Pulitzer Prize in History for “Franchise”

Now, you may have known this already, but I only recently became aware that this year’s Pulitzer Prize in History has gone to a work of business history:

Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, by Marcia Chatelain (Liveright/Norton)

As the award notice says, this is a nuanced account of the complicated role the fast-food industry plays in African-American communities, a portrait of race and capitalism that masterfully illustrates how the fight for civil rights has been intertwined with the fate of Black businesses.

Previously the book won the New York Times Times Critics Top Books of 2020:

From civil rights to Ferguson, Franchise reveals the untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.


Now there’s some summer reading for you.

Post on behalf of the New Book Network (NBN) – Economic & Business History Channel

We are seeking hosts for NBN Economic and Business History Channel and NBN en español [English below]

Estimad@s colegas;
Desde New Books Network, el pódcast más escuchado de entrevistas a escritores sobre sus libros a nivel mundial, escribimos con la intención de invitarles a unirse a New Books Network en español, nuestra plataforma de próximo lanzamiento. 
A continuación respondemos a algunas preguntas frecuentes que pueden surgir si aún no eres un anfitrión en un canal de New Books Network.
¿En qué consiste?
En leer y grabar una conversación con sus escritores favoritos sobre los libros que acaban de publicar.
¿A quién beneficia?
Es una forma de difundir la nueva publicación del autor y de ofrecer espacio en la red para promocionar su obra. También el anfitrión se beneficia porque no solo tiene la oportunidad de conversar con el autor sino que puede utilizar la entrevista también para promover su trabajo y conectar con otros investigadores y lectores. Nuestra misión es la difusión del conocimiento a través de las tecnologías digitales. Muchos anfitriones también utilizan sus entrevistas como publicaciones y por tanto como servicio a la Academia.
¿Lleva mucho tiempo realizar las entrevistas?
No. Lees un libro de tu interés, haces la entrevista y lo demás lo hacen l@s editar@s de New Books Network. Cuando tu entrevista esté publicada en NBNes puedes utilizar el URL en tus redes sociales e incluso en tu página académica o de trabajo.

¿Estás interesado? Regístrate como anfitrión en https://newbooksnetwork.com/hosts/become-a-host y menciona que quieres hacer entrevistas en español o escríbenos a newbooksnetworkes@gmail.com

Agradecemos la difusión de este mensaje. 

Dear colleagues;
The New Books Network is a consortium of author-interview podcast channels dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing scholars and other serious writers to a wide public via new media. Covering 90+ subjects, disciplines, and genres, we publish 55 episodes every week and serve a large, worldwide audience. We will soon launch a new platform for interviews conducted entirely in Spanish. If you are interested in becoming a host in the NBN Economic and Business History Channel or any other, apply here https://newbooksnetwork.com/hosts/become-a-host

What will I be doing?
Read books and record a conversation with your favorite authors and colleagues about the books they recently published.
What are the benefits?
This is a way to disseminate new ideas while promoting new books through conversations with their authors. The host can expand their network by connecting with researchers and readers, while also having the opportunity of talking in-depth with colleagues about their new books. Our mission is the dissemination of knowledge through digital technologies. Hosts can also use the interviews as publications and include them as service to the profession.
It is time-consuming to collaborate?
No: you read a book that interests you, schedule and conduct the interview, and the post-production process is in the hands of the editors. When we publish the interview you can post the URL on your social media or on your academic/work webpage.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us (marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com) and (newbooksnetworkes@gmail.com)

Paula de la Cruz-Fernández, Ph.D.


FT draws on business historical research

A recent opinion piece in the FT on the importance for strategic adaptability for long-term company survival drew on research published in Business History:

Death on the stock exchange: The fate of the 1948 population of large UK quoted companies, 1948–2018

G. Meeks & G. Whittington: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00076791.2021.1893696

The issue of long-term survival is not one often addressed in strategy, and with shorter tenures for top management teams, such long-term considerations are overshadowed by more short-term concerns. Yet the experience of the Pandemic has brought the issue of survival and strategic innovations back to the fore, as the FT cogently argues.

Business History will make this article available open access from next week.

To read the FT article, follow this gift link to the FT: https://on.ft.com/3gP6KQ2

BisHisCol Webinar – Private origins of the public sector: West German businesses, state enterprise and development planning in India and Nigeria, c. 1954-1985

29/06/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenter: Stefan Tetzlaff (Humboldt University)
Chair: Adam Nix (De Montfort University)

This project investigates the interrelationship between West German businesses, state enterprise and the trajectory of development planning in India and Nigeria in two crucial but different double decades of development, i.e. in the 1950s/1960s and in the 1970s/1980s. Analyzing these very different but lavishly funded West German aid projects will not only allow us to define what was specific about the two double decades of development, but also give us a sense of how a wide range of actors from industrialized and developing countries changed course and came to participate in or profit from projects in the public sector.

Reminder to contribute to online bibliography on Business & Power in business history

Dear colleagues, 

I write to request your collaboration in creating a bibliography on Business and Power. Professor Neil Rollings #BHC2021online Presidential Address generated a vivid conversation/chat among business historians on the definitions of power and the vast literature available to expand this discussion. The BHC seeks to document such debate and contribute to developing scholarship on the topic by creating an open bibliography on Business and Power. Please contribute your reference suggestions by adding full citations (and DOI numbers and URLs if possible) to https://docs.google.com/document/d/104PG0gku_SuaQJAqxk0HAp_zs9OvfYs2ZxGvshThCr0/edit?usp=sharing. Once this list is reasonably complete, we will curate it and transfer it to Zotero, and later open it for membership and public suggestions. 

Please add your references to the document or create sections such as Feminist Theory, Definitions of Power in Political Thought, or Business and Power.  

New Hagley History Hangout episodes

 New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout—In this episode, Gregory Hargreaves interviews Danya Pilgrim about her book project “Gastronomic Alchemy: How Black Philadelphia Caterers Transformed Taste into Capital, 1790-1925.” In support of her research, Pilgrim, assistant professor at Temple University, received exploratory and Henry Belin du Pont research grants from the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society.

In “Gastronomic Alchemy,” Pilgrim reveals the development and efflorescence of a Philadelphia catering industry owned and operated by African American waiters, brokers, cooks, & others. Through their work, black caterers earned economic success and cultural influence in Philadelphia that combined to form meaningful capital, which helped to create and support a vibrant black community. By uncovering this process of capital formation, Dr. Pilgrim “illuminates how one group of African Americans fought for self-determination in every aspect of their lives.”

Interview available at  https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-danya-pilgrim.  

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

BizHisCol Webinar – Economic histories of slavery and abolition (double feature)

08/06/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenters: Kate Ekama (Stellenbosch University) and Alexandra Garrett (Iona College)
Chair: Nicholas Wong (Northumbria University)

Profiting from Slavery after Abolition: Emancipation and the Business of Compensation in the Cape Colony

Kate Ekama (Stellenbosch University)

This paper investigates the hitherto unexplored role that agents played in claiming the £1 million the British Government allocated to former slaveholders in the Cape Colony after emancipation of the enslaved in 1834. Close analysis of the accounts of one firm, Thomson, Watson & Co., reveals the importance of London contacts to provide finance to buy claims. Within the Colony the firm, agents themselves, used commission agents to buy claims. By purchasing claims at a discount, the firm profited from slavery after abolition, which profits probably facilitated its continued success in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Virginia State Penitentiary and the Incarcerated Goods Market in Richmond, Virginia (1800-1820)

Alexandra Garrett (Iona College)

This paper uses the Records of the Virginia State Penitentiary (Library of Virginia Manuscripts) and nineteenth century Richmond newspapers to explore the relationships among prisoners, those employed by the state to control them, those who sold prisoners’ wares, those who bought prisoners’ wares, and those business owners who competed with them in the Richmond goods market. I argue that competing forms of unfree labor undergirded the Richmond market and enabled the sale of an increasingly diverse set of manufactured goods to Richmond’s inhabitants. I also suggest that through the Penitentiary, the state weakened white individuals’ attempts at manufacturing in the early Republic, despite promising economic opportunity to ex-convicts and business owners alike.

BizHisCol Webinar – Appreciating the history of business education

25/05/2021 16.00 UK

Appreciating the history of business education

Register here

Presenter: JC Spender (Kozminski University)
Chair: Nicholas Wong (Northumbria University)

We claim BSch are ‘professional schools’ – with no demonstrable relationship between management education and managerial competence.  Critics question the entire enterprise.  History can help clarify what is going on.  I hypothesize BSchs should be understood as political entities, democratic capitalism’s madrassas, not its ‘science’ labs.  The students are institutionalized, not trained.  But how and into what?  We can compare the history of management education in the US and the UK, given the different politics, to identify differences that reveal BSchs true nature.

Khurana’s canonical US story has three phases: management as a 19th century social duty, post-WW2 managerialism, and 1980’s financialization.  Free re-engagement with duty is the proper way forward.  Contrary to BSch as private-sector institutions, the European story goes back to 17th century state-craft.  Woodrow Wilson argued public-sector Cameralist techniques could be valuable to the US private sector (Wilson 1887).  Edmund James’s 1893 ABA Report on the European schools provided plans for the local BSch that began to flourish around the turn of the century.  Note Wharton was set up as a pro-tariff BSch to counter the free-trade economics being taught.

The UK story is of little until the Franks Report in 1963 and the establishment of LBS and MBS in 1965 (I was an early MBS student).  This was a political initiative, reflecting the elitist orientation evident at the Administrative Staff College and Henley.  Commercial education, urged by Quaker business, certainly existed before WW2 but was non-U.  As UK BSch proliferated post-Franks, the staff college curriculum was displaced by the private-sector US curriculum and A-journal methods.  UK BSch merged into the Pax-Americana post-WW2 political project.  Now, with around 25% of college students doing ‘business studies’ we urgently need clarity on our community’s fundamental questions.

Project Hindsight – Memory Decay

Please see the message below from Michael Weatherburn relating to his current work on “Project Hindsight”:

Hi everyone!

I hope my message finds you well.

Building on 2020’s successful ‘Memory Decay’ pilot, I’m getting in touch to let you know about Project Hindsight’s brand-new research.

We’d love to learn if and how one year of Covid-19 has changed how organisations work, function, and remember.

Click here to participate in our survey. Your valued input will be appreciated – thank you!

While I’m here, if you haven’t yet had a chance to watch Fieldwork’s A Short Film about Memory Decay (2020), featuring yours truly, you can do so here.

Speak soon,

Dr Michael Weatherburn

Project Hindsight is a strategy consultancy which uses the past to clarify the future. Our current focus is on institutional memory and forecasting.

‘Many practical lessons’
-Singapore Straits Times

SI CfP BH: Business History of the Middle East & Northern Africa

Business History Special Issue Call for paper

Exploring Business History of the Middle East and North Africa Region

Special Issue Editors

Vijay PereiraKhalifa University, UAE

Yama TemouriKhalifa University, UAE and Aston University, UK

Shlomo TarbaUniversity of Birmingham, UK

Behlül ÜsdikenSabanci University and Özyeğin University, Turkey

Neveen AbdelrehimNewcastle University, UK

Manuscript deadline
15 November 2021

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is currently growing and is seen to be one of the emerging business and economic regions of the world, with much happening recently. However, the MENA region has always been historically involved in global trade (Gelderblom and Trivellato, 2019, Aldous, 2019). In fact, before the Americas were discovered (end of the fifteenth century period), the Middle East region played an important role in world trade, and this included the famed West-East and East-West trade (Pereira and Malik, 2013; 2015; 2018). More specifically, the main West-East trade included the ‘Silk Road/Route’, that ran across the region from historical cities such as Aleppo to Baghdad, Rayy, Nishapur, Marv, and Samarkand, and through Kashgar to the T’ang capital, Chang’an (Xi’an) regions. Similarly, when it came to the East-West trade, items such as silk, porcelain, spices, dates, textiles, and horses moved in the opposite direction.

The slave trade also saw gold being traded from Sub-Saharan Africa and transported across the desert in exchange for textiles and salt. As a consequence, slaves were brought from East Africa to Egypt and to the Indian subcontinent in return for spices and textiles (Pereira and Malik, 2015; 2018). Other items such as food grain and salt were imported into Anatolia and further east from northern Europe. Dates also formed a major export to Europe from the Arab world, as was ivory and gold from sub-Saharan Africa.
Historically, cross border business involving this region dates back to the regime of the Ottoman Empire, which saw a significant trade between Western countries, and this was prevalent even during the wars. Thereafter, the Levant Company (founded in 1581, when agreements were enacted with France in 1569, when France took over from Venice as the leading trading nation in the Levant); the English East India Company (founded in 1600); and the Dutch East India Company (founded in 1602), all traded with the MENA countries (Pereira and Malik, 2015; 2018).

Thematic areas of the special issue:

  • Given the above background, not much has been researched or written on these historical aspects. This special issue call for papers thus solicits papers that delve into the historical aspects of business in the context of the region. We have put forth the following list of topics, derived from the extant historical literature that would be interesting and add to new knowledge. This list is not exhaustive and we solicit and encourage potential contributors to utilize this list as indicative.
  • Historically, how have the similarities and differences in cultural, institutional, religious, economic and political histories shaped these MENA countries’ business landscapes, over the years (e.g. Chaudhuri, 1990; Decker et al., 2018)?
  • How have previous historical conflicts, such as wars from the fourteenth century until World War II, shaped and impacted businesses in this region?
  • To what extent have Western influences historically impacted on business activity in this region (Decker, 2018; Abdelrehim & Toms, 2017)? What was the extent of convergence, divergence or crossvergence of business practices in the MENA region when it comes to cross-border trade and organizations (e.g. Üsdiken, and Kieser, 2004)?
  • What can we learn from unique and rare historical sources whilst investigating the historical landscape in the context of businesses in the MENA region (e.g. resources from the Ottoman archives) (e.g. Halil and Quataert, 1994)? Also, for example, what can be garnered from any local MENA economic historiographers and their accounts, like their Japanese, Chinese or Indian counterparts? Further, what can be unraveled from any Arabic and other indigenous archives to bring out historical facts that have not been previously researched and told?
  • How can prior research, if any, on the traditional industries of the MENA region, such as agriculture, handicrafts, mining, indigenous manufacturing, and on regulating oil in Iran and India (Abdelrehim and Verma, 2019) be expanded further?
  • What were the historical migration and importation of labour and its relevant trends in the above industries in the MENA region? For example, what were the historical trends of European immigration of Frenchmen, Italians and Spaniards as well as Asian migration of Indian (e.g. Verma and Abdelrehim, 2017; Abderehim et al. 2018), Chinese and African migrants from other than the MENA region?
  • What were the effects of historical institutional changes and inventions such as for example, introduction of new transportation systems, such as steam navigation through rivers, land transport from the traditional camels and mules to motor/auto driven systems, building of roads, railways, telegraphs etc., on businesses in the MENA region?
  • How was international business or trade in the MENA region affected by historical finance, capital, organized banking, loans, mortgages and export-import regimes and trends?
  • How and to what extent was historical tribalism, indigenous culture and practices, landownership, etc., impacting and affecting businesses in the MENA region?

Looking to Publish your Research?

We aim to make publishing with Taylor & Francis a rewarding experience for all our authors. Please visit our Author Services website for more information and guidance, and do contact us if there is anything we can help with!

Submission Instructions

Review Process Timeline:
Call-for-papers announcement: February 10, 2021
Submission due date: November 15, 2021
First round decisions: March 1, 2022
A special issue conference and paper development workshop is proposed at NEOMA Business School, France: April, 2022.
Similar, proposed special issue conference and paper development workshop at Newcastle University Business School, UK: June 1-3, 2022
First revision due date: August 1, 2022
Second round decisions: November 1, 2022
Second revision due date: February 1, 2023
Third round decisions: April 1, 2023
Final editorial decisions: June 15, 2023