Historical organization studies

Charles Harvey, M Maclean

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Historical organization studies denotes organizational research that draws on historical sources, methods and knowledge to promote historically informed theoretical narratives attentive to both theory and history. It thus aspires to dual integrity, whereby organization theory and history inform one another without either becoming dominant. By historicizing organizational research, the contexts and forces bearing upon organizations may be more fully recognized and analyses of organizational and institutional dynamics improved. This chapter explores, through three illustrative projects, different ways in which historical organization studies might be enacted: an archival-based exploration of the construction since 1945 of the global hotel industry; an oral-history project on corporate governance and executive remuneration; and a database-centric study of philanthropy in North East England between 1830 and 1939 drawing on diverse primary sources. The methodology’s main strength lies in explicating the processes at work in the emergence, institutionalization and maintenance of contemporary phenomena of substance and import.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Historical Methods for Management
EditorsStephanie Decker, William M. Foster, Elena Giovannoni
Place of PublicationCheltenham, U. K.
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781800883741
ISBN (Print)9781800883734
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2023


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