Business History & Heritage conference, Italy

Business History as Business

Exploring Heritage, History, and Money


Conference website:

In his Keynote Lecture at the 2008 European Business History Association Conference, Franco Amatori stressed the very nature of this disciplinary field with the title ‘Business History as History’ (Amatori 2009). In the lecture, he underlined the relevance of the relationship with the ‘facts’; suggesting a scientific approach to the research hypothesis, documentation, and methodology.

Around the same time, John M.T. Balmer and his research group created a new branch of studies on the interaction between the firm and its Past, which mainly referred to the area of marketing (Urde, Greyser & Balmer 2007). Since then, the ongoing debate regarding the company’s Past in business studies has embraced the concept of brand heritage or corporate heritage, though not always with a shared definition (Balmer 2017).

At a more practical level, since the beginning of the XXI Century, relevant heritage-related market phenomena appeared, such as re-born icon products; e.g. the BMW Mini (2001) and the Fiat 500 (2007), the rising of Arnaud de Lummen’s Luvanis (2009), and vintage products or nostalgia communication campaigns (Brown 2013).

Until today, however, the interaction between three business fields (business history, business studies, business practice) had been relatively small. In particular, business history had not achieved the status of being a significant counterpart for the other two.

On 31st May, 2022, the Conference ‘Business History as Business – Exploring Heritage, History, and Money’ will focus on questions such as those below, and others.

Considering theory and practical application, could business history be a relevant element for business?”

Could dialogue among different fields of activity/study bring reciprocal fruitful contamination, or are they simply too different to communicate?”

Is the “Past” to which the different disciplines refer, the same entity, or are they using the same word to define different notions… such as the celestial objects for astronomy and astrology?”

The Conference is intended to be the first of periodical meetings for a small group of scholars willing to share knowledge and co-operate in future cross-national, cross-disciplinary research projects.


  • Amatori, F., Business history as history, Business History, 2009, 51, 143-156
  • Balmer, J., Foundations of corporate heritage, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017
  • Brown, S., Retro from the get-go: reactionary reflections on marketing’s yestermania, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, 2013, 5, 521-536
  • Urde, M.; Greyser, S. A. & Balmer, J. M., Corporate brands with a heritage, Journal of Brand Management, Springer Nature, 2007, 15, 4-19

Submission Guidelines

  • The Committee will consider only submissions that are original, and not simultaneously submitted to another journal or Conference.
  • All submissions must be written in English, which will be the is the only language used during the Conference.
  • Authors must submit a 200/300-words abstract of their paper by the 7thof April, 2022.
  • The Committee will complete a review of submissions by 21st of April, 2022, after which authors will be informed as to whether their submission has been accepted.
  • If accepted, authors must then submit a summary (max 900 words) of their papers by the 22nd of May, 2022.

List of Topics

The Conference will be devoted to exploring the interaction (both positive and negative) between a company and its Past. The Conference program will encompass history, management, marketing, organisation, heritage conservation/management, and other related disciplines. Different disciplinary approaches and cross-contamination among various fields of study will be encouraged and not-conventional and provocative perspectives will be appreciated.

Below is an indicative but not exhaustive list of topics that the Conference Program Committee will consider for submission:

  • Theoretical topics concerning disciplinary definitions, boundaries, and methods contributions addressing topics such as the definition of history/heritage and the comparison among disciplines concerning the Past, corporate vs brand heritage, cases of dialogue (or lack of exchange) between different disciplinary fields, methodological issues, postmodern approaches to the studies involving a business’s Past.
  • Empirical or theoretical topics concerning authenticity, considering, for instance, indexical/iconic authenticity in a corporate context, cases of forged/borrowed corporate heritage, re-born companies/brands, the role of archives and original documentation.
  • Italy’ topics. While the Conference will have an international scope, it will reserve a specific section to topics concerning Italy, accepting papers on ‘Made in Italy’, whether or not historical, and Italian cases of ‘invention of tradition’, and corporate heritage enhancement.

The Conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion of all the participants and practitioners involved in heritage-related businesses or associations.


The Conference will be held at LIUC – Università Cattaneo, the first event organised by the Heritage Hub (a research unit at LIUC created in 2022 to develop studies and advisory activity on business history and business heritage).

Program Committee

  • Daniele Pozzi – LIUC Heritage Hub (chair)

Organizing committee

  • Rita Nicolai – LIUC


After the Conference, Authors interested in having their paper published in the Imprese & Storia special issue must submit a full paper by the 30th September, 2022, following the guidelines provided by the journal.

Papers, if accepted, will be published in a special issue on corporate heritage by Imprese & Storia (ISSN 1590-6264).

Early-Stage researchers travel grants

The LIUC Heritage Hub will allow a small number of grants contributing to the travel expenses of early-stage researchers (no more than 3 years from acquiring the doctoral title). The grant will cover a maximum of € 500,00 of documented travel/accommodation expenses. Young researchers interested in applying must provide a complete academic/scientific CV, plus a cover letter describing their present and oncoming projects revolving around the Conference’s topics. The Heritage Hub will rank, then, the applicants evaluating the CV, the project(s) and the personal position of the candidate (long-distance travel, disadvantaged countries, lack of financial alternatives…).

After submitting the abstract, the candidates must send their application to (deadline 7thApril, 2022).

Venue and COVID-19 countermeasures

The Conference will be held at LIUC – Università Cattaneo’s Auditorium, Castellanza, Italy.

Castellanza is a small town in Lombardia, to the north-west of Milan, where the Italian industrial revolution began in the early decades of the XIX Century. Within the campus of LIUC is the Cantoni Cotton Mill, which started its activities in 1847 and it was still operating until the end of the 1980s, becoming part of one of the largest Italian textile groups. LIUC was created in 1992, and the Cotton Mill, after a renovation project by the architect Aldo Ross, now houses classrooms and accommodation for students.

Castellanza is about 30 km from the centre of Milan and 15 km from Malpensa International Airport. Please, check LIUC’s website for travel information.

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, all participants at the Conference must comply with sanitary regulations as prescribed by the Italian authorities and LIUC’s internal code (European Green Pass or equivalent, and personal respiratory protective devices).

Note* The Conference roundtable will be broadcasted online, thus allowing participation by video conference.


Heritage HubLIUC – Università CattaneoCorso Giacomo Matteotti, 2221053 Castellanza (VA) –

Daniele Pozzi, Ph.D (Program Committee chair): // Rita Nicolai (Organisation Committee):

CfP Heritage Symposium Paris



JUNE 13-15, 2018

10, rue Sextius Michel
75015 Paris

Professor John M.T. Balmer
Founder and Chairman of the International Corporate Identity Symposium
Professor of Corporate Marketing at Brunel University London
Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group, Brunel Business School, London, UK

Professor Angela Bargenda
Host of the 6th International Corporate Identity Symposium
Professor of Marketing and Communication
Department of Marketing, Communication and Business Sales, ESCE International Business School, Paris, France

Professor Angela Bargenda (
Professor John M.T. Balmer (
Professor Regis Monyedodo Kpossa (, Professor of Marketing and Communication, Department of Marketing, Communication and Business Sales, ESCE International Business School, Paris.
The organisers cordially invite scholars (including PhD students) to submit papers which focus on corporate heritage or on corporate heritage related constructs and issues. A wide variety of papers will be welcomed including empirical research, conceptual papers, literature reviews, case studies etc. This year, we particularly
welcome papers which focus on corporate heritage design-related issues and research.
Ascendancy of Corporate Heritage and the International Corporate Heritage Symposium
With the establishment of the International Corporate Heritage Symposium in 2002 by Professor John M.T.Balmer (which evolved from a research initiative funded by Brunel University London ) and building on the seminal scholarship on the territory by Balmer, Greyser, and Urde in 2006 and 2007 on monarchies and corporate brands with a heritage, there has been an exponential growth in research, scholarship, and management interest in the field. The Symposium has become the premier forum where an international community of scholars can present, disseminate and discuss their work on the territory. Often, too, there are opportunities to submit their work to special editions of academic journals (and to books).
The symposium is distinguished by its emphasis on corporate/organisation heritage with corporate heritage being viewed as a portmanteau term which covers a family of constructs which include-but are not limited to- corporate heritage identity, corporate heritage brands, corporate heritage communications, corporate heritage marketing, corporate heritage/organisational heritage identification and corporate heritage design. The above being said, papers sometimes adopt a broader conceptualisation of heritage and, as such, a more discernible product /services foci.

Collegial and international in reach and ethos Although having its origins in the United Kingdom and, in particular, Brunel University London, the symposium has impeccable international credentials and is also celebrated for its collegiality. The symposium is small in scale in order to foster a sense of esprit de corps and provides a welcoming and supporting environment for scholars at the start of their career as well as for more-established members of the academy. Previous symposia have been held at leading universities in Sweden, Finland and France. Brunel University London has hosted the event twice including the inaugural symposium. This year, after a highly successful symposium held at the University of Aix-en-Provence, France in 2016, the symposium returns again to France and to Paris where the academic meeting will be hosted by the ESCE International Business School.
Submission and acceptance details In the first instance, the organisers ask for a one page abstract of around 300-500 words in length (1,5 spaced, Times New Roman font size 12pt) which should include the title, names, affiliations and email addresses of authors, along with key words and references. Referencing style should conform to the guidelines of Corporate Communications: An international journal. A designated corresponding address should be detailed. Please send us your extended abstract proposal in Microsoft Word format, following adapted form of Corporate Communications: An international journal consisted from: Purpose; Design / methodology / approach; Findings; Practical implications; Originality/value; Keywords; Paper type; Minimal references.
Professor Angela Bargenda (
Decisions will be made by April 10th 2018.
Special Editions/Publications
In line with earlier symposia, the organisers anticipate that a special edition will include papers from the symposium and/or a book of published chapters. Details to follow.

Early bird registration
(till April 20th 2018)
Late registration
(April 21st-May 9th 2018)
Presenter 300 EUR 400 EUR
Non-presenter 400 EUR 500 EUR
PhD student 250 EUR 350 EUR
VAT is included in the fees. Accommodation is not included. The conference registration fee covers admissions to all sessions, luncheons, coffee breaks, 1x conference dinner. Registrations will only be processed upon receiving payment in full. Cancellation must be made in writing. In case of cancellation no later than May 1st, 2018, the full amount less a cancellation fee of €100 will be refunded. In case of cancellation after May 1st, 2018, no refund will be made.
Payments may be made by cheque or bank transfer.
Cheques – please make your cheque payable to “ESCE” and send to:
ESCE – Service de la comptabilité
10, rue Sextius Michel
F-75015 Paris
Bank transfer – please contact for details.
Important dates:
Confirmation of intention to attend March 15th 2018
Submission of Extended Abstract March 30th 2018
Notification of Acceptance April 10th 2018
Early registration ends April 20th 2018
Symposium fee payment deadline May 9th 2018
Symposium dates June 13th – 15th 2018

Paris is well-served with excellent air and train connections within Europe and beyond. ESCE is located next to the Eiffel tower in the northern part of the 15th arrondissement. The nearest metro station is Bir Hakeim.

Please make your own travel and accommodation arrangements (not included in the conference fees). Possible discount rates for hotels in the vicinity of the conference venue will be communicated later.
We are looking forward to welcoming you in Paris!