Sub-theme 08: (SWG) History and Organization Studies: The Ways Forward

R. Daniel Wadhwani
University of the Pacific, USA, and Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Matthias Kipping
Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada
Stephanie Decker
Aston Business School, UK

Call for Papers

Historical sources, methods, and theoretical constructs have gained considerable attention in management and organizational studies in recent years (Üsdiken & Kipping, 2014). Researchers have mades a range of notable conceptual (Bucheli & Wadhwani, 2014; Rowlinson et al., 2014) and empirical contributions (O'Sullivan & Graham, 2010; Rowlinson et al., 2014; Kipping & Üsdiken, 2014) that have laid the foundations for a diverse array of approaches to historical research and reasoning in organization studies. Moreover leading journals, such as Organization Studies and Academy of Management Review, have supported these developments by announcing special issues devoted to historical research and theory. Indeed, one could fairly state that the nature and value of historical research has come to be more broadly understood and accepted than when the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) on "Historical Perspectives in Organization Studies" was formed.

In this, the final year of the SWG 08, we seek a broad range of empirical papers that explicitly build on the foundations that have been established but move the conversation between history and organization studies forward in interesting and novel ways. We also welcome innovative conceptual papers based on previous research. Some of the ways in which this might be done includes:

  • Building new bridges between history and other approaches to the study of organizations that are sensitive to time and context, such as process research, institutional theory, and evolutionary theory.
  • Extending the work that has been done on history and organization theory to related domains, including strategy and entrepreneurship.
  • Introducing new or underused methods for interpreting historical sources related to organizations and organizing.
  • Exploring novel types of historical source material.
  • Examining new and understudied historical periods or regions.
  • Considering new ways in which the past is used in organizations and organizing

Short paper submissions should not only describe the empirical research conducted and elaborate on theoretical claims, but should also explicitly engage the extant work on historical approaches to management and organization studies and point to promising new theoretical, methodological, and empirical directions.




  • Bucheli, M., & Wadhwani, R.D. (eds.) (2014): Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Kipping, M., & Üsdiken, B. (2014): "History in organization and management theory: more than meets the eye." Academy of Management Annals, 8 (1), 535–588.
  • O'Sullivan, M., & Graham, M.B.W. (2010): "Moving Forward by Looking Backward: Business History and Management Studies." Journal of Management Studies, 47 (5), 775–790.
  • Rowlinson, M., Hassard, J., & Decker, S. (2013): "Strategies for organizational history: A dialogue between historical theory and organization theory." Academy of Management Review, 39 (3), 250–274.
  • Rowlinson, M., Casey, A., Hansen, P.H., & Mills, A.J. (2014): "Narratives and Memory in Organizations." Organization, 21 (4), 441–446.
  • Üsdiken, B., & Kipping, M. (2014): "History and organization studies: A long-term view." In: M. Bucheli & R.D. Wadhwani (eds.): Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 33–55.


R. Daniel Wadhwani is Fletcher Jones 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, 2014), which examines the role of historical research and reasoning in organization studies.
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.
Stephanie Decker is Professor of Organization Studies and History at Aston Business School, UK. As a historian working at a business school, most of her work is concerned with the relation between organization theory and history. She is co-editor of 'Business History' and is the recipient of the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2014–15, as well as the principal organizer of a seminar series on organizational history funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (UK). She co-authored "Research Strategies for Organizational History" (Academy of Management Review, 2014) with Michael Rowlinson and John Hassard.