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Steven Toms

Business history and management research have, until recently, evolved as separate disciplines. At first sight this divergence seems surprising, but has important implications for management researchers publishing in business history journals and for business historians publishing in management journals. Business history emerged originally as a branch of microeconomics and economic history (Supple 1977) and quickly developed methodologies based on the traditional tools of historical research based on the investigation of archives. These methods typically do not feature in social science research methods texts (Gunn and Faire 2012), nor by the same token in business and management research methods texts. Notwithstanding the divergent origins of business history, opportunities for historical research in business and management have widened subsequently. From the 1980s, reflecting increasing involvement in the discipline of business history by business and management school academics (Kipping and Uskiden 2008), new areas of historical investigation have included management strategy themes such as networks, family capitalism, corporate governance, human resource management, marketing and brands, and multinational organizations. To make the most of these new opportunities requires careful consideration of suitable research questions, bearing in mind the still influential differences between publishing in business history and mainstream management journals. The chapter outlines these opportunities, while providing advice on how to accommodate the differences.

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Steven Toms and John Wilson

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Matthias Beck and Steven Toms