Turning how and where?

The potential for history in management and organizational studies

Authored by: Matthias Kipping , Behlül Üsdiken

The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415823715
eBook ISBN: 9780203550274
Adobe ISBN: 9781135918453


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Both in our own writing and in our institutional efforts, namely through a standing working group at the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), jointly organized with Lars Engwall, we have tried to help promote a larger role for history in management and organization studies. And we welcome and support all efforts in the same direction, including this Companion. Indeed, a lot has been said and done since the early calls for linking management and organization studies and history, namely Zald’s (1990, 1993) and Kieser’s (1994) essays. At the same time, among those advocating more history or even an ‘historic turn’, there is still not much consensus on how this should be done – and where such a turn should lead us or, put differently, what exactly the contribution of history might be (Üsdiken and Kieser, 2004). And while plurality is generally positive and should be welcomed, we argue that the multiplicity – and sometimes vagueness – of aims and approaches also hampers debate and a possible movement towards broader consensus. Moreover, we also believe that the juxtaposition between management and organization ‘science’ and (business) history, which underpins much of the calls for more of the latter, might be counterproductive and block some possible directions for history finding a larger and at the same time useful place in research on management and organizations.

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