CFP: The Brand and its History: Economic, Business, and Social Value

5 10 2015

Business History (BH) has announced a call for papers for a Special Issue on “The Brand and its History: Economic, Business, and Social Value” The guest editors are Patricio Sáiz and Rafael Castro, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)

“For this special issue, we expect contributions to clarify how firms conceived branding strategies, whether they adapt or not (and how) to new market conditions, how international legal issues affect branding activity, how other agents beyond the firm (communities, consumers, regions) faced trademarking, and how studies on collective marks, certification and quality marks, and appellations of origin may complete our current knowledge. Contributions are also invited to develop new studies on domestic trademark tendencies, international comparisons, or case studies based on significant trademark-related sectors such as food, beverages, and tobacco; consumer chemical products; and luxury goods”

Therefore, we are interested in submissions focused on historical research and longitudinal analysis related to the following themes:

Long-term brand management.
Trademarks and international trade.
Legal and institutional issues on trademarking
Appellations of origin, geographical indications, certification marks, and collective trademarks.
Private-label products vs. manufacture brands
Historical development of brand communities.
Trademark and brand struggles.

For further information of possible topics and questions see the full call at: or directly contact patricio.saiz or rafael.castro AT

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2016.

ABS Journal Ranking Guide is Now Easier to Access

24 09 2015

The UK’s Association of Business Schools has long produced rankings of management journals. The rankings are used in many European management schools assessing the perceived quality of a given article and are thus used in making decisions about hiring and promotion. This screenshot gives you a sense of what the rankings look like.

sample ranking

In March of this year, the ABS finally released version 5 of the rankings. It replaced version 4, which has been freely available online as a pdf since 2010.  To access the 2015 rankings, one had to register on the ABS website, log in, and then search through a cumbersome interface. Dr Steffan Roth of the Department of Management and Organization, ESC Rennes School of Business, has found a way to download the entire guide as a pdf. He has placed it online. Since it is a handy thing to have when making publication strategy, I thought I would share the guide. You can download it here  .

The Financial Times For Historical Research

24 09 2015

This sounds interesting. AS.

The Financial Times is working with the British Library to open up access to FT Digital Archive for academic research.

Extracts from the archive materials were used to produce the feature about Britain’s 1975 referendum on European Community membership that was published on today.

The archive consists of scanned images of each of the 903,029 pages comprising all 37,464 print editions of the Financial Times published between 1888 and 2010… The full 123-year dataset is 2.5 terabytes in size.

In addition to researchers interested in 20th-century economic history, this vast dataset is likely to be of interest to linguists interested in studying a large corpus of specialist news, or computer scientists interested in techniques for digitising large volumes of printed documents.

FT journalists and developers will be participating in a British Library hackathon on November 16 to explore how these datasets can be used.

Call for Papers: Uses of History and Memory in Organizations

21 09 2015

Centre for Business History – Copenhagen Business School

Paper Development Workshop

The Centre for Business History at Copenhagen Business School will host a paper development workshop (PDW) for scholars conducting research on the uses of history and memory in organizations and organizing on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

We welcome applications from scholars of all backgrounds conducting research on the question of why, how, and what affects the past is used by managers and organizations. The goal of the PDW is, in part, to support the development of research and foster dialogue among scholars who may be interested in submitting papers to the Special Issue of Organization Studies devoted to the same topic, though neither application nor attendance at the workshop is required for full consideration of papers submitted for the special issue.
More information about the Special Issue can be found here.
Limited funds may be available on a competitive basis for applicants who are unable to get funding from their home institutions.

Deadline for Abstracts: October 13, 2015

To apply, please email an abstract of between 300 and 500 words describing your research, along with a cv or bio to one the PDW organizers below. Applications should be sent by October 13, 2015 to receive full consideration. Please submit your paper to Mads Mordhorst ( and Dan Wadhwani (

Applicants will get a feedback October 19 and successful applicants will be asked to submit either short papers (approx. 3,000 words) or full papers (8-10,000 words) by December 1 in order for other participants to read them before the PDW.
PDW Organizers:

Mads Mordhorst, Copenhagen Business School,
Andrew Popp, University of Liverpool,
Roy Suddaby, University of Victoria,
Dan Wadhwani, University of the Pacific,

Urban Networks: Spreading the Flow of Goods, People, and Ideas

19 09 2015

There is some great historical context in an important working new paper by Edward L. Glaeser, Giacomo AM Ponzetto, and Yimei Zou. “Urban Networks: Spreading the Flow of Goods, People, and Ideas.” (2015). The draws on historical research and discusses differences between the evolution of US and European cities in the course of coming up with policy advice for China.

Should China build mega-cities or a network of linked middle-sized metropolises? Can Europe’s mid-sized cities compete with global agglomeration by forging stronger inter-urban links? This paper examines these questions within a model of recombinant growth and endogenous local amenities. Three primary factors determine the trade-o§ between networks and big cities: local returns to scale in innovation, the elasticity of housing supply, and the importance of local amenities. Even if there are global increasing returns, the returns to local scale in innovation may be decreasing, and that makes networks more appealing than mega-cities. Inelastic housing supply makes it harder to supply more space in dense conÖnes, which perhaps explains why networks are more popular in regulated Europe than in the American Sunbelt. Larger cities can dominate networks because of amenities, as long as the benefits of scale overwhelm the downsides of density. In our framework, the skilled are more likely to prefer mega-cities than the less skilled, and the long-run benefits of either mega-cities or networks may be quite different from the short-run benefits .

French Regulatory Culture

13 09 2015

On 13 September 1993, the French government issued a decree specifying how the baguette de tradition française should be made. To celebrate the anniversary of the important milestone, is today greeting users with the following image.

decret pain

I find it incongruous that the French subsidiary of a company that is celebrated around the world for its disruptive innovations should commemorate the promulgation of a regulation constraining how bakers can make a particular type of bread. It’s also odd that they are marking the 22nd anniversary, since one normally marks anniversaries in years ending in zero or maybe five.

You can read the actual decree (Décret n°93-1074 du 13 septembre 1993) here.

Relevance and Academic Rigour: Why Business Historians Ought to Read Dan Drezner’s Recent WaPo Piece

3 09 2015

Dan Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His scholarly works will be familiar to those of us who research international political economy or international business history.  Non-academics will know of Drezner through his Washington Post punditry: Drezner has a knack for presenting academic research in an accessible fashion that allows the average reader of a quality newspaper to make sense of the world. Yesterday, he published a great piece on how political scientists can be academically rigorous and policy-relevant at the same time.

Addressing his remarks at younger political scientists considering their career strategies, he writes:

My own piece of advice on this question is simple.  The best way for academics to maximize their rigor and their relevance is to focus on those areas where the Beltway consensus is at variance with the academic consensus… If there is a gap, that’s fantastic for political scientists. Because that creates a pretty easy-to-write paper that demonstrates the policy consensus, then discusses the academic consensus, and ideally provides data to explain why the gap persists. Often it’s because the policymakers retain untested assumptions, like China’s holdings of U.S. debt giving China foreign policy leverage. But sometimes it might be because policymakers think about the question differently, which in turn can provoke academic reconsideration of the question.  Take, for example, the ongoing debate about the role of reputation in international crises.  The overwhelming consensus in international relations theory used to be that it didn’t matter much at all. Now, there’s a reevaluation going on.

With the possible exception of economics, every social-scientific discipline has its own debates about whether there are trade-offs between academic rigour and accessibility. Accessibility in this context means ensuring that academics are being heard by the group of real-world practitioners served by each discipline. The ultimate consumers of academic knowledge vary, but generally speaking they are policy-makers in the case of political science, working lawyers in the case of legal academics, and businesspeople in the case of management academics.  (Cass Sunstein, the great US law school professor, recently published a paper on this issue as it pertains to legal journals).

Business historians are currently engaged in a debate about the future research trajectory of our scholarly community (see here and here).  Since most business historians work in management schools, we need to give some thought as to the relevance of our research to the ultimate consumers of our academic knowledge. It seems to me that Drezner’s advice about identify gaps between the scholarly consensus and the prevailing ideas among practitioners could be adapted to the needs of the business history community.

I’m currently working with some colleagues on an book about the impact of the First World War on international business. Although the book is aimed primarily at academics, we are striving to ensuring that the manuscript we produce will be readable by and relevant to interested non-academics. I’m working on that book project today and Dan’s piece in the WaPo has intensified my belief that it is really important that we business historians reach out to businesspeople and others who live outside of our ivory towers.


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