An extraordinary story for your Christmas break

As we are getting very close to a well-deserved winter break, I wanted to share an extraordinary story with you about how historical research uncovered the life and family history of one woman’s immortal cells. Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman whose cells reproduced in laboratories when no others would. They have become the basis of many medical innovations, and have also played a role in medical research into the current pandemic.

However, until a few years ago, neither Lacks nor her descendants knew about her crucial role, as her cells were harvested without her consent. Despite her enormous significance for medical research, some members of her family struggled to get health insurance, as one interviewee pointed out. Her family learned about the both sad and significant medical history of their ancestor when a historian researching the history of Lacks’ cells contacted them. The BBC’s short video highlights the aftermath of the discovery of her amazing cells, her untimely death from cancer, her family’s discovery of her long legacy and their current engagement with medical research facilitated by their ancestor. It is an important story well worth watching over the holidays.

AOM MH community blog

AOM submission dates move ever closer (14 January 2021 5pm EST). In case you were not aware that the Management History track at AOM now runs a blog with news and updates, you should visit this website and subscribe!

The PDW call for submissions can be found here:

The call for the scholarly programme is here:

Survey for the FT50 list

Dear colleagues

As you may be aware, the FT50 list of journals is currently requesting feedback from the community about which journals to include in the new iteration of the list. There is currently no history journal on the list, and as a survey of published articles, which we did a few years ago, highlighted, about 65% of our authors are in Schools of Business, Management, or Accounting, Finance and Economics (Decker et al., 2018), making Business History the key journal for historical contributions to management and business research. Since 2013 our two-year impact factor has increased from 0.56 to over 1, and CiteScore to over 2. This is at the top end of history and business history journal impact factors, and comparable to elite journals in the discipline such as Past & Present (IF 0.831) or Economic History Review (IF 1.1). Submissions to Business History have steadily increased over the last few years and we now receive about 200 manuscripts per year. Our downloads were 64,538 in 2017, 79.371 in 2018, over 122,000 in 2019 and over 82,000 by July 2020. We believe this illustrates the progress we have made in the last few years, with your support, in what is a field with many dedicated journals, on which we hope to build in the future. If you would like to support this, please you spare a minute and fill out this survey (  for the FT50 list of journals and suggest Business History as a journal to include.

Thank you for your continued support of the journal and wider business history community.

Happy holidays and all the best for the new year!

Neil Rollings & Stephanie Decker
Editors-in-Chief of Business History

Decker, S., Stokes, R., Colli, A., de Jong, A., Fernandez Perez, P., & Rollings, N. (2018). Change of referencing style. Business History, 60(1), 1–3.

Video abstract for “Tangled Roots of African Entrepreneurship”

What can I say, with the second lockdown in the UK comes more up-skilling…

Our piece combines historical and fsQCA analysis.

If you’d like to read the full article, it is available open access here:

Decker, S., Estrin, S., & Mickiewicz, T. (2020). The tangled historical roots of entrepreneurial growth aspirations. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

If you are preparing video or visual abstract of management & organization history books, articles, chapters or presentations, let us know and we can post them via OHN for you!

Discount on “Historical Organization Studies: Theory and Applications”

Edited by Mairi Maclean, Stewart R. Clegg, Roy Suddaby and Charles Harvey

See this flyer for a 20% discount:

Enter the code FLR40 at checkout

Book description

We are now entering a new phase in the establishment of historical organization studies as a distinctive methodological paradigm within the broad field of organization studies. This book serves both as a landmark in the development of the field and as a key reference tool for researchers and students. It evaluates the current state of play, advances it and identifies the possibilities the new emergent field offers for the future. In addition to providing an important work of reference on the subject for researchers, the book can be used to introduce management and organizational history to a student audience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="10" max-font-size="72" height="80">The book is a valuable source for wider reading, providing rich reference material in tutorials across organizational studies, or as recommended or required reading on courses with a connection to business or management history.The book is a valuable source for wider reading, providing rich reference material in tutorials across organizational studies, or as recommended or required reading on courses with a connection to business or management history.

Digital evaluation copies for Wren & Bedeian

The Evolution of Management Thought

By David A Wren & Arthur G Bedeian

It is our pleasure to announce that the eighth edition of The Evolution of Management Thought has been released and that digital evaluation copies are now available. Over the nearly half-century since the publication of EMT’s first edition, we have come to more fully appreciate that everything about management as an academic discipline—its language, its theories, its models, and its methodologies, not to mention its implicit values, its professional institutions, and its scholarly ways—comes from its inherited traditions. In the belief that contemporary scholarship within the management discipline suffers to the extent that it lacks an appreciation of the past’s impact on current thinking, our new edition traces the evolution of management thought from its earliest days to the present, examining the backgrounds, ideas, and influences of its major contributors. 

In preparing this new edition, our intent was to place various theories of management in their historical context, showing how they have changed over time. As with previous editions, we exhort readers to eschew what might be called “straight-line thinking” in associating individual factors with specific events. Throughout 22 chapters, we move back and forth through time highlighting unsuspected connections, demonstrating that history is more than simply a sequence of disparate events and personalities that careen through time and space. As a special feature, this edition includes a PowerPoint package (prepared by Regina Scannell Greenwood and the late Julia Kurtz Teahen) featuring 650 photographs, charts, and other visual materials. 

Request a digital evaluation copy by pasting the following URL into your browser:
We remain grateful for the suggestions and encouragement of the many people who have used previous editions of The Evolution of Management Thought in the classroom and in their own research. For more information, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Daniel A. Wren
David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus
The University of Oklahoma


Arthur G. Bedeian
Boyd Professor Emeritus
Louisiana State University

BHC annual conference goes virtual

Business History: Building for the Future

Annual Meeting of the Business History Conference

Virtual meeting

March 11-13, 2021

Proposals due November 14, 2020

The originally agreed theme of ‘The Ubiquity of Business’ has been dropped. Instead, a new theme ‘Business History: Building for the Future’ has been developed. This year’s BHC annual meeting will be unlike any previous annual meeting as it will be a virtual one. It is hoped that this is only a temporary interlude from the standard get-togethers which we all value so much. However, it also provides an opportunity to be innovative. Four principles underpin our hopes for the annual meeting:

  1. To assist graduate students and emerging scholars as a priority.
  2. To make the conference as interactive as possible.
  3. To regard the meeting as an opportunity to be experimental and radical.
  4. To be as inclusive as is possible.

To achieve these goals the Program Committee have agreed the following in relaunching the call for papers for the 2021 BHC annual meeting.

  • The Program Committee will accept proposals for individual papers, whole sessions, e-posters, podcasts, videos, slide shows, roundtables and methodological workshop sessions.
    • The main aim of the theme is to support graduate students and emerging scholars in the field of business history to develop their careers in these difficult times and where the academic job market is going to be extremely uncertain for some time to come.
    • The focus of activities will be to help graduate students and emerging scholars to participate and showcase their research as well as providing opportunities for mentoring by established scholars in the field.
    • Innovative, more experimental and radical session proposals which promote discussion about business history are particularly encouraged and the Program Committee are open to being approached to discuss such proposals prior to the submission deadline.
    • More established scholars are encouraged to submit proposals which might benefit graduate students and emerging scholars, for example methodological discussions or broad-themed roundtables.
    • To maximise the opportunities for two-way interaction speaker time will be more limited than usual with an emphasis on discussion. Proposals for mini-plenaries and roundtables are particularly welcomed.
    • The conference will be less intensive than usual, with activities spread across the day to allow greater engagement from around the world and to avoid Zoom fatigue.
    • This does mean that there will be significantly fewer opportunities to present work in the traditional format.
  • To address this, we aim to offer an opportunity for all participants in the annual meeting to showcase their research via a virtual exhibition.
    • The BHC Doctoral Colloquium will take place, but not in conjunction with the virtual annual meeting. It will probably occur later in the spring.
    • Similarly, it is envisaged that the usual pre-conference workshops will take place virtually at another time in the year, yet to be decided. However, we are keen to incorporate methodological sessions into the annual meeting program.

To facilitate participation in the 2021 meeting, the BHC Trustees have voted to provide Alfred Chandler Fund grants to cover registration costs for BHC members presenting papers who are graduate students or emerging scholars, the latter defined as within three years of receipt of their PhD degree. Usually Chandler grants cover travel costs to participate in the annual meeting. BHC membership fees are $30 for graduate students and $40 for emerging scholars.

The program committee will be chaired by Lucy Newton (University of Reading) and includes Paula de la Cruz Fernández (University of Florida), Marina Moskowitz (University of Wisconsin – Madison), Susie Pak (St. John’s University), Dan Wadhwani (University of Southern California and Copenhagen Business School), along with BHC President Neil Rollings (University of Glasgow). Victoria Barnes (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History) has been added to the committee as a representative of the Emerging Scholars Committee. To discuss a possible alternative style of paper or session proposal contact Neil Rollings ( or Lucy Newton ( in the first instance. We would also encourage people to use the BHC “session organizer,” where organizers may send in their panel interests and solicit colleagues to join them. Organizers can also indicate through a post to H-Business that they are trying to organize a BHC panel proposal around a given theme.

Proposals may be submitted for individual papers or for entire sessions. Each presentation proposal should include a one-page (300 word) abstract and one-page curriculum vitae (CV) for each participant. Session proposals (unless a roundtable) should include a maximum of four individual presentations. All session proposals should have a cover letter containing a title, a one-paragraph session description, and the names and affiliations of a recruited chair, as well as the contact information for the session organizer. To submit a proposal go

to and click on the link instructions.

The deadline for receipt of all paper and panel proposals is November 14, 2020. Acceptance letters will be sent by December 15, 2020. Everyone appearing on the program must register for the meeting.

The K. Austin Kerr Prize will be awarded for the best first paper delivered by a new scholar at the annual meeting. A “new scholar” is defined as a doctoral candidate or a Ph.D. whose degree is less than three years old. You must nominate your paper for this prize on the proposal submission page where indicated. Please check the appropriate box if your proposal qualifies for inclusion in the Kerr Prize competition.

The BHC awards the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best English-language dissertation in business history by a recent Ph.D. in history, economics, business administration, the history of science and technology, sociology, law, communications, and related fields. To be eligible,

dissertations must be completed in the three calendar years immediately prior to the 2021 annual meeting and may only be submitted once for the Krooss prize. After the Krooss committee has reviewed the proposals, it will ask semi-finalists to submit copies of their dissertations. Finalists will present summaries of their dissertations at a plenary session and will receive a partial subsidy of their travel costs to the meeting. Proposals accepted for the Krooss Prize are not eligible for the Kerr Prize. If you wish to apply for this prize, submit a cover letter, dissertation abstract, and author’s c.v., using this

form: The deadline for proposals for the Krooss prize is November 14, 2020.

The Martha Moore Trescott Prize is awarded to the best paper at the intersection of business history and the history of technology presented at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference. The prize will be awarded on the basis of the written version of a paper to be presented at the annual meeting. Those wishing to be considered for the prize must indicate so at the time of submitting their original proposal for the meeting. Self-nominating scholars must also provide the written paper to the Chair of the committee not less than one month before the annual meeting. Though the prize will be awarded on the basis of the written paper, candidates must register for the meeting and present their work. Scholars who are eligible for the Kerr Prize may also enter the Trescott Prize. There are no other restrictions on eligibility. Written papers should be no longer than 4,000 words (exclusive of notes, bibliography, appendices, figures and illustrations). The deadline for receipt of all paper and panel proposals is November 14, 2020.

As a result of the digital reconfiguration of the BHC annual meeting, the 2021 BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held later in spring 2021. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will most likely also take place on a remote basis, over two days in either late May or early June. We may spread the sessions out even more this year, given the likely need for digital interaction. Typically limited to ten students, the colloquium is open to early stage doctoral candidates pursuing dissertation research within the broad field of business history, from any relevant discipline. Topics

(see 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 at least two BHC officers), discussing dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and career trajectories. Typically, participants receive partial stipends to defray the costs of travel to the annual meeting. For 2021 participants, BHC will provide a partial stipend to defray travel costs to the next in-person annual meeting. The application cycle will be later than usual this year, with applications due by 15 January 2021 via email

to 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). Questions about the colloquium should be sent to its director, Edward Balleisen, Applicants will receive notification of the selection committee’s decisions by 15 February 2021.

Applications are invited for one Co-Editor to join the Editorial Team for Business History

Business History
Searching for a new Co-Editor for Business History

The position is for a term of three years starting in January 2021, renewable by mutual consent for further terms at Routledge’s discretion.

About the Journal

Business History is an international journal concerned with the long-run evolution and contemporary operation of business systems and enterprises. Its primary purpose is to make available the findings of advanced research, empirical and conceptual, into matters of global significance, such as corporate organization and growth, multinational enterprise, business efficiency, entrepreneurship, technological change, finance, marketing, human resource management, professionalization and business culture.

The Journal has won a reputation for academic excellence and has a wide readership amongst management specialists, economists and other social scientists and economic, social, labour and business historians.

Business History: The emerging agenda

The core strategy of Business History is to promote business history as a sui generis scholarly discipline, engaging on an equal footing with mainstream history and the wider social sciences. To achieve this, the Journal will continue to be international, comparative, thematic and theoretically informed. In the post-Chandler world, the agenda for business history is to extend its scale and scope specifically to:

  • widen its international scope: business activities in underrepresented regions, for example Latin America, Africa and Asia
  • go back beyond the 19th and 20th centuries to include ancient, medieval and early modern eras
  • inform the policy agenda; historical examples of regulatory success and failure, nationalisations and privatisations
  • engage with the business and management agendas; entrepreneurship, competitive advantage, corporate governance
  • theoretical development; independent theory or theories of business history

All research articles in this journal are rigorously peer reviewed, based on initial editor screening and anonymized reviewing by at least two referees.

The Journal is indexed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus and numerous business journal quality lists, such as the CABS and ABDC lists. Please visit for additional information about the Journal and Publisher.

Job Description

We are seeking one Co-Editor to join the Editorial Team to drive the strategy for Business History, working to enhance the impact and reputation of the Journal. The Co-Editor will manage the peer-review process for papers assigned to them, recommending high quality papers to publish.

Routledge provide an annual contribution to expenses incurred by the Editorial team.

Key Tasks

The tasks to be undertaken will include but will not be limited to:

  • Working with the Editorial Team, Routledge and the Editorial Board to develop the editorial strategy and direction of Business History and acting as an ambassador for the Journal;
  • Attendance and networking at international conferences, which may be online or in person, and events to promote Business History and solicit submissions, invited contributions, and special issue proposals;
  • Responsibility for enhancing the quality and reputation of Business History, particularly in relation to the quantity, quality and timeliness of published research;
  • Commissioning topical special issues with active, well-respected Guest Editors;
  • Day-to-day manuscript and peer review management including selecting and managing peer reviewers and making recommendations for the final decision on papers assigned to you;
  • Ensuring that all reviewers and authors uphold the Journal’s code of publishing ethics;
  • Working with the Editorial Team to refresh the Editorial Board and pool of reviewers as necessary in terms of subject specialisms and geographical representation;
  • Attending Editorial Team / Editorial Board meetings annually.

Candidate Experience

We are seeking an outstanding and professional academic who is actively involved in the disciplines covered by Business History, with an international reputation for research excellence, and a passion for communication. Prior experience of editing an established journal is preferred, but not essential.

Applicants should be actively involved in networks within the field. Key qualities sought for the positions include energy, enthusiasm, managerial skills to oversee the editorial cycle, an understanding of research and publishing ethics, and the ability to meet deadlines and work effectively with Editorial Team members and a major publisher.

Application Procedure

Applications must include a letter of interest, specifically referring to why you believe you are particularly qualified for the role of Co-Editor as part of an Editorial Team for Business History, and how you see your role in the future development and direction of the Journal (maximum of 1 side of A4). CVs should also be submitted.

To submit your application, or for further details, please contact:

Anyone who wishes to discuss these positions informally with the Editors-in-Chief are welcome to contact Neil Rollings or Stephanie Decker at the email addresses given above.

The deadline for applications is Monday 16th November 2020.

Candidates who pass the initial screening stage will be invited for an interview with the Editors-in-Chief, which will be over video link.

All applications will be treated as strictly confidential. Routledge and the Editors-in-Chief will judge each on its merits without regard to the race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the candidate.

Recording of Business History Collective Roundtable on Slavery and Business History now available

To view this week’s recorded roundtable event by the Business History Colllective on Slavery and Business History, go to .

Also note that the Business History Collective is changing its homepage to: and email to  bizhiscollective@JISCMAIL.AC.UK .

Happy Friday everyone!

The Microhistory Network

For those of us interested in microhistory as an approach, there is an interested resource online that I only recently discovered: The Microhistory Network:

“The Microhistory Network was created as a loose group in January 2007 to bring together historians interested in the theory and practice of microhistory through a homepage with a bibliography, links to the members’ homepages and other relevant webpages that would give information about conferences, events, the publication of books and articles. The founding members of the Microhistory Network are Mihail Boytsov, Carlo Ginzburg, Marion Gray, Ingar Kaldal, Giovanni Levi, David M. Luebke, Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon, Sarah Maza, Edward Muir, Matti Peltonen, Guido Ruggiero, David Sabean and István Szijártó. The coordinator of the Microhistory Network is Kristóf Kovács and István Szijártó (Eötvös University, Budapest).”

I have read the work of several of these scholars with great interest, and they have just announced an online course:

From September 2020, Eötvös University (Budapest) offers the online course Introduction into microhistory for a limited number of students. Attending the classes is free of charge. For details see the course homepage.