Writing History for the Business Man: The development of business history between 'old' and 'new' production of knowledge



This paper focuses on the recent developments in business history as an academic discipline. Business history is nowadays a flourishing branch of historical faculties being developed in primary academic research programs and curricula. Business history has been positioned mostly as a sub-discipline of economic history (e.g. Corley, 1993). The dominance of economic approach in business history is not without its critics. Rowlinson and Procter plea for a more organizational cultural, ‘postmodern’ approach in business history. According to them, the dominance of economics in business history easily can lead to an economics approach to history having little attention for more narrative styles (Rowlinson and Procter, 1999). Only recently, business historians are willing to accept alternative approaches to overcome the dominance of the economic approach (Rowlinson, 2009). Arguably, the debate about the use of a variety of theories and approaches indicates that business history as a scientific discipline is still struggling with its identity. 
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The Business History Seminar has been made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and the Vereniging Trustfonds Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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