Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Business History: Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

The Past Speaks

Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management
Free University of Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Business History (2 + 1 years)

Salary: Fellowship up to ca. 30,000-36,000 EUR, depending on level of expertise and
fiscal regulations.  Employer will provide assistance with the administrative steps to be undertaken prior to arrival at the ULB and the various formalities to be completed once in Belgium (residence permit, accommodation, health insurance, tax and social security…

Expected start date: October 1st, 2018

Application deadline: February 8th, 2018

A Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Business History is vacant at the Solvay
Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM) of the Free University of
Brussels (Université Libre de Bruxelles – ULB).

The Kurgan-van Hentenryk (hereafter KvH) Chair in Business History aims at
advancing and diffusing research on the history of the knowledge economy. The
purpose of the chair is threefold. First, it is designed to…

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Deadline Extended: EBHA 2018

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The Past Speaks

The deadline to apply to the European Business History Association conference has been extended to Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
If you have any questions please contact Veronica Binda or Roberto Giulianelli at:
scientific.ebha18@univpm.it

The firm and the sea: chains, flows and connections

Call for Papers, European Business History Association 2018 Conference Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona – Italy September 6-8, 2018

The sea – whether considered as open ocean or as a mass of water bordered by land masses – is an enormous economic resource for mankind. Not only is it the principal way of transportation for goods and humans but it’s also a formidable source of food. Since we want to link the sea with the business unit (the firm, as well as other organizational units like clusters, networks and global value chains) the focus of the next EBHA conference will be on two units of analysis that are both…

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Classroom Frontiers: Business History Course Development Workshop

The Copenhagen Business School PDW Series at the Business History Conference (BHC) Annual Meeting 2018, Baltimore , MD21202, USA

Thursday, April 5, 2018, c.9am-1:30pm

Business historians excel in the classroom. They do so by applying history to a variety of different topics and using a set of different approaches. While in recent years, business historians have started sharing collections of course syllabi,[1] there are very few opportunities to engage in discussion about how and in which contexts business history is being taught.

The workshop provides a platform for business historians to learn and share the content and techniques of what they are teaching and to discuss ways to collaborate more effectively about pedagogy. This includes not only sharing content and methods but also discussing opportunities for joint case development and staff exchanges between schools.

To allow for a focused debate, we have invited presenters with three concrete examples of courses rooted in business history but pushing its frontiers in new directions and targeting new audiences. They will present innovative new course and teaching initiatives in (i) Public History, (ii) Financial History and (iii) Entrepreneurial History. We seek to sample their concrete examples of course design, module structure and session planning as well as discuss new experimental ideas in each of these areas. All three topics can be understood as pilots when it comes to successfully introducing business history to history departments and business schools as well as engaging a broader public.

Participants will come away with usable ideas about both content and pedagogical practice for introduction in their classroom and public outreach activities. Participants are explicitly encouraged to bring their own case ideas, session plans, or module concepts for common discussion.

The workshop will take place immediately before the BHC meeting and at the same location. Participation in BHC meeting and workshop is possible. If you have any questions, please contact Christina Lubinski (cl.mpp@cbs.dk) or Dan Wadhwani (dwadhwani@pacific.edu). We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the “Rethinking History in Business Schools” Initiative at Copenhagen Business School’s Centre for Business History.

[1] For example, the Business History Conference website on course syllabi: http://www.thebhc.org/syllabi or the Harvard Business School Guide to Business History Courses Worldwide: http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/courses/resources/Pages/default.aspx.

 

For workshop details see, http://thebhc.org/classroom-frontiers.To register for this workshop, use the BHC annual meeting registration form. For general information on the BHS annual meeting, see http://thebhc.org/2018-bhc-meeting.

Computers and Business History: Mira Wilkins Prize Winner

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

The NEP-HIS Blog

IBM Rebuilds Europe: The Curious Case of the Transnational Typewriter
By Petri Paju (Turku) and Thomas Haigh (Wisconsin, Milwaukee).

Abstract: In the decade after the Second World War IBM rebuilt its European operations as integrated, wholly owned subsidiaries of its World Trade Corporation, chartered in 1949. Long before the European common market eliminated trade barriers, IBM created its own internal networks of trade, allocating the production of different components and products between its new subsidiaries. Their exchange relationships were managed centrally to ensure that no European subsidiary was a consistent net importer. At the heart of this system were eight national electric typewriter plants, each assembling parts produced by other European countries. IBM promoted these transnational typewriters as symbols of a new and peaceful Europe and its leader, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., was an enthusiastic supporter of early European moves toward economic integration. We argue that IBM’s humble typewriter and…

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Crafting your PhD proposal: Routes to originality in historical research

My colleague Richard Toye at Exeter wrote this interesting blog about originality in historical research – the equivalent of the theoretical contribution in management and organization studies.

Imperial & Global Forum

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Call for Papers, EBHA 2018 Conference

The firm and the sea: chains, flows and connections

Call for Papers, EBHA 2018 Conference Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona – Italy September 6-8, 2018

The sea – whether considered as open ocean or as a mass of water bordered by land masses – is an enormous economic resource for mankind. Not only is it the principal way of transportation for goods and humans but it’s also a formidable source of food. Since we want to link the sea with the business unit (the firm, as well as other organizational units like clusters, networks and global value chains) the focus of the next EBHA conference will be on two units of analysis that are both extremely relevant for the sea as well as economic resources – ships and harbors.

In order to perform its function, the ship (a means for transporting goods and people) is run in a very hierarchical way, more than what occurs with a factory or a retail company (two good comparison points). Just as with a factory or retailer, ships embody economic goals to be achieved by workers, managers, and – this is the difference – CEOs whose decisions cannot be challenged given that the cargo and (more importantly) the life of its “inhabitants” can be at stake.

Rarely does the ship stand on its own as a business unit (unless we talk of an activity like fishing which is certainly important). It’s part of a group that refers to a shipowner acting in a very complicated world where the ups and downs of charters and continuous struggles with government regulations and policies render decisions delicate and complex.

The ship is the nexus of a tremendous amount of activity – just consider the shipyards, metallurgic factories, plants producing precision equipment, and those dedicated to heavy machinery. And think of other sectors like the extraction of raw materials and agricultural products that could have a real global circulation in relation to the capacity of the maritime vehicle.

Then there are associated service sectors such as insurance and banking activities focused on navigation (often with government support). Credit for navigation is a landmark of the modern economy with both successes as well as bankruptcies. Also worthy of further study is the role that passenger ships have played in the social and economic development of many nations. From the large ships of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that plied the Atlantic Ocean transporting passengers between the Americas and Europe to the postwar ocean liners that offered a glamorous way to travel to new destinations, ships helped make the tourism industry grow.

And we can’t close our eyes to some of the unlawful activities connected with the world of navigation including the illegal transportation of human beings, prohibited goods, and money laundering. Even today there are occasional episodes of piracy, something that we thought limited to history books and old novels.

The second actor we consider is strictly related to the first one – ports, an unavoidable reference point for ships that make them their destination for the goods and passengers on board. It’s in the port that a ship can stock materials needed when at sea and eventually undergo repairs before embarking on a new journey. We see the port as an

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entrepreneur (formed by stakeholders with both common and divergent goals) which should be analyzed in an historical perspective. First are the many aspects of the governance of the port: who’s in charge? Is it a function of the State or the military? Is it a managerially run port authority that, even if designated by State powers, has relative autonomy in its actions? Are there private operators who handle the terminals? How does the type of governance impact a port’s efficiency? Second, we have to single out the crowd of operators in a port: maritime agents, stevedores, people who maneuver the cranes, pilots, dock workers. Several of these activities are strictly regulated, at times resulting in strong conflicts between various actors in the port.

The relationship between a port and the areas around it, the presence of appropriate infrastructures, and the many activities making up the field of logistics – all are tremendously important for the port as a kind of entrepreneur. Given their role of stimulating the trade of goods, raw materials and energy sources, the port becomes a key actor of the development of productive areas. Ports can strengthen or even launch the industrial take-off of the territories they supply. Moreover, ports are historically linked to global cities, nodes in a complex network of trade, but also of political international alliances, which emerged progressively in the phases of globalization (from Singapore to Hong Kong and from San Francisco to Yokohama, for example).

Even today seas and their ports remain a theater in which important geo-political and geo-economic stances take place; their relevance for business history can’t be underestimated. From the building or restructuring of infrastructures that are pillars of the first wave of globalization (the Suez and Panama Canals, for example) to new opportunities brought about by the latest waves of globalization, the sea continues to be an essential, physical component of the complex web of trade relations which allow the existence of global value chains that take advantage of its unique means of connection and communication.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Connections, links and networks in waves of globalization and de-globalization
  • Characteristics and dynamics of the shipping and logistics industries
  • The long run transformation of shipbuilding and related industries
  • The fishing industry
  • The history of insurance and banking activities related to navigation
  • Technological developments and their impact on ships and ports
  • The variety and features of illegal activities connected to sea transport
  • Features and management of companies connected with the world of navigation
  • Private and public entrepreneurship in sectors related to sea transportation
  • Workers and industrial relations in maritime industries
  • The governance of ports and their transformation over time
  • Relations of cooperation/competition among maritime companies and ports
  • The history and development of global value chains and networks

Last, but not least, ports, ships, and even the sea are highly sensitive to technological change and the resulting emergence of competitive and alternative infrastructures (from railways and motorways to airlines and large airport hubs).

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  • The role played by firms and entrepreneurs in shaping the development of maritime exchanges of goods, services, and information, or in integrating economies and cultures
  • Seas, ports and climate change
  • Dynamics and impact of governmental policies and regulations on navigation
  • The political economy of connections and links
  • The impact of ports on their surrounding territory and vice versa
  • The geography and features of global cities and their transformation
  • The role of the sea in shaping the emergence and consolidation of different kinds of

    capitalism

  • Migrations flows across the sea
  • Passenger travel and the growth of tourism
  • International investments in the maritime industries
  • The relationships among port cities seen as nodes of a global network where

    dimensions and scope change over time

    The organizers expect to receive proposals related to some of the suggestions outlined above. But consideration will also be given to papers covering other aspects of the broader conference title.

    In the event of a business history topic without ties to the sea or the firm, consideration will be given, provided that the proposal demonstrates originality and that this forum could be a useful place for further reflection.

    We also invite other formats, such as panels and roundtables, poster sessions for Ph.D. students, workshops aiming to start collaborative projects, and “toolkit sessions”. Proposals should be directed to the paper committee as well.

    Requirements for proposals

    The submission system consists of a template that specifically asks for

    (1) Author information: affiliation, short CV, authored publications related to the paper proposal

    (2) An abstract of no more than 800 words

    (3) Additional information important to the program committee: clear statement of the research question (not more than 150 words), brief information on the theoretical/conceptual framework used, major research areas to which the paper relates

    (4) Joint papers need a responsible applicant who will be at the conference if the proposal is accepted.

    Please have this information ready to enter into the submission system via copy and paste.

    Requirements for panel proposals and roundtables

    The criteria for single paper proposals also apply to session and roundtables proposals. There is, however, a specific template for session proposals.

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Sessions can be ninety minutes long (usually three papers) or two hours in order to accommodate more papers. A successful panel/roundtable leaves significant time for the audience to raise questions, to comment and to generally discuss the panel’s theme.

A session proposal should not be made up of participants exclusively from one country. The program committee retains the right to integrate papers into sessions as they see fit.

Please note that paper, session/panel proposals must be submitted via the congress website (use this link http://ebha.org/public/C9 to upload proposals). See the Conference Website (http://ebha18.univpm.it) for further details.

The deadline is Monday, January 15, 2018.

If you have any questions please contact Veronica Binda or Roberto Giulianelli at:

scientific.ebha18@univpm.it

Koyama on Counterfactual History

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

The Past Speaks

Mark Koyama, an economic historian at George Mason University, has published an excellent piece on counterfactual history. He begins by pointing out that many history-department historians dislike counterfactual history and that this sentiment is particularly pronounced among historians who subscribe to Marxism or other teleological worldviews. Koyama points out that counterfactual thinking is an integral part of causal analysis in academic research, and indeed ordinary life.  He draws on David Hume’s observation that a counterfactual is implicit whenever we use the word “cause” or one of its synonyms. He points out that many historians who are against extended counterfactual analysis nevertheless engage in implicit counterfactual analysis of varying levels of quality. To provide an example of amateurish counterfactual analysis, Koyama mention Ed Baptist’s controversial book The Half Has Never Been Told, which argues that almost 50% of US GDP in 1836 was due to slavery. (For more…

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Academic Entrepreneurship in Historical Perspective

Over the last couple of years, an interdisciplinary group of historians of science and technology and business historians have been collaborating on a project on “academic entrepreneurship” that has resulted in the publication of two special issues. Links to the  introductions to those special issues and a list of the articles can be found below.

MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY (V 12, no. 3, 2017)

R. Daniel Wadhwani, University of the Pacific
Gabriel Galvez-Behar, University of Lille
Joris Mercelis, Johns Hopkins
Anna Guagnini. University of Bologna
Ellan Spero, MIT
Thomas Brandt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Gabriel Galvez-Behar, University of Lille
Giovanni Favero,  Universita Venezia
Cyrus C.M. Mody, Maastricht University
HISTORY AND TECHNOLOGY (V 33, no. 1, 2017)
Joris Mercelis, Johns Hopkins
Gabriel Galvez-Behar, University of Lille
Anna Guagnini. University of Bologna

Commercializing academic knowledge and reputation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: photography and beyond
Joris Mercelis, Johns Hopkins

Wolfgang Konig, German Academy of Science and Technology
Anna Guagnini, University of Bologna
Shaul Katzir, Tel Aviv University
Brian Dick, Chemical History Foundation
Mark Jones, Tech History Works

BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held once again in conjunction with the 2018 BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Baltimore on Wednesday April 4th and Thursday April 5th. 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 has evolved in ways that have led them to see the value of an intensive engagement with 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 2017 via email to BHC@Hagley.org 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 20 December 2017.

Questions about the colloquium should be sent to its director, Duke Professor of History Edward Balleisen, eballeis@duke.edu, and/or this year’s graduate student liaison, Alexi Garrett, asg4c@virginia.edu (who participated last year).