CFP: Management & Organizational History Special issue call for papers: Imperialism and Coloniality in Management and Organization History

14 04 2016


As a recent blog post by Andrew Dilley has shown, nostalgia for the days of the British Empire and the associated imperial trading system has informed the current debate in the UK over #Brexit. It is, therefore, a good time for business historians to think about Business and Empire. I am therefore very happy to promote the CFP for a special issue of Management & Organizational History on this subject. The deadline is 16 December. The guest editors of the SI are Simon Mollan and Bill Cooke, both of the University of York Management School (here in the UK).


The ongoing dialogue about the role that history can play in the formation of organization theory, and the role that organization theory can and does play in management and organization history (Maclean, Harvey, and Clegg 2015; Rowlinson, Hassard, and Decker 2014; Taylor, Bell, and Cooke 2009; Clark and Rowlinson 2004) should enjoinder greater engagement with areas where historians have long engaged in theoretical work. Classical theories of imperialism (Hobson 1902; Lenin 1999; Schumpeter 1951), historiographical theories of imperialism (Cain and Hopkins 2002; Gallagher and Robinson 1953; Jones 1980; West 1973), and post-colonial theory that explores the operation of capitalism (for example, Chibber 2014; Quijano 2007; Moraña, Dussel, and Jáuregui 2008) are all theory-sets that draw heavily on historical analysis. The already rich relationship between history and theory in these connected fields provides an opportunity to explore the contribution that management and organization history can make to both the theories and history of imperialism and coloniality, and how a reflection on these topics can provoke a richer and theory-informed understanding of how management and organizations replicate and form circuits of power–globally and locally.


Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • The absorption and co-option of knowledge from colonized peoples into the organization(s) and management of empire
  • How management and organization perform agency and create structure in imperial and post-colonial contexts
  • Management and organization historical studies that explore classical, historiographical and post-colonial theories of imperialism and coloniality
  • New management and organization theories of imperialism and coloniality
  • Organizations as sites of contestation and liminality in imperial and colonial encounters
  • Management and organization as acts of colonial violence
  • The relationship between business, management, organization and (under)development in imperial and post-colonial periods
  • Management and organization as processes, and organizations as institutions, in the transmission of imperial power
  • Managers as colonial elites; colonial elites as managers
  • The development of management thought and its relationship to (neo)imperial ideas
  • Slavery and forced labour in the management and organization history of empire
  • Representations of empire in corporate history
  • Corporate archives as archives of imperialism
  • The colonial heritage of multinationals


Banerjee, Subhabrata Bobby. 2008. “Necrocapitalism.” Organization Studies 29 (12): 1541–63.
Cain, Peter J., and Anthony G. Hopkins. 2002. British Imperialism: 1688-2000. London: Pearson Education.
Chibber, Vivek. 2014. Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital. Verso Books.
Clark, Peter, and Michael Rowlinson. 2004. “The Treatment of History in Organisation Studies: Towards an ‘Historic Turn’?” Business History 46 (3): 331–52.
Cooke, Bill. 2003. “The Denial of Slavery in Management Studies.” Journal of Management Studies 40 (8). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.: 1895–1918. doi:10.1046/j.1467-6486.2003.00405.x.
Gallagher, John, and Ronald Robinson. 1953. “The Imperialism of Free Trade.” The Economic History Review 6 (1). Wiley Online Library: 1–15.
Hobson, John Atkinson. 1902. Imperialism: A Study. Vol. 3. London.
Jones, Charles. 1980. “‘Business Imperialism’and Argentina, 1875-1900: A Theoretical Note.” Journal of Latin American Studies 12 (2). JSTOR: 437–44.
Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich. 1999. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Resistance Books.
Maclean, Mairi, Charles Harvey, and Stewart R Clegg. 2015. “Conceptualizing Historical Organization Studies.” Academy of Management Review.
Miller, Rory. 1999. “Informal Empire in Latin America.” Winks, Robin W., The Oxford History of the British Empire 5.
Mollan, Simon. 2009. “Business Failure, Capital Investment and Information: Mining Companies in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1900–13.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 37 (2): 229–48.
Moraña, Mabel, Enrique D Dussel, and Carlos A Jáuregui. 2008. Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate. Duke University Press.
Platt, Desmond Christopher Martin. 1977. Business Imperialism, 1840-1930: An Inquiry Based on British Experience in Latin America. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Quijano, Aníbal. 2007. “Coloniality and Modernity/rationality.” Cultural Studies 21 (2-3). Taylor & Francis: 168–78.
Rowlinson, Michael, John Hassard, and Stephanie Decker. 2014. “Research Strategies for Organizational History: A Dialogue between Historical Theory and Organization Theory.” Academy of Management Review 39 (3): 250–74.
Schumpeter, Joseph A. 1951. The Sociology of Imperialism. Meridian Books.
Taylor, Scott, Emma Bell, and Bill Cooke. 2009. “Business History and the Historiographical Operation.”Management & Organizational History 4 (2): 151–66..
West, Katharine. 1973. “Theorising about ‘imperialism’: A Methodological Note.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 1 (2): 147–54.



One response

18 04 2016

Reblogged this on Organizational History Network and commented:
Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

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