Scholarship has been moving toward the reintegration of business and cultural history, in ways that offer payoffs for both. The best of this work avoids much of the determinism and teleology of older approaches, finding that business can be practiced, quite successfully, in many different ways in different cultural settings. The new scholarship challenges business historians to recognize the more expressive aspects of business culture, beyond what culture may contribute instrumentally to firm growth. Modern cultural theory offers a way to rethink the relationship between business and culture. Treating culture as constitutive turns familiar business issues of strategy, structure, and technology into objects of meaning and interpretation, “artifacts” of values and practice rather than hard, settled facts. Such an approach argues for giving business ideas, practices, and expressions equal footing with material matters of production and profit.
Rolv Petter Amdam
In recent years, there has been a steady expansion in the literature on the history of business education. This article presents the main contributions to the existing knowledge of the development of business education internationally. It discusses the developmental path of business education around the world and the emergence of higher business as a phenomenon that occurred in different forms in parallel within major economies. The article characterizes the first decades after the Second World War as a period of Americanization. It has been generally agreed that European business schools were strongly influenced by American role models after the Second World War. The article supports this view; however, it also emphasizes that the concept of “Americanization” most suitably characterizes the relationship between American and Western European business education during the first two decades after the war. It characterizes international business education over the last two decades by globalization and regionalization.
Business history as a specific field was not born inside the historical profession. It first appeared in the United States at Harvard Business School, in 1927. N. S. B. Gras held the first chair in business history. Today business history has indeed become universal. For quite a while, however, and in spite of the initial support from the Annales, the value and methods of business history were questioned by many historians. At the same time, the fact that business history could be taught in departments other than history, mostly business administration and economics, meant that its practitioners could come from these very disciplines and that research and teaching in business history brought them in contact with the trends at work in the historical profession. This article assesses the results of this double process for a field that is steeped in two worlds: inside history and outside history.
Through much of the twentieth century, business-interest associations (BIAs) were neglected as the object of academic study and systematic research. Although this topic attracted considerable interest among institutional economists and social reformers on both sides of the Atlantic during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it is only from the late 1970s that modern scholars have once again begun to delve seriously into BIAs' organization and strategies. The introductory section of this article presents the main theoretical issues at stake, synthesizes the outcomes of historical research, and analyzes the interrelations between them. It sketches a comparative-historical framework to explain the development of BIAs. Furthermore, the article outlines the long-term historical development of BIAs since the Middle Ages. Finally, it proposes an agenda for future research.
Changing Competition Models in Market Economies: The Effects of Inter‐nationalization, Technological Innovations, and Academic Expansion on the Conditions Supporting Dominant Economic Logics
This article distinguishes between the major competitive approaches adopted by leading firms in the OECD economies in the post-war period and outlines a framework for analysing how some of the key changes in the business environment since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system have affected the conditions encouraging companies to pursue these in different contexts. It presents a taxonomy of seven ideal types of competition models that resemble many of the dominant business strategies identified in comparative studies of twentieth-century capitalisms. The article also suggests how different kinds of conditions seem likely to encourage firms to follow particular types. Next, it summarizes the major changes that have taken place in many market economies since the 1960s which have often been cited as important factors influencing institutional and business system restructuring, and indicates how they can be expected to alter these conditions, and so affect dominant competition models in different economies.
The purpose of this article is to complement and offer a context by taking a longer-run view of occupational and state pensions and retirement. First, it takes further Sass's historical analysis of the development of employer pensions, locating their origins in the growing bureaucracies of pre-industrial European states in the eighteenth century. Like Sass, the author of this paper emphasizes the close relationship between economic change and employer pensions. The initial spurs to the growth of modern efficient bureaucracy were the growth of commerce and the prosecution and finance of war. Only later was industrialization a major factor. From the later nineteenth century, however, industrialization drove the spread of employer pensions through big business firms and among state employees. Since that time, employer pensions have become prominent in high- and medium-income economies in a complex variety of relationships with state pensions. The article then moves on to examine the other side of the relationship – state pensions – providing a more detailed account of their early history.
Peter Fleming and Matteo Mandarini
This article aims to discuss the central importance of work in the critical management studies (CMS) movement. It proposes that work is perhaps the key category in CMS because the discipline represents a theoretical blending of management and the sociology of work. The first section discusses why work is a central concern for CMS. The article then discusses how work has been studied, the theoretical traditions and the empirical ‘objects’ that characterize CMS research. The third section discusses the ‘bringing work back in’ debate since it highlights some keen differences about what work means in critical research today. The article then adds a specific contribution by suggesting some alternative avenues of analysis. It draws upon the idea of the social factory and the different types of work (conventional, identity, and social) that it inaugurates. The article concludes by discussing the implications of our analysis by returning to a founding value of the CMS movement, emancipation.