Handbook of Research on Management and Organizational History
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Handbook of Research on Management and Organizational History

Edited by Kyle Bruce

Emerging from what was a somewhat staid sub-discipline, there is currently a battle for the soul of Management and Organizational History (MOH), at the centre of which is a widespread concern that much recent work has been more about how one should or might do history rather than actually doing historical work. If ever there was a time for a new volume on MOH, this is certainly it.
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Chapter 14: Contextualizing the historian: an ANTi-History perspective

Gabrielle Durepos, Albert J. Mills and Patricia Genoe McLaren

Abstract

This chapter asks who is the management historian? The question is timely because many management and organization studies researchers now do history, but they are doing it without conventional history training. This begs the question: are they licensed to write history and can they legitimately translate the past into history? In this chapter, the authors suggest de-privileging the historian as the sole arbiter of history to instead see her as an actor-network. Implying that the historian is an actor-network reminds us to consider the (human, non-human and non-corporeal) actors in her surroundings that have helped shape her formative professional development. To the extent that the historian is an outcome of, and stands on behalf of, her historical context, asking who she is necessitates an engagement with the notion of context. The chapter discusses the modernist historian and her context, followed by the postmodernist historian and her contexts. Finally, the authors draw on actor-network theory to flesh out who is the (amodernist) ANTi-Historian.

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