Organization Theory in Business and Management History: Present Status and Future Prospects

Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey, Stewart R. Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (SciVal)
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A common lament is that business history has been marginalized within mainstream business and management research. We propose that remedy lies in part with more extensive engagement with organization theory. We illustrate our argument by exploring the potentialities for business history of three cognitive frameworks: institutional entrepreneurship, evolutionary theory and Bourdieusian social theory. Exhibiting a higher level of theoretical fluency might enable business historians to accrue scholarly capital within the business and management field by producing theoretically informed historical discourse; demonstrating the potential of business history to extend theory, generate constructs and elucidate complexities in unfolding relationships, situations and events.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)457-481
Number of pages25
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number3
Early online date15 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2017


  • business history, historical organization studies, management history, narrative, organization theory, research methods


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