Edited by Timothy Clark, Mike Wright and David J. Ketchen Jr.
Chapter 29: Publishing historical papers in management journals and in business history journals
Business history and management research have, until quite recently, evolved as separate disciplines. At first sight this divergence seems surprising, but it 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 founded on the traditional tools of historical research based on the investigation of archives. Such methods typically do not feature in social science research methods texts (Gunn and Faire, 2012), and by the same virtue in business and management research methods texts. Notwithstanding the divergent origins of business history, opportunities for historical research in business and management have subsequently widened. From the 1980s, reflecting increasing involvement in the discipline of business history by Business and Management School academics (Kipping and Üsdiken, 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 multi-national organisations. 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. This chapter will outline these opportunities, whilst providing advice on how to accommodate the differences. There are many possible approaches to historical writing that might be considered by management scholars. For convenience, three specific ones are considered here. A fourth, reflecting the purist business history tradition, is also explained for the purpose of contrast.
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