvías de caballos by Halaremicz (2021), Historia de la Fundación Mundo Mujer de Popayán (1985-2015) by Molina & Rojas (2021), and Una historia de semillas, plagas, aguas y energía: El algodón y La Laguna (1880-1960) by Rivas Sada (2021). 

In this issue, the editors listed call for papers and events (pp. 13-15) for the next year. Recursos (pp. 16-18) presents new academic endeavours during the pandemic such as the Business History Collective (BizHisCol), the Business History TV, and the HBS Creating Emerging -Markets. In Archivos (pp. 19-20), Mariela Ceva (CONICET/CIS-IDES) introduces the Red de Archivos de Empresas en Argentina. 

Finally, the section on Tesis (p. 21-22) presents the summary of two doctoral thesis: Beatriz Rodriguez-Satizabal (Queen Mary University of London) on Colombian business groups, 1950-1980 and Carlos Abel Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional de La Plata) on regional investment in the building sector, 1992-2011.

Read it here:
 https://issuu.com/reddeestudiosdehistoriadeempresas/docs/red_estudio_empresas_32?fbclid=IwAR12UoJGAdEuMwy94Aep_xoohUFc5fMntCzMemwN8LjZccCEV_49aiyO_BI 

Northumbria BH Group Seminar Series returns

Welcome back everyone, it is 2022, and who knows what the new year will bring us – normality? more variants? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, Northumbria University’s Business History Group is hosting another event in their seminar series on Teams. If you’d like to join, please contact Dr Ian Jones [ ian.g.jones [at] northumbria.ac.uk].

Business History Group Seminar Series (2021-22) 

Wednesday 19th January 2022, 15.00 – 16.00 

MS Teams 

Medical Risks vs. Financial Rewards: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Asbestos Trade, 1930-1977 

Dr Jessica van Horssen, Leeds Beckett University.  

The history of Corporate Social Responsibility is subject of growing interest for business historians. The research of environmental and business historians as William Cronon and Pierre Desrochers have shown that the decisions of industry leaders have both immediate and long-term local and global effects. With this paper, I will examine the process of decision-making regarding occupational health within the Canadian asbestos trade and show how the corporate social responsibility practiced by industry heads at the local level had much wider effects, including the continuing belief in the safety of asbestos, and the demonization of competitors along racial and political lines. 

Picture supplied by Northumbria Business History Group & Dr van Horssen.

Industry leaders knew asbestos was dangerous as early as 1924, but rather than inspire corporate caution, this knowledge was spun to maximize profits while delaying the widespread communication of the risks associated with the mineral. The American Johns-Manville Company was instrumental in this process, as it owned the largest chrysotile asbestos mine in the world, in the town of Asbestos, Canada, and was responsible for turning a potential corporate disaster into an advantage with the “ABC defence.” The “ABC” in this plan referred to “anything but chrysotile,” the particular type of asbestos found in Canada, meaning that asbestos was indeed dangerous, but only when it came from the competition: asbestos from southern Africa was blue, rather than the Canadian white, and therefore branded much more toxic, and asbestos from the Soviet Union, although still white, was tainted communist red at the height of the Cold War, and thus something to be avoided. 

The decision to champion Canadian asbestos over its competition on the grounds of safety obscured the industrial and public understanding of the risks associated with the mineral. It also allowed companies like Johns-Manville to manipulate medical evidence to prove their claims correct, and meant that French-Canadian workers in communities like Asbestos, were treated as laboratory mice, monitored and harvested so companies could better understand the progression of disease. 

This paper will explore this history while asking questions about corporate social responsibility in single-resource communities and global resource trades. In doing so, I will address key themes in Business History within a transnational context. I will also contribute to the dialogue on decision makers and decision making, while addressing key themes of power, complacency, and control. 

Jessica van Horssen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Beckett University. Her research focuses on the history of environmental health in North America and the wider world, highlighting the connections between modernity and toxicity in bodies of land, human bodies and the body politic. Van Horssen’s first book, A Town Called Asbestos: Environmental Contamination, Health and Resilience in a Resources Community (University of British Columbia Press) was published in 2016 and her work has been published in Urban History, Labour/Le Travail, and the Economic History Yearbook. Van Horssen has also worked to raise awareness of contemporary environmental issues, sailing around the UK in 2017 as part of the eXXpedition Round Britain to test coastal waters for plastics contamination, and organising a time travel experience at the Edinburgh Fringe to encourage the public to historicise current pollution levels. 

Hagley History Hangout: US supermarkets

In this episode,  Gregory Hargreaves interviews James McElroy about his dissertation project “Racial Segmentation & Market Segregation: The Late-Twentieth-Century History of the American City Supermarket, 1960-1990.” In support of his research, McElroy, PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, received an exploratory research grant from the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society. In “Racial Segmentation & Market Segregation,” McElroy offers a social and busines history of supermarkets that links the production and distribution of marketing knowledge with the shaping of urban spaces and communities in the latter half of the twentieth century. The process revealed is one in which market segmentation based upon racialized stereotypes informed the segregation of American cities we live with today.

The audio only version of this program is available on our podcast.

 Interview available at  https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-james-mcelroy.

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

CfP BH: Paradox & History

Organizations in Time: Paradox and History

General outline

A special issue on history and paradoxes would be the first opportunity to start a dialogue between paradox theory and historical research on organizations. Paradox theory has developed in management studies over the last 25 years as an analytical lens with which to understand tensions and conflicting objectives persisting in organizations’ life over time. However, historical organization studies have yet to join the conversation. The theoretical definition of paradoxes as interdependent contradictions enduring for an extended period is grist for the mill of historical organization studies’ scholarship. The study of paradoxes in business history is a promising research avenue.

The intersection between paradox theory and historical perspectives follows the trend towards a growing rapprochement between organization studies and history, as stressed by Mairi Maclean et al. (2021), the most recent in a growing cohort of literature on the topic. Looking at paradoxes in organizational history as a theme makes Business History the perfect academic outlet for this endeavour, an innovation that will bring together a varied and above all interesting set of papers. The guest editors are aware of the challenges posed by the novelty of the topic. This is why the call for papers remains purposefully generic and wide-ranging, rather than focusing on a set of rather specific issues and questions. Such an approach, we think, will be the best way to curate a varied and engaging group of papers. On the other hand, the logistics leading to the final submission of the manuscripts to Business History’s peer-review process provides several opportunities for presenting and discussing the papers. Finally, the guest editors come from both history and management studies, emphasizing the intended interdisciplinary dialogue.

Paradox theory and organization studies

Organizations historically face increased internal and contextual complexity, with pluralistic goals and contradictory stakeholder expectations and objectives, as they co-evolve with their environments. Paradox theory focuses on processes dynamically maintaining equilibrium between multiple nested tensions (Jarzabkowski et al. 2013; Le and Bednarek 2017; Smith & Lewis 2011). Several strands in organization and management studies have adopted a paradox lens over the years, for example, corporate sustainability (Hahn et al. 2015), innovation (Andriopoulos and Lewis 2009; Maclean et al. 2020), employment and the changing nature of work (Mazmanian et al. 2013), partnerships (Bednarek et al. 2017; Sharma and Bansal 2017), and healthcare (Gastaldi et al. 2018). Also, addressing important societal challenges (e.g., climate change, pandemics, poverty) require organizational actors to navigate among multiple tensions inherent to the interest of several stakeholders (Jarzabkowski et al 2019) which are often far from equilibrium.

Recent state-of-the-art articles on paradox theory recognize its importance and potential for understanding complex problems (Smith et al. 2017) but also its potential limits (Cunha and Putman 2019). Some studies emphasize the need to reinforce a systems perspective, attentive to perceived and latent tensions (Schad and Bansal 2018); others challenge researchers to elect specific dimensions in studying organizational paradoxes, especially to focus on time in process studies (Putman et al. 2016).

Business history and paradoxes: terra incognita?

Notwithstanding this invitation to consider time and processes as a fundamental approach for understanding tensions and complexity in organizational studies, historical analyses have rarely featured in paradox theory. Paradoxes have been used in business history as a rhetorical device – “after all, a paradox is an educated person’s delight”, as Charles Hoffer (2008) wrote. They have been used less frequently as heuristics tool for understanding interwoven contradictions over a long period (Silva and Neves 2020). As business history has rarely addressed the prospects opened up by paradox theory, the contribution of historically oriented studies to paradox theory remained absent from scholarship, even after Putman (2016) and her co-authors’ emphasis. Nevertheless, history is a field of study where paradoxes abound. Four examples illustrate this claim, constituting potential research strands.

1) The first relies on the definition of paradox as tensions persisting over time (Smith and Lewis 2011; Putman et al. 2016). In this sense, historical studies, particularly the historical analysis of organizations, are a vast ground for the study of paradoxes. The exacerbation of complexity and paradoxes is inherent to the temporal dimension, much more than in cross-sectional analyses. A historical perspective, turning latent into salient paradoxes, may foster the analytical effort, contributing to theory development. Historical studies disclose unlikely paradoxes, like the ones revealed by the beauty industry (Jones 2010) or the business history of the environment. In this last case, the rise in environmental-protection awareness since the 1960s went along with a deterioration of environmental standards (Bergquist 2019; Boon 2019; Jones 2017). Latent paradoxes are particularly revealing when ambivalent boundaries in business practices and organisations exist, as the relation between profit and non-profit organizations (Herrero and Buckley 2020; Roddy et al. 2019; Ware 1989); hybrid and mixed organisations (Adams 2003; Menzani and Zamagni 2010; Wadhwani et al. 2017); competition and cooperation (Zeitlin 2008; Jones 1993; Colvin 2018; Jenksen-Eriksen 2020); institutions, government and business (Abbate 2001; Campbell-Kelly and Garcia-Swartz 2013; Lin 2006; Sluyterman 2015); and entrepreneurial philanthropy (Harvey et al. 2019).

2) Paradox research would benefit greatly from the particular context-awareness inherent to historical studies. History, being “the discipline of context”, as Braudel defined it, is host to the emergence of paradoxes. The particular irreducibility of context praised by historians (Hoffer 2008) may be deployed as a creative approach to understand complexity and tensions in emergent processes. The study of entrepreneurship reveals an evident difficulty to overcome the “fallacy of the self-made success” (Laird 2017), where the relation between individual and society, as well as the role of contingency, emerge conspicuously (Jones and Wadhwani 2008; Lamoreaux 2001; Wadhwani and Lubinski 2017). Similar complexity and latent paradoxes may arise in the history of international business. Recent scholarship has emphasised the diversity of business forms (Lopes et al. 2019) and the contradictory agendas and demands faced by multinationals (Decker 2018; Lubinsky and Wadhwani 2020; Verma and Abdelrehim 2017). Another almost uncharted territory is the historical analysis of the analytical tools deployed by entrepreneurs, managers, and organisations for managing ambivalence and paradox, like the ones explored by Andersson (2020) concerning business and environmental challenges.

3) In a third instance, the specific epistemology of history mobilizes an intrinsic paradox. The past is analysed and reinterpreted considering interpretative challenges rooted in the present (Bloch 1949), well synthesized in the statement that “history creates its object”, “every history is a child of its time” (Fèbvre 1952). However, it also influences and shapes the present. In organizations and their memorialization, the past is frequently reified as a source of identity (Rowlinson et al. 2014; Casey 2019; Coraiola et al. 2021) and strategic renewal (Maclean et al. 2014; Miller et al. 2019). Studying the institutionalisation of organisational memory provides another way to conceptualise the complex uses of the past: their potential competition and pendular movements from being an asset to becoming a liability (Decker et al. 2020; Hansen 2006; Lubinski 2018).

4) Finally, any paradox has a heuristic function by pinpointing antithetical or puzzling issues and thus raising an “incitation of insight” (Keyser et al. 2019). When time and context exacerbate complexity, ambivalence and contradictions, an in-depth understanding becomes even more compelling. Exemplary cases may be the study of the psychic distance paradox in international retailing (Hang and Godley 2009) or the Icarus paradox in the movement from market dominance to irrelevance (Lamberg et al. 2019; Rooij 2015).

This diversity of themes does justice to the plasticity of historical analysis to develop studies on long-lasting legacies and paradoxes. It also mobilises multiple methodological perspectives and approaches for this special issue topic, testifying to the variety that business history is as “a multidisciplinary field on its own” (Friedman and Jones 2011).

Research topics for the call for papers

In the quest to further bridge paradox theory and historical analysis, the call for papers aims at creating a fertile ground to advance the historical analysis of organizations by contributing to the discussion of a range of research topics, where organizations, paradoxes and history stand in a variety of crossroads:
1) Paradoxes and the historical analysis of organizations: theory and case studies.
2) Research deploying historical sources and methods to refine and develop paradox theory in business and organization studies.
3) Latent paradoxes in the longue durée in history and in organizations.
4) Historical periods of crisis and disruption as occasions for performative “drama” unveiling persistent and latent paradoxes.
5) Paradoxes as heuristics in the historical analysis of organizations: sparking insight and awareness.
6) The memory of the past in organizations: paradoxes in corporate archives, museums, heritage and the strategic use of history.
7) Historical context, narratives and the interpretation of persistent paradoxes.

Submission Instructions

Timetable

1) 2021, 11 October: Abstract submission (max. 500 pages and sent to asilva@novasbe.pt) – please state if you are interested in participating in the Paradox and Plurality Conference, 24 November 2021, in Nova School of Business and Economics (www.novasbe.pt).
2) 2021, 24 November: Paradox and Plurality conference, with a session dedicated to “Organizations in Time: Paradox and History” (Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal)
3) 2022, 1 September: Submission of manuscripts to the ScholarOne website for peer-review evaluation: https://think.taylorandfrancis.com/special_issues/organizations-time-paradox-history/
4) 2023 April: expected deadline for completion of the peer review process

CfP: Business History Conference

REMINDER: 

The deadline to submit proposals for the #BHC2022MexicoCity “Business History in Times of Disruption: Embracing Complexity and Diversity” is approaching. The Program Committee will receive proposals until October 1st, 2021.

We invite participants to submit their proposals before the deadline of October 1rst 2021. We encourage to submit your proposals even if you are still uncertain of traveling to Mexico due current circumstances associated with the pandemic. Though we hope we can all meet in Mexico City, there is a place at the submission webpage to let us know your current preference for paper presentation modality. If conditions warrants, we will make alternative arrangement on an as-needed basis.
 
#BHC2022MexicoCity Annual Meeting General Information
Call for papers in English and instructions
Convocatoria de ponencias en español (con instrucciones para enviar propuestas al final del documento)

If you have any queries or additional comments, please contact us by email: ProgramCommittee@thebhc.org

BHC launches Mid-Year online event

Save the Date for the Business History Conference Mid-Year-Event
The Business History Conference would like to invite you to the first mid-year event/conference. This meeting seeks to become a permanent event of our association to further connect with the membership and engage with scholars and professionals related to the field of business history.

The 2021 mid-year conference will consist of a 120 minutes Zoom webinar to be celebrated on September 28th at 12 ET. The theme of the 2021 seminar will be 

Business History in the Pandemic Era: Rethinking Agendas and Connections
Invited speakers: 
Jessica Levy, Ph.D.,
Geoffrey Jones, Ph.D.,
Heidi Tworek, Ph.D., and
Maki Umemura, Ph.D.

Please mark your calendars and spread the word!
Register today 
#BHC2021midyear

Hagley History Hangout: “Franchise” by Marcia Chatelain

I’ve blogged before about Marcia Chatelain’s Pulitzer Prize winning business history of McDonald’s. The Hagley History Hangout has got a new episode out focusing on her research – check it out below!

New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout

In Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, Marcia Chatelain explores how fast food restaurants saturated black neighborhoods and became, as well, a focal point in the development of “black capitalism.” To tell this story, she charts a surprising history of cooperation among fast food companies, black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who―in the troubled years after King’s assassination―believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. With the discourse of social welfare all but evaporated, federal programs under presidents Johnson and Nixon promoted a new vision for racial justice: that the franchising of fast food restaurants, by black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could finally improve the quality of black life. Synthesizing years of research, Franchise tells a troubling success story of an industry that blossomed the very moment a freedom movement began to wither. 

Marcia Chatelain is a professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University, and is a leading public voice on the history of race, education, and food culture. The author of South Side Girls, Chatelain lives in Washington, DC. Franchise was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in History and the Hagley Prize for the best book in business history.  

Call for research proposals: Accounting History Symposium

The 16th Accounting History Symposium 

Virtual format: Friday, 3 December 2021 

Following the great success of the 15th Accounting History Symposium, held on July 3, 2021, the Accounting History Special Interest Group (AHSIG) is pleased to announce a second event for the year. 

The 16th Accounting History Symposium will be held on 3 December 2021. 

The Symposium will take place in virtual format (details TBA) and it will be free of charge for AHSIG members and non-members. 

In addition to the virtual presentations of research proposals relating to studies of accounting’s past, a panel of scholars will be in (virtual) attendance, discussing and/or providing feedback on the presentations of the participants. 

We look forward to your participation at the 16th Accounting History Symposium

 Individuals interested in making a presentation about a planned or existing research project are invited to submit a research proposal (of no more than three pages, single-spaced) containing the following: 

1. Project (working) title 

2. Background (or scenario for investigation) 

3. Main research objective in one sentence 

4. Concise key research question(s) 

5. Research methodology 

6. Period selection 

7. Limitations of the study 

8. Expected (original) contribution. 

The final date for submission of research proposals is Friday, 5 November 2021, and should be sent to acchis.sig@gmail.com

If you haven’t already done so, please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates: 

https://t.co/aWnxYkhT40?amp=1

https://www.linkedin.com/company/65855223

We look forward to welcoming you to the 16th Accounting History Symposium. 

 Giulia Leoni and Maryam Safari 
AHSIG Convenor and Deputy Convenor