Aston Inaugural: A History of Business in 9 Archives

After many years as a Prof at Aston, I am having my inaugural this October. Please join me if you can, free drinks and nibbles after!

A history of business in nine archives

Professor Stephanie Decker

 

Date
Tuesday 30 October 2018

Time
18:30 to 20:00

Location
G11, Aston University

Remarkable stories and insights linger in archives like half-written novels. Many well-known companies maintain extensive collections of their international ventures that contain rich materials about business and society. In nine archives across three continents, we’ll discover the history of international firms investing in West Africa and elsewhere, from precursors of today’s microfinance to how firms make use of their history to inspire confidence after a crisis.

18:00 – Tea and coffee in G8, Main Building
18:30 – Lecture in G11, Main Building
19:30 – Drinks, nibbles and networking in G8

Please email events@aston.ac.uk with any questions or queries.

Book your free space here.

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2018 Hagley Prize winner

Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference are pleased to announce the 2018 winner of the Hagley Prize:  Matatu:  A History of Popular Transportation in Nairobi (The University of Chicago Press, 2017) by Kenda Mutongi of Williams College.   Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference jointly offer the Hagley Prize awarded to the best book in Business History (broadly defined) and consists of a medallion and $2,500.  The prize was awarded at the Business History Conference annual meeting held in Baltimore, Maryland, April 7th, 2018.

The prize committee encourages the submission of books from all methodological perspectives.  It is particularly interested in innovation studies that have the potential to expand the boundaries of the discipline.   Scholars, publishers, and other interested parties may submit nominations.  Eligible books can have either an American or an international focus.   They must be written in English and be published during the two years (2017 or 2018 copyright) prior to the award.

Four copies of a book must accompany a nomination and be submitted to the prize coordinator, Carol Ressler Lockman, Hagley Museum and Library, PO Box 3630, 298 Buck Road, Wilmington DE  19807-0630,  The deadline for nominations is November 30, 2018.   The 2019 Hagley Prize will be presented at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference in Cartagena, Colombia, March 16th, 2019.

 

Fully-funded PhD opportunity (ESRC)

I am very pleased to announce that we have been able to get funding for a doctoral student in the history and contemporary experience of female entrepreneurship in West Africa. The application deadline is very soon (15 February), please encourage any good candidates you may know to apply!

Female entrepreneurship in West Africa

ESRC DTP Joint Studentship in the Midlands Graduate School

 Aston University and University of Birmingham

The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), with the first intake of students to begin in October 2017.

One of 14 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham.

Midlands Graduate School is now inviting applications for an ESRC Doctoral Joint Studentship between Aston University (where the student will be registered) and the University of Birmingham to commence in October 2017.

Contemporary research such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)[1] shows that female entrepreneurship is more common in Africa than in the rest of the world. This is particularly true of West Africa, which has higher rates of female entrepreneurship than the rest of Africa. Historical research shows that this has a long tradition, with women having been perhaps even more dominant as entrepreneurs before colonialism.

This doctoral research project aims to establish both historical and contemporary reasons for the greater prevalence of female entrepreneurship in West Africa. It is important to understand this because a) entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth and job creation, and b) gender has been recognized as an important factor in driving social development, inclusive growth and intergenerational progress. However, high levels of entrepreneurial activity can also be an indicator of poverty and inequality. This doctoral research project should identify the complex reasons behind the predominance of women in West African entrepreneurship.

Research questions:

– Why do women in West Africa chose to become entrepreneurs more commonly than in other areas of the world?

– What drives these choices: necessity, cultural attitudes, lack of alternative opportunities, historical tradition, gender stereotypes?

The student to be recruited to this project would develop these research questions further in line with her/his expertise and interest. The exact choice of case context (country / region) would be a matter of negotiation with the student researcher. Applicants who are invited for interview will be ask to indicate the direction in which they would like to take this project, and how they would develop the topic.

Application Process

 To be considered for this PhD, please complete the Joint Studentship application form available online here, together with a cover letter and a CV (form available here) and along with two references email this to e.bridges@aston.ac.uk.

 Application deadline: Wednesday 15 February 2017

Interviews will be held Tuesday 7 March 2017 at Aston Business School

 

Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP

 Our ESRC studentships cover fees and maintenance stipend and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available only to successful applicants who fulfil eligibility criteria. To check your eligibility, visit: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/mgsdtp/studentships/eligibilty/

Informal enquiries about the research or Aston Business School prior to application can be directed to Professor Stephanie Decker.

 For more information on how to apply, please go to the Midlands Graduate School:

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/mgsdtp/collaborativeandjoint/#joint

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/mgsdtp/collaborativeandjoint/au_joint_advert_s_decker_-_female_entreperneurship.pdf

[1] E.g., Global Entrepreneurship 2014 Women’s Report (2015). http://gemconsortium.org/report/49281 GEM Subsaharan Africa Report (2015) http://www.gemconsortium.org/report/48601

CfP: Out of Africa – World Congress on Business History, Bergen 2016

‘OUT OF AFRICA’: The Globalisation of African Enterprises.

Call for Papers: 1st World Congress on Business History / University of Bergen, 2016.

 

An open call for papers from researchers of African Business History for the World Congress on Business History to be held 25th – 27th August 2016, in Bergen Norway. By bringing together business and economic historians of Africa, this panel seeks to strengthen the study of business history in Africa. Collaborating with new and existing scholars from the field, and a rich sample of case studies from across Africa, the panel aims to publish special issues on African business history in the global context. The deadline for abstracts is March 25th, 2016. Please send a maximum of 1000 words, outlining the proposed paper to Edward Kerby, London School of Economics and LEAP (Stellenbosch), e.m.kerby@lse.ac.uk

 

ABSTRACT

 

Grietjie Verhoef   & Edward Kerby

The African continent is largely missing from debates in business history with numerous method- ological and archival challenges. Yet recent headlines extoll how business is coming to Africa, with 3 of the 10 fastest growing global cities. A continent of 54 counties, it is home to a billion consumers. Bypassing the constraints of legacy infrastructure, half of the population are under the age of 15 and adopting new technology. With this growth, African enterprises have also been globalising. No longer can the continent be merely seen as a source of commodities or a recipient of aid, but rather a rapidly expanding market with African business champions meeting rising demands. This change has led to a greater focus on the internationalisation of enterprises, the role of foreign direct investment and the historical roots of African enterprises.

 

Yet African businesses have not operated in a vacuum but were shaped by the first wave of globalisa- tion, decolonisation and 50 years of independence. This lends their histories to comparative case studies with globalisation from Asia and Latin America. With unique opportunities and challenges, African businesses have adapted to diverse geographic, political and institutional settings. Multinationals from Africa are less well-known, such as MTN (ICT), Standard Bank (Finance) or Dangote (Industrials), but so are small and medium sized enterprises expanding operations outside of home borders. These businesses offers unique political, cultural, ethnic and migrant narratives from which business history scholarship can draw.

 

The main assumption of this panel is that a historical exploration of enterprises “Out of Africa” can shed light on the past development path of business in Africa, as well as informing current and future African business leaders. These include, but are by no means limited to the deeper understanding of patterns of internationalisation, the impact of macroeconomic and political context on African FDI, patterns of adaptation, organisation and management of African firms, entrepreneurial qualities of African business leaders, the state in business development, business groups, the impact of inward FDI on African business, culture and ethnicity in African business, etc.

 

Expected  Participants:

  1. Chaired by Christopher Kobrak, ESCP Europe and University of Toronto.
  2. Same as Co-ordinating
  3. Chibuike Uche, African Studies Centre,

 

∗CO-ORDINATING ORGANISERS: Grietjie Verhoef, University of Johannesburg. gverhoef@uj.ac.za

†Edward Kerby, London School of Economics and LEAP (Stellenbosch). e.m.kerby@lse.ac.uk