PDW-03 [SWG 08]: Using Historical Approaches in Organizational Research

R. Daniel Wadhwani
University of the Pacific, USA
Eero Vaara
Hanken School of Economics, Finland
Roy Suddaby
University of Victoria, Canada
Matthias Kipping
Schulich School of Business, Canada
William M. Foster
University of Alberta, Canada
Gabrielle Durepos
Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada

Call for Applications



In recent years, interest in history and research incorporating historical perspectives has grown within organization studies, with both new theoretical perspectives and methods for studying the relationship between past and present in organizations. The main objectives of this pre-Colloquium Development Workshop (PDW) are to introduce participants to the range of historical perspectives and approaches used in organizational research and to spur the continued development of new ideas and innovative contributions that explore the relationship between history and organization studies, broadly conceived. Those involved will learn about the theories and methods used in engaging history as a lens for study organizations and organizing, as well as discuss strategies for publishing such research in leading journals. They will also learn about the range of historically oriented scholarship being produced in organizational studies today. The workshop is open to researchers at all career stages who are interested in exploring the potential of using historical methods and perspectives in their research and would like to discuss how best to do so.

The PDW will be broken into two main parts:

  • The first part will focus on the range of ways in which scholars have used theories of history and historical methods in published research. The emphasis here will be on examining published work and considering how the authors used historical research and reasoning to address questions about organization(s), as well as the prospects for publishing research in the future. Part 1 will also cover practical topics, such developing papers that respond to the CFPs for special issues on history in Organization Studies (deadline: March 2016) and in Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (deadline: July 2016) as well as publishing in management history journals, such as Management and Organizational History.
  • In the second part, we will examine the working papers of participants in small groups with the aim of improving and sharpening the papers with regards to their use and interpretation of historical sources and their explanations of historical methods.

Participants will be expected to read the papers of their fellow session presenters, attend both parts of the PDW, and engage actively in discussions.




All scholars interested in developing their papers towards publishable articles are invited to apply. Please submit (through the EGOS website) a single document of application that includes:

  • On the first page: a short letter of application containing full details of name, address (postal address, phone, fax and email), affiliation (date of PhD completion for early career scholars), a statement of why the applicant considers it valuable to attend the workshop as well as an indication of what journal(s) the paper is likely to be submitted to.
  • A full paper that you want to develop to a publishable stage.


R. Daniel Wadhwani is Associate Professor of Management at University of the Pacific, USA, and Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. His research has used historical approaches to study a range of organizational issues, including the emergence of new markets, the nature of entrepreneurial agency, and the processes of categorization and value determination in organizational fields. He is co-editor (with Marcelo Bucheli) of "Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods" (Oxford University Press), which examines the role of historical research and reasoning in organization studies.
Eero Vaara is Professor of Management and Organization at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. He is also a permanent visiting professor at EMLYON Business School, a distinguished visiting scholar at Lancaster University, and Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School. His research interests focus on strategy and strategizing, organizational change, multinational corporations and globalization, management education, and methodological issues in management research. He has worked especially on discursive and narrative perspectives.
Roy Suddaby is the Winspear Chair of Business at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria. He is the Editor of the 'Academy of Management Review', an Honorary Professor at Copenhagen Business School and a Strategic Research Advisor at Newcastle Business School. He has published on a wide array of topics, including historical approaches to the study of institutions and on the uses of history in strategy. His research has appeared in a number of top journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, and Academy of Management Review.
Matthias Kipping is Professor of Policy and Chair in Business History at the Schulich School of Business, York University in Toronto, Canada. His research has focused on the development and role of the different institutions of management knowledge, namely management consulting and business education. In his publications, as well as in his teaching, he has been trying to link historical research with organizational theory. He is active in a variety of scholarly associations in both business history and management and organization studies.
William M. Foster is an Associate Professor of Management at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. His research interests include rhetorical history, social memory studies and business ethics. He has published in 'Advances in Strategic Management', 'Management and Organizational History' and 'Journal of Business Ethic's and is currently an Associate Editor at the 'Academy of Management Learning & Education'.
Gabrielle Durepos is an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada. Her co-authored book: "ANTi-History: Theorizing the Past, History, and Historiography in Management and Organization Studies" seeks to address the call for an historic turn. She is a co-editor of both the SAGE "Encyclopaedia of Case Study Research" as well as the "SAGE Major Work on Case Study Methods in Business Research". Her recent publications appear in 'Management & Organizational History', 'Journal of Management History', 'Critical Perspectives of International Business', and 'Organization'. Gabrielle is a co-investigator on a SSHRC funded project focused on Reassembling Canadian Management Knowledge with a special interest in dispersion, equity, identity and history. She is the past-president of the Atlantic Schools of Business Conference as well as the newsletter editor of the Critical Management Studies Division of the Academy of Management. She is currently engaged in an organizational history of a provincial museum complex in Canada.