Using Business History to Improve Managerial Decision-Making in Canada and Germany

6 09 2018


As readers of this blog will know, I do a fair bit of research on how managers use historical knowledge. Part of this research is on the use of historical knowledge by managers for sense-giving (e.g., communicating with others, persuading others to do X), but I’m also looking at how managers use history for sense-making (for the private purpose of figuring out what is going on in the world). My own research is starting to produce hard statistical evidence that using historical knowledge does improve managerial decision-making.


I am, therefore, very happy to spread the word that my friend, and one-time research collaborator Dr. Laurence B. Mussio has launched a major new international project aimed at helping firms in Canada, Germany, and elsewhere make more effective use of history. The details are below:


Signal Influence Executive Research & Communications, Inc., (SIERC), Canada, and Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte GmbH (GUG), Germany, announced today a new strategic alliance to deliver future-oriented consulting stemming from research based on a client’s historical past.

GUG is a prominent and long-established presence in Germany in the discipline of business history, with 16 full-time employees and scores of publications to its credit. SIERC has overseen several multi-year projects on the long-run experience of prominent Canadian corporations such as Bell, Sun Life Financial and Bank of Montreal Financial Group. SIERC has developed a unique service that uses research based on a client firm’s long-run experience to help the client focus on its contemporary challenges.

“We are confident that, with our SIERC Method and experience we will bring important insights to the strategic challenges that companies face in stakeholder engagement, cultural and organizational change, and communication strategies,” said SIERC CEO Dr. Laurence B. Mussio. “Uncovering the evidence-based narrative of experiences in an organization’s past can lead to surprising insights for contemporary decision makers.” “The customized case studies that the SIERC-GUG alliance offer essentially boil down to three simple questions: Where are you now? How did you get here? What comes next? The questions may be simple, but the best answers emerge through the kind of research and delivery that we specialize in,” Dr. Mussio concluded.

GUG Managing Director Dr. Andrea Schneider-Braunberger said, “Our strategic alliance with SIERC allows us to provide unique and complementary services to the ones we already offer. German firms, as elsewhere, face an environment of growing global uncertainty, both in the European Union and in the larger global trading system. For us, this is another opportunity to serve businesses and enterprise in Germany and beyond with research, analysis and insight of the highest quality – and connect it to the strategic challenges they face today.”

The collaboration envisioned by the strategic alliance agreement has already begun, with activities expected to ramp up in October 2018.


Signal Influence Executive Research & Communications, Inc. (SIERC) is a boutique consulting firm specializing in the strategic application of organizational experience for senior leadership. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, we are connected to a global network of scholars, researchers and consultants. Together, we help transform insight into strategy. Since 2002, SIERC has served elite clients in financial services, telecommunications and information technology, as well as in the government and university sectors. Visit us at

About GUG

For over 40 years, Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte (GUG) mbH, Germany, has been producing company histories and advising companies in the fields of history, communication and the creation of historical archives. In doing so, GUG supports authors, publishers and clients in all phases of the production process — from conception to print-ready manuscript, including communication concepts and events. The projects are diverse, from comprehensive studies to specifically focused ones, undertaken for many reasons, from internal understanding to the celebration of milestones. Visit us at



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