New Business History article collection on History and Organization Studies

The annual EGOS conference has started and with several sub-themes devoted to history, memory and the past, Business History is celebrating the continued vibrancy of research at the intersection between History & Organization with an article collection of key pieces published in the journal over the years.

While not an exhaustive list by any means, this collection curates some of the significant and unusual pieces that have contributed to a range of debates across these fields, starting with the influential special issue edited by Behlül Üsdiken und Alfred Kieser “History in Organization Studies” (2004). This has been followed by articles and key special issues such as “The Age of Strategy: Strategy, Organizations and Society” (2013), “New Business History?” (2015), “Narrative Turn and Business History” (2017), “Historical research on institutional change” (2018). Such contributions have drawn from the long-standing engagement of business and organizational historians at conferences such as the European Group of Organization Studies, Academy of Management, and the British Academy of Management, as well as from business and management scholars with a keen appreciation of the importance of history to organizational concerns.

If you are interested why not head over to Business History and take a look!

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

FAQ
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.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3535-7195

CfP: University of Tübingen & University of Glasgow PhD Summer School

Business Beyond the Abyss: Crisis Management, Institutional Memory and Learning

3-5 November 2021, Tübingen, Germany.

The University of Tübingen’s Collaborative Research Center 923 – “Threatened Orders: Societies under Stress” (Germany) – provides funding for an intensive three-day event aimed at PhD students in business history or economic history working on any topic that overlaps with the theme of the school (for more details, see “Further Notes for Applicants” below). Students will, the pandemic permitting, be hosted in the historic town of Tübingen and will present, debate and discuss their works-in-progress with leading international scholars within a world-class university.

The school aims to provide doctoral students with an overview of relevant research and innovative tools and methodologies in the fields of business and economic history, including legal perspectives. It is the third event in this series organised jointly by the Seminar für Neuere Geschichte (Tübingen) and the Centre for Business History in Scotland (University of Glasgow), and this time joined by the Center for Law and Social Science (Emory University School of Law).

The school will take the form of presentations from students (c.25 minutes) and workshops hosted by established experts in the field. The aims of the school are:

1) to deepen students’ understanding of current themes in historical research (and how this can inform their own work);

2) to enhance research skills through masterclasses on methods for researching and writing history;

3) to explore the main theoretical underpinnings particular to business and economic history; and

4) to provide a welcoming and convivial environment in which students can discuss their research with leading scholars and peers.

Students will benefit from the experience of academics from Tübingen and beyond. Confirmed speakers include Prof. Dr. Boris Gehlen (Stuttgart), Dr Daniel Menning (Tübingen) and Dr Christopher Miller (Glasgow). We hope to confirm additional speakers in the coming weeks and months.

Funding will cover flights and/or trains (up to an agreed limit, to be reimbursed after the school), accommodation, lunches, and the conference meal for up to fourteen students. There may also be limited space for applicants who wish to self-fund or who have received funding from their own institution.

Those interested in attending the summer school should e-mail the following documents to the organisers, Dr Daniel Menning (Daniel.Menning@uni-tuebingen.de), Dr Christopher Miller (Christopher.Miller@glasgow.ac.uk), and Prof Rafael Pardo (rafael.pardo@emory.edu):

1)   a brief CV (two pages maximum);

2)   a summary of their PhD (two pages maximum); and

3)  a title and abstract for their desired presentation topic, which should incorporate one or more major themes of the student’s PhD (one page maximum).

While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit with their materials an example of a work-in-progress (e.g., a draft chapter, article, or working paper), preferably in English, German, or French. Please note, however, that all presentations and discussions will be in English.

The deadline for applications is 15 July 2021A maximum of 14 funded applicants will be selected and notified shortly afterwards.

Further Notes for Applicants:

Overview of Scope and Aims of the School:

(This overview is only a guide. Students working on similar topics to those listed below are encouraged to speak to Daniel Menning and/or Christopher Miller in the first instance.)

With the COVID-19 virus spreading across the globe and many major economic countries shutting down social life and significant parts of the economy, we have been witnessing an economic contraction ensuing at an astonishing pace as well as an equally swift, though rather more varied, re- start. Though it is too early yet to estimate the effects and predict the duration of the economic difficulties (including, for example, current shortages of raw materials), it is clear that many businesses suffered and many remain in trouble. A significant number most likely will not survive, all governmental bailout packages notwithstanding. While interest in economic crises and their effects on businesses has increased over the past few years, the current conditions will likely give a new boost to research and result in a new thoughtfulness and a recalibration of research methods.

Research Background:

Business and economic history has been at the forefront of explaining some of the major changes in economies and societies – starting with the work of Alfred Chandler in the 1960s. (Chandler 1962, 1977). Nevertheless, with regards to the business history of crises and crisis management  specifically, the literature is far less well developed. There are three reasons for this neglect. First, the tradition of business history for several decades, until comparatively recently, was to study the history of individual firms, or less frequently sectors. Indeed, business history was once considered an applied branch of economic history for scholars wishing to move beyond macroeconomic trends. The net effect has been that the literature on firms has been dominated by commissioned histories where the historian is paid by the (surviving) company and given use of its archives. While often extremely valuable, these studies can tend towards “rise and fall” narratives.

Second, where business histories have studied crises specifically, commissioned works can potentially have some further methodological problems. Most obviously, many of the firms survived until at least the point the history was commissioned. Thus, it is perhaps a case of selection bias towards success – or at the very least towards the largest and most important companies (Berghoff 2006). Related to this, the nature of commissioned studies has also drawn criticism: namely, that success is often attributed to management rather than luck, while episodes of failure are attributed to external or unpredictable factors outside of management control.

Third, the causes and aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 have generated many millions of pages of scholarship and commentary in the last decade, with the effect of prompting historians to draw comparisons with the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression. For instance, Werner Abelshauser (2009) is one of many interested in learning from economic crises explicitly through using the examples of 1931 and 2008. While not every crisis was like 2008 in cause, scale or scope, it is not necessarily a new phenomenon: the 2000 dot-com bubble was compared in much the same way. (Ojala and Uskali 2006). As a result, the stock market crash in 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression have become by far the most studied economic crisis in history, with renewed interest from 2008 (Tooze 2019), while the effect of the more regular, smaller scale, economic crises suffered by businesses before and after 1929 is largely neglected.

The current economic conditions promise to bring new momentum to the study of businesses in times of larger and smaller economic difficulties, and we are therefore inviting PhD students working in the areas of business and

–            Crisis Management

–            Institutional memory

–            Learning

to submit proposals for the summer school.

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

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.  

“The History of the Corporation” Virtual Workshop

The Yale Law School and CGCG are presenting a virtual workshop on ‘The History of the Corporation’ on 10 June 2021, beginning at 9:00 EDT.  The program follows.  All are welcome to register for the event by visiting the following website:  https://bit.ly/2PeXhGL  

Introduction
Naomi Lamoreaux (Yale University)
Henry Hansmann (Yale Law School and ECGI)

Shareholder Democracy under Autocracy:  Voting Rights and Corporate Performance in Imperial Russia 
Amanda Gregg (Middlebury College), Steven Nafziger (Williams College)

Legal Origins of Corporate Governance:  Choice of Company Law in Egypt, 1887-1913
Cihan Artunç (Middlebury College)

Legal Transplants and Local Custom in China: The Struggle over Apportioned Liability for External Debt of Partnerships
Madeleine Zelin (Columbia University)

Corporate Ownership and Control in the Gilded Age
Eric Hilt (Wellesley College)

Managerial Failure and Corporate Ownership in Edwardian Britain Revisited
Michael Aldous (Queen’s University, Belfast), Philip Fliers (Queen’s University, Belfast), John Turner (Queen’s University, Belfast) 

General Discussion
Tim Guinnane (Yale University)
Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (University of Amsterdam)

Concluding Remarks
Naomi Lamoreaux (Yale University)
Henry Hansmann (Yale Law School and ECGI)

CfP BH: Business & Finance in Latin America

Call for Papers-Special Issue, Business History “Business and Finance in Latin America: From the Oil Shock to the Debt Crisis”

Call for Papers-Special Issue, Business History “Business and Finance in Latin America: From the Oil Shock to the Debt Crisis”

Since the 2008-9 financial crisis, Latin America has experienced a period of sluggish economic activity and increasing levels of external debt. In a world of low interest rates, the liquidity injected into the US and European banking systems flew over into Latin American economies as global demand dropped and commodities prices crashed downwards. The boom of private and public indebtedness over the past decade has increased the economic and financial vulnerabilities of a region that has historically been dependent on international trade and exposed to external shocks such as the current pandemic. In a context where governments have stepped in to offset the impact of the coronavirus crisis, debt levels are now approaching the peak seen during the international debt crisis of the 1980s, raising fears amongst policymakers and business leaders of new defaults and another “lost decade”.

The Special Issue “Business and Finance in Latin America: From the Oil Shock to the Debt Crisis” aims to bring new insights into the current debates by looking at how local and foreign entrepreneurs, financiers and state actors reacted to, and dealt with, the unstable economic and political context that preceded and followed the outbreak of the international debt crisis of 1982.

The scholarship on the business history of Latin America has expanded markedly over the last three decades. The number of historical studies of firms and entrepreneurship in the region grew considerably and covers a large variety of topics, such as foreign investment, multinational enterprises (MNEs) diversification strategies, family-based economic groups, business connections with social and political elites, and sectors or industries, namely trade, banking, mining, transport, agricultural and manufacture. However, while the bulk of these research has concentrated on firms that dominated before 1914 and the interwar and post-World War II years, the turbulent period of the 1970s and 1980s has received much less attention. Indeed, little is known about how the multiple crises that the region experienced in these years affected the way firms and entrepreneurs ran their businesses and overcame their debt and financial difficulties. The reasons why some companies disappeared while others survived and new ones entered the Latin American market has not yet been explored.

This Special Issue will contribute to filling this gap and provide new light on how the economic, financial, and political crises affected industries and business organizations operating in the region. To that end, the guest editors Carlo Edoardo Altamura (Graduate Institute, Geneva) and Sebastian Alvarez (University of Zurich/University of Oxford) welcome contributions and interdisciplinary research from scholars who use historical methods and original or primary sources to explore:

  • The behaviour and business strategies of financial and non-financial companies in the run-up to, and the aftermath of, the 1982 financial fallout.
  • The impact of the debt crisis and the responses of MNEs and domestic firms in Latin America.
  • The way that national and international companies managed economic and political risk in the region during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • How business actors coped with foreign debt, inflation, and the uncertainties unleashed by changing government policies and crises during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • The effects of the debt crisis and economic and structural reforms on state-business and domestic-foreign capital relationships.
  • The long-term outcomes of the crisis and the reorientation of businesses in line with the neoliberal policies of Latin American politics.

Please send your proposals as an extended abstract (max 2000 words) to the guest editors (edoardo.altamura@graduateinstitute.chsebastian.alvarez@history.ox.ac.uk) specifying the research question, methodological approach, sources, and main contribution to the literature. The deadline for the submission is April 15, 2021. Selected authors will be required to submit full papers by June 2022. Submitted papers will be subject to peer review according to BH publication procedure.

Online seminar: Elites, Oil, and Economic Nationalism

Presenter: Madihah Alfadhli and Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo (Northumbria)

Host/discussant: Daniel Castillo (Las Palmas)

Elites, Oil, and Economic Nationalism: The Darwish Al-Fakhro Family case in Qatar, 1935 to 1971

August 26, 2020, 10am German summer time

Abstract

Research in this paper departs from the study of imperial oil policy and the strategy of multinational companies in the Middle East, to consider how elites and nationalism intertwine with the formation of domestic reform. Specifically, how the efforts of the merchant Abdullah Al-Darwish Al-Fakhro, representative of the then ruler of Qatar (Ali bin Al-Thani, 1949 –1974), helped this oil dependent economy to gradually gain total control of its oil industry in 1971. Source material to compose this biography emerged from family papers of the Qatari commercial elites and the British National Archive. The story tells of the evolution of the Qatari oil industry from 1935 to 1971 with special attention to negotiations with multinational companies and foreign governments in the 1950s and 1960s.

Part of the Online Seminars in Business History series hosted by Gesellschaft fuer Unternehmensgeschichte

Register for this event here.

Coleman Prize session is going digital this year

Unfortunately, the ABH conference is not taking place due to COVID-19, but the Coleman Prize session will now be held virtually on Thursday, 25 June, 14:00-15:00 (UK time).

What is the Coleman Prize

Named in honour of the British Business Historian Donald Coleman, this prize is awarded annually by the Association of Business Historians to recognise excellence in new research in Britain. It is open to PhD dissertations in Business History either having a British subject or completed at a British University. All dissertations completed in the previous two calendar years to that of their submission are eligible (with the exception of previous submissions). It is a condition of eligibility for the Prize that shortlisted finalists will present their findings at the Association’s annual conference.

Sponsors

The value of the prize is £500 and it is sponsored by Taylor & Francis Group. It is a scholarly publisher, which makes available original manuscript collections, rare printed books and other primary source materials in microform and electronic format.

On the shortlist this year are:

  • Akram Beniamin, “Cotton, Finance and Business Networks in a Globalised World: The Case of Egypt during the first half of the Twentieth century “.
  • Adam Nix, “The Social Foundations of Organisational Corruption”.
  • David Paulson, “Small and medium sized Enterprises in Britain and West Germany c.1949-1979”.

If you would like to attend, please email Professor Neil Rollings (Neil.Rollings[at]Glasgow.Ac.Uk) for the joining details.

List of former Coleman Prize winners.

Online seminars in Business History

In a mix up of our normal publishing schedule, I am running our weekly blog tonight to make you all aware of the start of a great initiative tomorrow afternoon: A new series of online seminars in Business History, facilitated by the GUG.

The aims of this series of online seminars is to help ECRs/PHDs to disseminate work in the absence of physical conferences. You can find the current schedule of events here: https://unternehmensgeschichte.de/Online-Seminare

If you have any questions about the event, please get in touch with Nicholas Wong (nicholas.d.wong@northumbria.ac.uk), who has disseminated the event on behalf of a group colleagues, who put this great initiative together.