Launching the Dotcom-Archive website!

Our AHRC-funded project, Contextualizing Email Archives has recently finished and we are proud to share with you one of our major outputs: the Dotcom-Archive website!

Our new website tells the history of a Dotcom start-up company through its emails, opening a window into the first digital revolution. Our very own desktop assistant, Mr Gummy, guides you through four vignettes giving background information and directions. The vignettes deal with claims of the end of strategy in the Dotcom-era, burning through investor cash, trying to figure out how to make money from software and platform business models, and how to take a digital venture into international markets. These stories can be read on their own or used for teaching. 

The website is part of our wider AHRC-funded project. We believe emails are a valuable source of historical record, particularly for those wishing to understand the organizations of the digital era. Our project delivers two distinct outputs – the Dotcom-Archive website, and the EMCODIST search prototype that we used to create it.  

Stay tuned for updates, as we’re looking forward to announcing some more exciting plans on here soon. Until then, you can read more about our project in our open access publications: 

AI & Society

IEEE Big Data conference paper  

“Contextualising Email Archives” is a UK/US collaboration funded by UK Research and Innovation and led by the University of Bristol. Other partners are the National Archives (UK), Hagley Museum and Library (US), University of Maryland, and De Montfort University. The Dotcom-Archive website was developed by GreenHat Bristol and realised by ResearchIT Bristol.

New historical article in HR

I am pleased to see another really interesting historical article has been published open access in Human Relations:

Business as service? Human Relations and the British interwar management movement

Mairi Maclean, Gareth Shaw, Charles Harvey 

First Published January 19, 2022 Research Article
https://doi.org/10.1177/00187267211070771
  

Abstract

To what extent should business have an implication of service when its fundamental purpose is profit-seeking? We explore this issue through a contextually informed reappraisal of British interwar management thinking (1918–1939), drawing on rich archival material concerning the Rowntree business lectures and management research groups. Whereas existing literature is framed around scientific management versus human relations schools, we find a third pronounced, related theme: business as service. Our main contribution is to identify the origins in Britain of the discourse of corporate social responsibility in the guise of business as service. We show that this emerged earlier than commonly assumed and was imbued with an instrumental intent from its inception as a form of management control. This was a discourse emanating not from management theorists but from management practitioners, striving to put the corporate system on a sustainable footing while safeguarding the power, authority, and legitimacy of incumbent managerial elites.

Roundtable on Enchantment in the History of Capitalism

Dear colleagues,

We are a network of scholars who seek to develop enchantment as an organizing theme in historical studies of capitalism. We hope to provide a platform for those interested in the historical role of enchantment as a tool, structure, or foundation for the organization and the development of modern markets, economic institutions, and economic relationships.

The first meeting of the network will take place on February 24, at 14:30 GMT on Zoom. It will be led by two expert speakers on magic and religion, Professor Owen Davies and Professor Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm. 

This is the first of a series of reading-group style workshops, intended to reflect on the meaning of enchantment and its uses in existing scholarship across different disciplines, with a longer-term view to redirect the concept and shed new light on the history of capitalism. 

More information on the first and future meetings, assigned pre-readings, as well as registration to the meeting and to our mailing list, are available on the network website: https://economic-enchantments.net/

We hope that many of you will join us on this intellectual journey!

Anat Rosenberg and Astrid Van den Bossche

—-
Dr Astrid Van den Bossche
Lecturer in Digital Marketing and Communications
Department of Digital Humanities 
King’s College London | Strand Campus | WC2R 2LS

New Hagley Hangout – with Paula de la Cruz-Fernandez

Hagley History Hangout

Paula A. de la Cruz-Fernández’s book Gendered Capitalism: Sewing Machines and Multinational Business in Spain and Mexico, 1850–1940 explores how the gender-specific cultures of sewing and embroidery shaped the US Singer Sewing Machine Company’s operations. Using the cases of Spain and Mexico, Fernandez details how the cultural, everyday realm of female use of sewing machines for family or business purposes influenced corporate organization and marketing strategy. In those places local agents, both men and women, developed and expanded Singer’s selling system such that this American-based multinational company assumed a domestic guise because of its focus on the private sphere of the home. In this way Fernandez genders the corporation, especially the intersection between feminine domesticity, commerce, and corporate strategy. 

Paula A. de la Cruz-Fernández is the Digital Editor of the Business History Conference and Digital Heritage Manager at the University of Florida. She received her Ph D in history from Florida International University in 2013. 

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

Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-paula-de-la-cruz-fernandez,

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

Roger Horowitz
Executive Director
Hagley Center

Carol Ressler Lockman
Manager
Hagley Center

NEH-Hagley Fellowship on Business, Culture, and Society

The NEH-Hagley Fellowship on Business, Culture, and Society supports residencies at the Hagley Library in Wilmington, Delaware for junior and senior scholars whose projects make use of Hagley’s substantial research collections. Scholars must have completed all requirements for their doctoral degrees by the February 15 application deadline. In accordance with NEH requirements, these fellowships are restricted to United States citizens or to foreign nationals who have been living in the United States for at least three years. These fellowships are made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Fellowships may be four to twelve months in length and will provide a monthly stipend of $5,000 and complimentary lodging in housing on Hagley’s property. Hagley also will provide supplemental funds for local off-site accommodations to NEH fellowship recipients who can make a compelling case that special circumstance (e.g. disability or family needs) would make it impossible to make use of our scholar’s housing. Scholars receive office space, Internet access, Inter-Library Loan privileges, and the full benefits of visiting scholars, including special access to Hagley’s research collections. They are expected to be in regular and continuous residence and to participate in the Center’s scholarly programs. They must devote full time to their study and may not accept teaching assignments or undertake any other major activities during their residency. Fellows may hold other major fellowships or grants during fellowship tenure, in addition to sabbaticals and supplemental grants from their own institutions, but only those that do not interfere with their residency at Hagley. Other NEH-funded grants may be held serially, but not concurrently.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR THE NEH-HAGLEY FELLOWSHIP ON BUSINESS, CULTURE, AND SOCIETY
Deadline: February 15
Requirements for application: (Apply online at https://www.hagley.org/research/grants-fellowships/funding-application ).
• Current curriculum vitae.
• A 3,000-word explanation of the project and its contributions to pertinent scholarship.
• A statement of no more than 500 words explaining how residency at Hagley would advance the project, particularly the relevance of our research collections.
• A statement indicating the preferred duration of the fellowship.
Applicants also should arrange for two letters of recommendation to arrive separately by the application deadline. These should be sent directly to Carol Lockman, clockman@Hagley.org. Questions regarding this fellowship may be sent to Carol Lockman as well.


NEH-Hagley Fellow 2021-2022:
Dylan Gottlieb
Lecturer in History, Princeton University
Wall Street & the Remaking of New York


Carol Ressler Lockman
Business History Conference
Manager, Hagley Center

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 

Adam Frost on Chinese Business History

Business History Review has published an important piece titled “Reframing Chinese Business History” by Adam Frost. This is another example of business history becoming more international to engage more with research on under-represented areas. The article is now available online and open access (see abstract and link below).

OHN will take a break over the holidays, and we wish you a merry Christmas, happy winter holidays, and fingers crossed for the new year, wherever you are!

Abstract

Business history is expanding to include a greater plurality of contexts, with the study of Chinese business representing a key area of growth. However, despite efforts to bring China into the fold, much of Chinese business history remains stubbornly distal to the discipline. One reason is that business historians have not yet reconciled with the field’s unique origins and intellectual tradition. This article develops a revisionist historiography of Chinese business history that retraces the field’s development from its Cold War roots to the present day, showing how it has been shaped by the particular questions and concerns of “area studies.” It then goes on to explore five recent areas of novel inquiry, namely: the study of indigenous business institutions, business and semi-colonial context, business at the periphery of empire, business during socialist transition, and business under Chinese socialism. Through this mapping of past and present trajectories, the article aims to provide greater coherence to the burgeoning field and shows how, by taking Chinese business history seriously, we are afforded a unique opportunity to reimagine the future of business history as a whole.

Access the article here.

Lou Galambos on 19C entrepreneurial culture

I was very pleased to see a historical piece by the well-known business historian Lou Galambos in the Academy of Management Perspectives recently. His contribution features in an issue that features articles on digital globalization, platform business models, and AI – it is great to see how AOM journals have opened up to a more pluralistic understanding of what management research can be.

The Entrepreneurial Culture: Mythologies, Realities, and Networks in Nineteenth-Century America

Louis Galambos

Academy of Management Perspectives Vol. 35, No. 4

Published Online: 29 Nov 2021 https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2019.0132

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is the driving force of capitalism; this article takes an historical lens to explore the culture that sustains that process. Behavioral economics provides an intellectual framework for analyzing the great variety of entrepreneurial enterprises that thrived in nineteenth-century America. Failures abounded, but the search for new opportunities continued and, by 1900, the frontier and the First and Second Industrial Revolutions had brought America to global industrial leadership and to the edge of a challenging cultural, political, and economic transition.

Great new tool available via the BHC

The Business History Conference´s Collective Bibliography is a searchable database of references related to the following themes:

  • Business history and race
  • Gender and business history
  • Business history in Latin America
  • Business and Power

Users of the tool, which is open to all on the BHC´s website, can search by collections (see themes above), by type of document, and by key terms. The database contains over 1000 references contributed by scholars in business history. The Business History Conference continues to expand this resource and soon will add a collection on Chinese business history and Teaching resources in business history.

For contributions or questions, please contact the BHC´s web editor [web-editor at thebhc.org]