Business History in the 2021 REF

6 06 2022

The REF is the main instrument the UK government uses to evaluate and incentivise research performance in academic units in universities and other research organisations. Effectively, panels of disciplinary experts gather every seven or so years to evaluate the research calibre of all departments/units within their discipline and then rank those units accordingly. So-called QR (Quality Related) funding from the taxpayer is then allocated to the units with the best research performance and is then used to support research activity. Although there was some discussion early in the pandemic that the REF system might be scrapped entirely so that research funding could be placed on more of a private enterprise basis, that idea was never implemented by Amanda Solloway, the then Minister of Science. (In October 2020 she announced that the 2021 REF would go ahead and that she no intention of disrupting its ‘important work’) . However, the date of the REF census of research performance was pushed back because of the pandemic, which meant the results of the REF were not published until early May 2022. (For the REF rankings of UK management schools, see here).

I’m pretty certain that the research outputs of most people who work in the field of business history were submitted to Unit of Assessment 17, although some scholars may have had their outputs read and scored by members of the Economics and Econometrics unit of assessment. It is therefore of tremendous interest to see what the REF panel members for Business and Management Studies think about the contribution of business-historical research to business and management studies. Charles Harvey, a very distinguished business history at the University of Newcastle, forwarded this analysis of business history and the REF to his fellow members of the Association of the Business Historians. His insights are useful because they give us a sense of how REF reviewers likely to view business historical research outputs in the future. Research evaluation, like beauty pageants, has a huge subjective element and is highly culturally specific. What might be considered good research in one national context would not be considered very good in another country. It is therefore very important for business historians in the UK to think about what the REF results reveal about the true preferences of the population of individuals who acted as REF reviewers in 2021, since that population will likely be very similar at the time of the next REF, which will likely be in 2022. The Business and Management academics this time round were predominantly academics at UK universities (a few practitioners from private industry also acted as reviewers), are people with the rank of full professor, and are British citizens either by birth or naturalisation. EDI considerations related to gender and race influenced how the REF panels are formed and every REF panel must include strong representation from each of the four nations of the UK. I strongly suspect that if there is a REF in the future, the same sorts of principles will inform how the REF juries are appointed. I also know that REF panellists take their fiduciary duties to the taxpayer seriously, just as citizens who serve on criminal case juries generally take their work seriously.

For an individual researcher, several key points stand out from Charles’s analysis. First, the reviewers tend to respect and give brownie points to publications based on solid archival research. That’s useful data for people planning how to allocate their scarce research time. Second, those books that were submitted to the REF were highly rated by the scholars who read them. (Knowing how academics think about the world, I bet that books published by the presses of ancient universities scored very highly indeed). Third, business historians must continue to work to contribute to theoretical debates.

May 2022
Overview report by Main Panel C
and Sub-panels 3 to24
Business History

  1. The upward trajectory of the Business History discipline related to Business and Management since REF 2014 is reflected in the increase in both the number and quality of submitted outputs.
  2. The majority of the submitted outputs were deemed to be world-leading or internationally excellent, in terms of originality, rigour and significance. Outputs displayed strength from both empirical and theoretical perspectives. In addition, a pleasing number of outputs addressed methodological advancements within the domain. While the vast majority of submitted outputs were journal articles, authored books were also a feature, with the majority of submitted books judged to be of world- leading quality.
  3. Several key issues were characteristic of the discipline’s development since REF 2014 and worthy of note. Firstly, the growing importance of the role of Business History in advancing theory; secondly, the increasing interdisciplinarity of the area, evident, for example, in the emergence of historical organisation studies. Methodologically, the discipline embraced diverse approaches. However, archival research dominated those outputs judged to be world-leading. A striking feature of the discipline was the very high level of rigour evident across the returned outputs.
  4. Business History clearly reaches across the range of B&M disciplines, making contributions, for example, to Entrepreneurship, International Business, Marketing, Retailing, Strategy, Accounting, Political Economy, Finance and Economics.





How Not To Think About the Relationship Between African Slavery and Business in the Present

25 05 2022

In the last week, there has been an epic social media flame war between some members of the business history community about the historical relationship between business and slavery. The debate has been frustrating to watch because it has involved scholars, some of whom are hardworking publishers with good research outputs, throwing around vague claims that would be hard to test empirically. Even worse, there has been name calling among the community of academics who do historical research and who work in management schools.

In any event, the debate can be summarised more or less as follows. The implied theory of historical causation that is lurking in the position of one side of this debate is that African slavery (the middle passage, the cotton plantations of the American south, etc) was the foundation of the cluster of economic institutions that we today label as “capitalism”. The apparent claim is that capitalism today, particularly the variant of capitalism in existence in the United States, is different than it otherwise would have been because slavery was, for a long time, an integral part of the economic system of part of the Western world. There is a slightly different claim which says that “managerial practices” were changed because of slavery — the insinuation is that how some or all managers today do their jobs is slightly or significantly different than would otherwise have been the case because of slavery. Precisely how “capitalism” or “management” is measurably different because of slavery’s legacy is never really stated and there is zero effort to quantify or to specific examples of actions in the present that are influenced by the slavery. A closely related implied claim is that GDPPC in the US and the UK today are somehow higher than would otherwise have been the case. This claim or rather insinuation was made by some of the non-academic authors associated with the 1619 project. In plain English, the argument is that white British people and white Americans are richer today than otherwise would have been the case because some of their ancestors enslaved and exploited Africans. (For a fair and recent summary of this debate, see this new paper in the JEL by Gavin Wright).

The other side in this debate hates these three claims and seems to see painstaking scholarly research trying to document the historical legacies of slavery as all a pile of crap of the type Jordan Peterson warned you about. There is a large dose of ideology running through these debates.

Personally, I think that the debate over the historical relationship between historical slavery and present-day capitalism is long on gross generalizations and short on details. I’m also disturbed that the terms of the debate are being framed by a series of articles in a freaking newspaper (!!!). Rather than talking about capitalism in general, they should talk about capitalism in specific places. I used to share the view that we shouldn’t use the vague term “capitalism” at all in academic research, since it was originally a term of abuse coined by snobbish people who just didn’t like businessmen. However, I’ve been convinced that it can helpful to use this term as a shorthand for what the WTO and international trade lawyers call “countries with Market Economy Status (MES)” or what I might call “societies in which market mechanisms and price signals play a leading role in coordinating production”. If the term capitalism is good enough for Oliver Williamson, it’s good enough for me.

However, if we are going to use the term capitalism in historical analysis, we should be very attentive to differences between forms of capitalism in different times and places. There is a vast literature showing that institutions of capitalism vary considerable even among OECD countries. There is also a hell of a lot of variation in institutions within countries, both between industries and between regions. Is capitalism in Manhattan really the same as capitalism in rural Maine? Similarly, what we mean by “business” varies by time and place. Keep these distinctions between types of capitalism and types of business in mind is crucial in thinking carefully about the legacies of slavery. I’m pleading for nuance and following the evidence here.

I would strongly suspect that the institutions of capitalism in, say, present-day Munich or Salt Lake City, were not affected that much by African slavery. Other local histories made capitalism in those places different from what might be called generic capitalism. However, I strongly suspect that capitalism in Alabama or Brazil is different from capitalism elsewhere precisely because of slavery and its legacies. We know from an AMJ paper by Pierce and Snyder (2020) that there are measurable differences between the institutions of capitalism in those African countries that were directly affected by the slave trade compared to those that weren’t visited by European slave traders. It is very plausible to argue that these differences are somehow caused by the legacies of slavery because we know from other research that the parts of Africa where Europeans sourced slaves were permanently changed by all of the slave-raiding and slave-trading. According to research done by Nathan Nunn and colleagues, African people from those tribes were targetted by the slave trade are less trusting of strangers than are other Africans, even after you control for other variables (understandably so!). Given that so much of what we call business/capitalism is based on trust (e.g. in a restaurant, the staff bring food to the table in the hopes the customer will pay for it after), it would be strange indeed if the legacies of historical slavery didn’t produce a measurable impact on business activity in some way. The fact Alabama is a relatively poor state probably isn’t exclusively a function of the fact it was a slave state, but it is plausible to hypothesise that slavery has something to do with its present-day economic position and that the US as a whole would today be wealthier if there had never been slavery in the South. We know that the homicide rate in the Deep South is about three times higher than in the parts of the US than in the states that remained in the Union during the Civil War. Counties in the western states that were settled by white Southerners after the abolition of slavery are today more violent than are countries in the west that were settled by whites from the North after the abolition of slavery. (Yes, there are mass shootings even in New England, but in general the old slave states are more violent).

I suspect that the best way to research the impact of slavery on present-day capitalism in the United States would be to use county level data. You would look at the US counties that had the most slaves in 1860, then do a regression analysis to see how business and management in those counties today is different. The same basic procedure found that homicide rates are today highest in the US counties that had the most slavery in 1860. Even after you control for all of the other variables, the historical incidence of slavery as reported by the 1860 census explains much the variance in homicides rates between US counties. Lots of studies have found that the  proportion of slaves in a UC county’s population in the 1860 census is associated with lots of negative socio-economic outcomes in the present. Why not use that tried and tested methodology to investigate the long-term impact of slavery on management and business? I suspect that we would find that the presence of many slaves in a county in 1860 is associated with fewer patent filings per capita in the present.





My Sessions at the 2022 AoM Meeting

24 05 2022

I have a number of papers on the programme of the 2022 Academy of Management conference in Seattle. I’m posting the details below.

Session Type: Paper Session
Submission: 18895 | Sponsor(s): (MH)
Session Format: In-person Only: Seattle
Scheduled: Sunday, Aug 7 2022 2:00PM – 3:30PM PT (UTC-7) at Hyatt Regency Seattle in 305 Chelais

Business Ethics, Corporate Historic Crimes and Religious Identity in Management History Research

Session Moderator: James M. Wilson, U. of Glasgow

MH: A Cursory Overview of Business Ethics Theme-oriented Diversity-oriented
Author: Aleta Sanford, Minnesota State U., Moorhead
Author: Gokce Serdar, Minnesota State U., Moorhead
Author: Siwei Zhu, Minnesota State U., Moorhead

The ethical dimension of business has long been acknowledged; however, specific frameworks for implementing ethics in business contexts have arisen and garnered attention. This paper aims to provide a brief overview of the evolution of business ethics throughout history, beginning with broader normative ethical theories that can be applied to businesses and then moving to business-specific theories. An understanding of the past, including both ethical theories and the history of modern business, can illuminate the current situation and layout potential future directions for the discipline and practice of business ethics. The paper takes a literature review approach, conducting several searches with no time restrictions, to summarize and understand critical movements in business ethics that impact the practice of modern business. The contributions of this paper include a high-level overview of the current status of ethics in business as well as future directions for both the research and practice of business ethics.

MH: Accounting, Religious Identity, Control and Discipline in the Quaker Lead Company, c.1800–c. 1860
Author: Tom McLean, Durham U. Business School
Author: Tom McGovern, Newcastle U.

Business histories of Quaker firms have generally presented them as enlightened employers and providers of industrial welfare. Quaker labour management and industrial welfare practices during the British Industrial Revolution (BIR) have been relatively neglected by accounting and business historians We conduct a ‘macro’ study of the roles of accounting in labour control and discipline and the provision of industrial welfare during the BIR in the religious, social and institutional contexts of the Quaker Lead Company. The research draws upon literature and data which present divergent views of the Company’s employment practices. The research finds that the historical construction of Quakers as enlightened employers and industrial philanthropists must be viewed with much caution. There was little that was uniquely and distinctively ‘Quaker’ in the Company’s approaches to labour control and discipline and its use of accounting in these respects.

MH: Situational Influences on how Daisy Douglas Barr turned from Quaker Minister to Ku Klux Klan Empress Theme-oriented Diversity-oriented
Author: Jay J. Janney, U. of Dayton
Author: Terry L Amburgey, U. of Toronto
Author: Della Stanley-Green, U. of Dayton

Famed Quaker minister and pastor Daisy Douglass Barr did not change her message but she changed her audience in the 1920s, from Friends Meetinghouses to Ku Klux Klan rallies. We argue three situational influences contributed to her decision. First, the rise of paid pastors (1870s) increased ministerial turnover, as paid ministers moved to larger congregations. In addition, Friends became more open to allying with non-Quaker organizations. Second the 1902 merger of the Men’s and Women’s Monthly Meeting for Worship and Business decreased networking opportunities for ministers. Finally, the Ku Klux Klan formally adopted several social activism values consistent with protestant denominational values, including temperance. A minister who advocated for temperance did not have to change their message, while enjoying the potential for larger audiences and more compensation.

MH: Why Do Organizations Respond Differently When Accused of Historic Crimes? Theme-oriented Diversity-oriented
Author: Andrew D A Smith, U. of Liverpool
Author: William Foster, U. of Alberta
Author: Jason Russell, State U. of New York Empire State College
Author: Emily Buchnea, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria U.

This paper contributes to the growing literature on corporate historic crimes by challenging the ways of thinking about moral evaluation that have hitherto informed research on this topic. We do so by examining managers’ responses to the ongoing campaign for corporate reparations for slavery. In recent years, social movements such as BLM have called upon the firms that historically profited from African slavery to apologize and pay reparations. We show that these firms have responded in strikingly different ways when confronted by activists who produced irrefutable evidence that they had once profited from slavery. Some of these firms apologising profusely and announced they would spend on restorative justice measures, while other firms facing essentially similar accusations refused to apologize or even comment on the accusation. We explain this difference in response with the Social Intuitionist Model (SIM) of moral reasoning. We find that while part of the observed difference in firm responses can be easily explained by looking at their current business models, firm responses were also strongly influenced by political ideology, a factor largely ignored by the extant literature on historic corporate responsibility. In the model we develop to explain firm responses to accusations of immoral behaviour in the past, a key factor is the nature of the moral universe inhabited by the firm’s managers and stakeholders. When a firm’s core stakeholders and managers inhabit the “moral universe” associated with the present-day Anglo-American left, the firm is much more likely to apologise for its historical connections to racial slavery than if its core stakeholders and managers inhabit the moral universe associated with political conservativism. We identify important implications for business ethics researchers and practitioners.

Session Type: Paper Session
Submission: 18896 | Sponsor(s): (MH)
Session Format: In-person Only: Seattle
Scheduled: Monday, Aug 8 2022 9:00AM – 10:30AM PT (UTC-7) at Hyatt Regency Seattle in 407 Satsop

Family Firms, Enterprising Communities, Management and Accounting History Research

Session Moderator: Stephen Cummings, Victoria U. of Wellington

MH: Historical Narratives and the Process of Next Generation Engagement in Family Firms Research-oriented
Author: Andrew D A Smith, U. of Liverpool
Author: Nicholas Wong, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria U.

There is growing interest in family business on next-generation engagement, the processes by which older family members persuade younger individuals to commit to the family firm rather than pursue outside career opportunities. Recent research on the “Uses of the Past” and historical narratives. To date little has been written about how family firms use historical narratives in next-generation engagement. We address this gap by drawing on the ecological approach to family narratives and shed fresh light on the patterns that demonstrate how rhetorical history is used to persuade younger members of families to commit to careers within the family firm and to behave in ways that the older family members deem to be important. In our paper we identify two types of rhetorical history that are used in next-generation engagement: identity-enrolment rhetorical history, which is used to get the younger person to identify strongly with the family firm, and performative rhetorical history, which is meant to get the individual who has already committed to the family firm to behave in a particular fashion. Our analysis is informed by social-identity theory and cross-cultural management research so that gender and national culture are recognized as important moderators in our analysis.

MH: Up in Smoke? Rhetorical and Material Dynamics in Community Identities
Author: Matthew CB Lyle, U. of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Author: Ashley Hockensmith, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Author: Ian Walsh, Bentley U.

Prior research suggests that, while organizations often spur material and rhetorical changes to communities, such outcomes are variable in terms of altering what it means to be of that place. In this paper, we draw on Molotch, Freudenburg, and Paulsen’s (2000) framework to develop a multiple case study of two communities where recreational cannabis dispensaries were founded. Specifically, we conceptualize the entrance of novel ventures as a potential identity threat that catalyzes the conjoining of materiality and rhetoric – critical components of collective identity – at a particular time. Qualitative analyses of various data sources, including interviews, community meetings, observations and archival materials from 2016 until 2020 allowed us to theorize processes through which these elements co-evolve and advance our understanding of the iterative nature of community identity dynamics and the actors involved in shaping them.

MH: Informal Institutions as Inhibitors of Rent-Seeking Entrepreneurship: Evidence from U.S. History

Author: Graham Brownlow, Queen’s Management School, Queen’s U. Belfast
Author: Andrew D A Smith, U. of Liverpool

Rent-seeking entrepreneurship occurs whenever entrepreneurs use the political process to extract economic gains without returning commensurate benefits to society (Baumol 1990; Sobel, 2008; Choi and Storr, 2019). While we know that nations with “inclusive” political institutions such as democracy (Acemoglu and Robinson, 2019) have significantly less rent-seeking entrepreneurship than do other nations, rentseeking entrepreneurship remains widespread even in long-established democracies. We therefore need to know more about institutional arrangements that can discourage rent-seeking entrepreneurs in democratic countries. The core research question informing this paper is, therefore: how do changes in norms, beliefs, and similar informal institutions moderate the effectiveness of formal institutions that discourage rent-seeking entrepreneurship? To help answer this question, we draw on historical data from the experience of the United States since 1791. Features of the United States Constitution, such as its explicit protection for property rights, discourage rentseeking entrepreneurship. At various points since the ratification of the Constitution, American policymakers have modified the country’s formal institutions with amendments that had the net effect, at least in the short term, of discouraging rentseeking entrepreneurship and channeling the energies of entrepreneurs into more socially-productive activities. This paper presents an explanation for why the effectiveness of these formal institutions in deterring rent-seeking entrepreneurship in the United States has varied over time. We develop a generalizable process model based on our findings and then explain how this model can useful in future research on a wide range of countries.

MH: Management Accounting: Past, Present, and Future of Double-Entry Bookkeeping and Ledger Research-oriented
Author: Giovanna Centorrino, U. of Messina
Author: Valeria Naciti, U. of Messina
Author: Daniela Rupo, U. of Messina

The paper investigates the current state of studies on double-entry bookkeeping and ledgers in accounting through a bibliometrics analysis from 1990 to 2021. The study allows for interpretation of the development of accounting information systems, as they are evolving under the impulse given by recent disruptive information technology. We use a sample of 230 publications collected from the Web of Science. We adopted VOSviewer software to illustrate different relational techniques: citation, co-citation, keyword co-occurrence, and bibliographic coupling analyses. The results highlight the emergence of some recent research streams that appear weakly connected with traditional prior studies on the foundation of modern accounting, albeit sharing the same roots with seminal contributions of accounting history in terms of implications for trustiness, morality, and communication. The main finding is a better understanding of the growing interest in double-entry bookkeeping and ledger, focusing on blockchain and its dimensions. This study contributes to the existing literature on the significance of double-entry bookkeeping and ledger by enhancing it with a much more comprehensive, reliable picture given by bibliometrics analysis. The universality of accounting language is called upon to describe new “genealogies of calculation” by converging professional and academic efforts in a field that can benefit widely from a transdisciplinary approach to research.





CfP: Microhistory in Management History and Organization Theory

23 05 2022

Special Issue of Management and Organizational History.

Special Issue Editor(s)

Liv EgholmCopenhagen Business School
le.mpp@cbs.dk

Michael HellerBrunel Business School
michael.heller@brunel.ac.uk

Michael RowlinsonUniversity of Exeter Business School
m.c.rowlinson@exeter.ac.uk

There has been a resurgence of interest in microhistory. The classic texts associated with the subject remain immensely popular: The Cheese and the Worms (Ginzburg, 1992[1976]); The Return of Martin Guerre (Zemon Davis, 1983); and The Great Cat Massacre (Darnton, 1984). These provide a reference point, which has provided the basis for increasing reflection on the theoretical significance and methodological distinctiveness of microhistory (Magnússon & Szijártó, 2013), such as the special issue of Past and Present on ‘Global History and Microhistory’ (Ghobrial, 2019). Attention has also been paid to microhistory from management and business history as well as organization studies (Bourguignon & Floquet, 2019; Decker, 2015).

Microhistory offers an opportunity to reconceptualise relationships which lie at the heart of historical research and historiography: the historical nexus between the particular and the general, agency and structure, the micro and the macro. Microhistorians are known for their methodological habit of reading sources forensically in their search for historical clues. It implies reading historical sources ‘against the grain’ (Decker & McKinlay, 2020, pp. 26-27), or as Levi (2019: 41) puts it, ‘beyond the edge of the page’, carefully looking for what Ginzburg refers to as “unintended evidence” (Ginzburg, 2016). The use of microhistory as a magnifying glass can be seen as the equivalent of a detective’s tool. Sherlock Holmes´ working methods are often used as a metaphor for microhistory’s careful readings and detection of clues (Ginzburg, 2013 (1979)), often within “exceptional normal” cases (Grendi, 1977).

For this reason, the trademark of microhistorical methodology is to trace sources and clues throughout and across archives (Ginzburg, 2013). The names of actors, places, concepts, events, or objects are used as concrete entry points to show how previously unrelated spaces, temporalities, and fields are woven together in practice. This mapping demonstrates great potential in revealing unnoticed relations between, for example, family life and entrepreneurship (Popp & Holt, 2013), religious practices and trade (Trivellato, 2019), or philanthropic gift giving and the establishment of the welfare state (Egholm, 2021).

The purpose is not to argue for the universal value of the exceptional; it is to show, rather, how discrete historical events challenge our conceptualisations of the universal, and provide essential clues to what can be considered as normal (Ginzburg, 1979; Peltonen, 2001). Accordingly, the reduction of scale is not the study of the “microness” of a phenomenon (Levi, 2019, p. 38). The reduction of scale, rather, provides the historian with a heuristic tool to craft new theories by distorting or amending metanarratives and reformulating historical concepts and relations. Without explicitly mentioning microhistory, a series of organizational phenomena have been reconceptualized from a close reading of sources, with notable examples being the career (McKinlay, 2002), and entrepreneurship (Popp & Holt, 2013. Thus, microhistory shows how, “history is a discipline of general questions and ‘local’ answers” (Levi, 2019, p. 45).

The historic turn (Rowlinson, Hassard, & Decker, 2014) has pushed for a revised understanding of past context as offering more than simply temporal variables for universal theorising (Van Lent & Durepos, 2019). Historical phenomena often remain, however, reduced to consequences or affectations of particular contexts. In contrast, microhistory calls out for a grounding and explanation of the past through analyses of how actors, places, concepts, events or objects interact and are woven together in contradictory and often different fields and interests. In so doing, microhistory exposes how both individuals and social structures of all kinds are produced simultaneously through relationships and processes.

This special issue’s scope is to explore the methodological, ontological, and empirical strengths of microhistory to advance management history and organization studies. Therefore, we invite both theoretical, and theoretically informed empirical submissions that will further the contribution of microhistory in business history, management, and organizational history, as well as management and organization theory.

Questions and topics of interest for the special issue may include:

  1. How does the use of microhistory question, elaborate, or develop macro theories or broader conceptualisations from within the confines of discrete and particular historical studies
  2. How do microhistorical methodologies of reading “beyond the edges of the paper” contradict and undermine broader historical narratives in business and management and organizational history such as Marxism, functionalism, institutionalism, neo-liberalism, the resource-based view of the firm, and economic path dependency?
  3. What are the advantages and concerns for the use of historical archival research, source criticism, triangulation, and historical interpretivism when innovative microhistorical methodologies work with “dissonant sources” and “unintended evidence”?
  4. What is the impact of microhistory in relation to archival ethnography and the employment of micro historical sources (e.g., letters, diaries, postcards, travel accounts, scrapbooks, and memoirs)?
  5. What is the way in which local knowledge and local environment historically create organizational, business, and entrepreneurial opportunities?
  6. How does a microhistorical approach reconceptualise the relationship between agency and structure in business and management and organizational history?
  7. What is the relationship between the different scales of history? In particular, to what extent do microhistories develop historical accounts that reflect on a granular scale broader organizational and business historical environments and trends?
  8. How can we account for generalisation by using a microhistorical approach? How can local answers reply to general questions by showing complex and often ambiguous connections in historical archives?

More information can be found here.





Exiting Russia: A New Paradigm for Geopolitical Corporate Responsibility?

13 04 2022

I’m sharing this announcement here because the high level of historical content promised here means that this talk should be of interest to business historians, at least those in suitable time zones.

Lecture | April 13 | 4-6 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

Speaker/Performer: Bennett Freeman, Associate Fellow Chatham House and former SVP, Calvert Investments

Sponsor: Institute of International Studies

Since late February, there has been an unprecedented exodus of Western
business from Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Multinational
corporations across sectors have suspended or terminated operations for
mostly reputational and political reasons, with sanctions from Western
governments deepening Russia’s economic isolation.

Will these actions give impetus to a new geopolitical corporate
responsibility that elevates human rights and avoids operating in countries
whose governments commit war crimes and crimes against humanity? Can there
be such a doctrine or at least a framework that is both ethical and
practical, consistent and constructive? If applied to Russia, can and
should it be extended to China, Saudi Arabia, and other countries and if so
on what basis? What historical precedents, including divestment from South
Africa during apartheid and from Sudan during the Darfur genocide, inform
such an approach? Should multinational corporations make such political
judgments and to what extent should they be guided by the policies and
actions of their home country governments and the international community?
Can the application of political risk analysis and human rights due
diligence converge for companies and investors alike? How can unintended
human rights and humanitarian as well as economic consequences for civilian
populations be avoided? Beyond the UN Guiding Principles on Business and
Human Rights that establish companies as human rights actors, is there a
legitimate normative responsibility for business to support the rules-based
international order?

Chatham House Associate Fellow Bennett Freeman will raise these questions
and offer tentative answers from his perspective as former Senior Vice
President at Calvert Investments and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Note: Zoom and In Person options available. Please register in advance.





CFP: Firms, Wars, and Ethics in the Business History of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia

11 04 2022


Firms, Wars, and Ethics in the Business History of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia
Place: Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Date: October 21-22, 2022


For this 4th Workshop on Business History in Central and Eastern Europe, the organizers invite scholars, including Ph.D. students, of any relevant discipline to submit paper proposals on a broad range of topics related to business actors & corporate behavior in (and after) armed conflicts during the 20th century.
The workshop will particularly draw on historical research on the two World Wars and their aftermaths to provide tentative answers to several questions evoked by the Russia-Ukraine war of 2022. The aim is to explore the relationship between business and geopolitics from a long-term historical perspective focusing on the economic and social consequences of the war, including (de)globalization processes.

Conference context: On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, causing thousands of deaths among civilians, colossal damage in the infrastructure, and forcing over 10 million people to leave their homes. In response, democratic states have demonstrated unprecedented unity and imposed extensive economic sanctions on Russia. The combination of military conflict, economic warfare, and humanitarian crisis has had an enormous impact on the economic environment, including the disruption of global supply chains, commodity price shock, increased market volatility, and making the world’s economic development, already hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, even more unpredictable.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected both the multinational companies as well as the domestic firms operating in Central-Eastern Europe. Within just a few weeks, companies running in CEE faced challenges rarely dealt with at business schools. Companies face ethical dilemmas and feel strong pressure from their shareholders and stakeholders, forcing them to make decisions that go well beyond usual business thinking and strategizing. Thousands of companies have decided to divest, withdraw, or scale down their operations in Russia. In contrast, others justify their decision to stay with their responsibility towards their employees in Russia and their unwillingness to deprive Russia’s population of essential goods such as food and medical supplies.

The events unfolding in the last weeks in Ukraine and CEE have presented business historians with serious

questions concerning:

  1. The role of business in military conflicts and post-war development. What are the various roles firms play in armed conflicts? How is the role of companies decided in conflicts? How and why can some companies benefit from war while others suffer disruption and destruction in their production and distribution networks? Why do some companies embrace the role of humanitarian actors providing welfare and assistance, while others that of political actors using their activities to build bridges for peace? Which role can business enterprises play in post-war development? How fast do companies return to the countries affected by war, and how do their previous decisions impact the post-war future? How does organizational resilience manifest itself in the aftermath of war? What can we learn from the experience of the First and the Second World Wars?
  2. Business ethics vs. unethical corporate behavior. What does (business) history teach us about ethical behavior in times of war? How does public pressure affect corporate behavior and reputation? To what extent can ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility contribute to solving the humanitarian crisis? How do firms/managers decide what they perceive (un)ethical? Who are the main actors in this process?
  3. Corporate lessons from uncomfortable pasts. Most historians do not embrace the naïve view of “learning from history” as history does not repeat itself. However, is there something that we can learn from corporate entanglement in wars and corporate strategies after armed conflicts? Are there implications after the war for companies operating in belligerent countries who perceive their activities as neutral? What are the advantages of staying or leaving for firms trying to rebuild their business abroad after a war? What role, if any, does corporate memory and corporal forgetting play in facilitating conflicts? Who decides and who should decide what to remember and forget, especially in the case of uncomfortable or dark heritage?
    We invite fellow scholars to discuss corporate behavior during past wars and humanitarian crises to contribute to our understanding of the Russia-Ukraine war and its possible consequences for business in Central and Eastern Europe from a historical perspective. The workshop is aimed to engage in a debate about the behavior of business actors and to understand whether and how firms’ behavior during and after wars has changed over time and across regions. The call is open to all topics that fit the general scope of the workshop. Although our focus is Central Eastern Europe, we welcome studies concerning other regions if they contribute to deepening our understanding of the topic.To apply, please, send an abstract of 500 words presenting the subject, the conceptual framework, the analytical approach, and the controversial issue(s) to tackle within the discussion, along with a maximum two-page-long CV by April 28, 2022, to Valentina Fava
    valentina.fava@unive.it. Papers for presentation will be selected following a peer-review procedure.
    The format of the workshops is designed to support a comprehensive discussion on selected topics. We welcome both panel proposals dealing with conceptual and methodological questions and brief contributions. Participants are invited to submit a written paper (not exceeding 6,000 words) three weeks before the workshop. We will distribute these texts among the workshop participants prior to the workshop.
    The organizers are currently applying to foundations for financial support to cover the costs of workshop participants. Colleagues from Central and Eastern Europe will be prioritized.
    Organizers: Ulf Brunnbauer (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Regensburg), Valentina Fava (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Alfred Reckendrees (Copenhagen Business School), Thomasz Olejniczak (Kozminski University, Warsaw), Volodymyr Kulikov (The Ukrainian Catholic University).
    The workshop series is supported by the European Business History Association




Summer School Opportunity for Business History PhD Students

15 03 2022

Call for Papers: University of Tübingen & University of Glasgow PhD Summer School

Business Beyond the Brink: Crisis Management, Government Responses and Institutional Memory and Learning in the Modern World.

1-3 August 2022, Tübingen, Germany.

The University of Tübingen’s Collaborative Research Center 923 – “Threatened Orders: Societies under Stress” (Germany) – provides funding for an intensive three-day event aimed at PhD students in business history or economic history working on any topic that overlaps with the theme of the school (for more details, see “Further Notes for Applicants” below). Students will, the pandemic permitting, be hosted in the historic town of Tübingen and will present, debate and discuss their works-in-progress with leading international scholars within a world-class university.

The school aims to provide doctoral students with an overview of relevant research and innovative tools and methodologies in the fields of business and economic history. It is the third event in this series organised jointly by the Seminar für Neuere Geschichte (University of Tübingen) and the Centre for Business History in Scotland (University of Glasgow).

The school will take the form of presentations from students (c.25 minutes) and workshops hosted by established experts in the field. The aims of the school are:

1) to deepen students’ understanding of current themes in historical research (and how this can inform their own work);
2) to enhance research skills through masterclasses on methods for researching and writing history;  
3) to explore the main theoretical underpinnings particular to business and economic history; and
4) to provide a welcoming and convivial environment in which students can discuss their research with leading scholars and peers.

Students will benefit from the experience of academics from Tübingen and beyond. Confirmed speakers include Prof. Dr. Boris Gehlen (Stuttgart), Professor Patrick Fridenson (EHESS), Dr Daniel Menning (Tübingen) and Dr Christopher Miller (Glasgow). We hope to confirm additional speakers in the coming weeks and months.

Funding will cover flights and/or trains (up to an agreed limit, to be reimbursed after the school), accommodation, lunches, and the conference meal for up to fourteen students. There may also be limited space for applicants who wish to self-fund or who have received funding from their own institution.

Those interested in attending the summer school should e-mail the following documents to the organisers, Dr Daniel Menning (Daniel.Menning@uni-tuebingen.de) and Dr Christopher Miller (Christopher.Miller@glasgow.ac.uk).

1) a brief CV (two pages maximum);
2) a summary of their PhD (two pages maximum); and 
3) a title and abstract for their desired presentation topic, which should incorporate one or more major themes of the student’s PhD (one page maximum).

While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit with their materials an example of a work-in-progress (e.g., a draft chapter, article, or working paper), preferably in English, German, or French. Please note, however, that all presentations and discussions will be in English.

The deadline for applications is 20 April 2022.  A maximum of 14 funded applicants will be selected and notified shortly afterwards. 

Further Notes for Applicants:

Overview of Scope and Aims of the School:

(This overview is only a guide. Students working on similar topics to those listed below are encouraged to speak to Daniel Menning and/or Christopher Miller in the first instance.)

With the COVID-19 virus spreading across the globe and many major economic countries shutting down social life and significant parts of the economy, we have recently witnessed an economic contraction which has proceeded at an astonishing pace as well as an equally swift, though rather more varied, rebound. Though it is too early yet to estimate the effects and predict the duration of the economic difficulties (including, for example, current shortages of raw materials and increased inflation) – particularly with the war in the Ukraine compounding such difficulties – , it is clear that many businesses suffered and many others were dislocated and/or remain in trouble. A significant number most likely will not survive in their pre-pandemic form, governmental bailout packages notwithstanding.

While interest in economic crises and their effects on businesses has increased over the past few years, starting with the Global Financial Crisis, the current conditions will likely give a new boost to research and result in a new thoughtfulness and a recalibration of research methods. This summer school therefore aims to better understand the linkages between businesses, government responses, and learning from crises through a combination of training masterclasses and a varied range of papers from PhDs and early career researchers working on the cutting edge of history and cognate disciplines.

Research Background:

Business and economic history has been at the forefront of explaining some of the major changes in economies and societies – starting with the work of Alfred Chandler in the 1960s. (Chandler 1962, 1977). Nevertheless, with regards to the business history of crises and crisis management specifically, the literature is far less well developed. There are three reasons for this neglect. First, the tradition of business history for several decades, until comparatively recently, was to study the history of individual firms, or less frequently sectors. Indeed, business history was once considered an applied branch of economic history for scholars wishing to move beyond macroeconomic trends. The net effect has been that the literature on firms has been dominated by commissioned histories where the historian is paid by the (surviving) company and given use of its archives. While often extremely valuable, these studies can tend towards “rise and fall” narratives.

Second, where business histories have studied crises specifically, commissioned works can potentially have some further methodological problems. Most obviously, many of the firms survived until at least the point the history was commissioned. Thus, it is perhaps a case of selection bias towards success – or at the very least towards the largest and most important companies (Berghoff 2006). Related to this, the nature of commissioned studies has also drawn criticism: namely, that success is often attributed to management rather than luck, while episodes of failure are attributed to external or unpredictable factors outside of management control.

Third, the causes and aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 have generated many millions of pages of scholarship and commentary in the last decade, with the effect of prompting historians to draw comparisons with the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression. For instance, Werner Abelshauser (2009) is one of many interested in learning from economic crises explicitly through using the examples of 1931 and 2008. While not every crisis was like 2008 in cause, scale or scope, it is not necessarily a new phenomenon: the 2000 dot-com bubble was compared in much the same way. (Ojala and Uskali 2006). As a result, the stock market crash in 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression have become by far the most studied economic crisis in history, with renewed interest from 2008 (Tooze 2019), while the effect of the more regular, smaller scale, economic crises suffered by businesses before and after 1929 is largely neglected.

The current economic conditions promise to bring new momentum to the study of businesses in times of larger and smaller economic difficulties, and we are therefore inviting PhD students and ECRs (PhD awarded no earlier than 2019) working on these topics in history departments, management schools, or other cognate disciplines to submit proposals for the summer school.





What Business-Historical Research Can Say About the War in Ukraine

12 03 2022

Business-historical research is particularly useful in understanding the impact on companies of rare but highly consequential events, such as the outbreak of wars involving great powers. By business-historical research, I mean small-N, high-detail studies using corporate archives and other primary sources generated by business people. The pioneering historical research on the late Alfred Chandler illustrates these types of research methods. (Business-historical research is thus distinct from, but related to, econometric historical research).  Within the business-historical research community, particularly outside of the United States, understanding the impact of war and more geopolitical conflict on the strategies and structures of multinational firms is a major focus of researchers. How MNE managers responded to the world wars, the Cold War, and the collapse of the European colonies empires, is a subject that has been explored by such leading business historians as Geoffrey Jones, Ben Wubs, Pierre-Yves Donzé, Marcelo Bucheli, Takafumi Kurosawa, Heidi Tworek, Teresa da Silva-Lopes, Simon Mollan, Kevin Tennent, and others including me.

The recent dramatic events in Ukraine (the invasion of a fledgling democracy and EU-candidate member by a state that is controlled by a former KGB colonel and which has the implicit backing of the CCP) has had major implications for multinational firms and for the cluster of trends we call globalization. The sudden severing of ties between Russian and Western firms, the concerns that the conflict could result in a NATO Article 5 situation, and the trillion-dollar question of what this conflict means for ties between Chinese and Western firms are all issues that we are thinking about. A striking feature of this crisis is that Western firms have engaged in extensive self-sanctioning of Russia: rather than waiting to see whether Western governments will force them to stop trading with and in Russia, Western firms have announced they will cease to do business there. The closure of all McDonald’s restaurants in Russia is representative of this development.  My impression is that these companies have dropped Russia because of a mixture of consumer pressure and fear of a boycott in their core Western markets, the realisation that their Russian subsidiaries are probably going to become unprofitable anyway, and the internal moral compass of the executives. A disproportionate number of corporate managers are ex-military, particularly in US firms that recruit from the Harvard MBA programme, so a certain amount of corporate patriotism may be at work.

 In this blog post, I would like to draw on my business-historical research and the research other business historians in thinking about what we can expect.

My first main observation is that in we shouldn’t model the individuals who direct multinational firms in times of geopolitical crisis (the top management teams) as concerned exclusively with profit-maximization or trying to preserve as much value as possible for the shareholders. Nor should we model these individuals as self-maximizing economic actors (Econ 101 humans) whose behaviour in this crisis can be predicted just by referring to their pecuniary interests. MNCs CEOs and board members are far more complex than that. I recently published a co-authored paper that a micro-historical study of the individual who led the bank now known as HSBC during the First World War. Immediately prior to this war, this bank had extensive ties to German firms (the German citizens on its board of directors resigned in August 1914). Very soon after the war began, the British government banned most but not all forms of trading with German citizens. During the war, the chief executive of this firm incurred great personal risks in the course of speaking up on behalf of German firms and liberal-internationalist principles, doing so as a time when other British businessmen (albeit those with less social capital) were being literally imprisoned for the crime of trading with the enemy. I concluded that the bold actions of this MNE manager, which made him unpopular, were not motivated by personal self-interest or even the economic interests of his principals (the shareholders of the firm) but were instead a dictated by his own moral code. We know from the work of other business-historians that businessmen of a more militarist/nationalist cast of mind have behaved in wartime in a fashion that is totally at odds with what the Econ 101 model of human nature would predict. The lesson here is that we can’t assume that everything a CEO or a MNCs does in this crisis is somehow designed to promote the long-term self-interest of the CEO or of the firm.

Second, business-historical research can help us to think about the likely impact of this crisis, and of major war more generally, on the ongoing debates about the relative merits of the shareholder primacy and the stakeholder philosophy that says that corporate board members should not be conceptualized as having a primary duty to maximize profits for shareholders. As I have suggested in this paper, major wars in which firms need to behave patriotically in supporting the war effort have the net effect of promoting the stakeholder philosophy. The doctrine of shareholder primacy tends to do well in times of peace among major economies (e.g. Victorian England, late 19th century America, the US and the UK after the alleged End of History in 1990).

Third, we should not view businesspeople as simply responding to changes in the geopolitical environment that are produced by politicians. Businesspeople can, in a subtle but important way, influence the incidence and severity of warfare in a way that is totally invisible to the Realist perspective on geopolitics that many academics unthinkingly default to using in crises such as this. Entrepreneurs can end and prevent wars through backdoor diplomacy and other means. (The literature on Business and Peace shows that). In a paper in the journal Enterprise and Society, I and Laurence Mussio explored how Canadian entrepreneurs promoted peace between the British Empire and the United States in the 1860s, a time when those two powers were drifting towards war. Last month, as the Ukraine crisis was escalating, I recorded a podcast with a Canadian think-tank in which I talked about that paper and what it means for the present. The Jerusalem Post recently reported that the oligarch Roman Abramovich was acting as a go-between in peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. This report made me think of my earlier research on Sir John Rose.  I concede that there is a big difference between these two episodes, as it is probably easier for a businessman to patch up relations between two liberal countries (Britain and the United States) than between the West and an autocracy.

Fourth, a striking feature of this crisis is the swiftness with which Western firms, particularly consumer-facing ones like McDonald’s, have pulled out of Russia. There is a marked contrast here with the great reluctance to divest from South Africa that Western firms displayed when anti-apartheid activists pressed them to do so. (Please look at this excellent historical paper on Shell in JIBS on this subject).   I think three factors explain this difference. First, stakeholders in the West thought that apartheid was terrible but they never believed that South Africa posed an existential threat to their countries in same way that Russia does. Second, disgust with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the associated belief that it is immoral to do business with Putin’s Russia is now evenly distributed across the political spectrum, at least in the UK and the US, whereas in the 1980s support for boycotts of South Africa was primarily found on the left of the political spectrum.

 Third, and I hate to say it, race is probably a factor here: sympathy for Ukrainians is probably intensified by the fact they fall into the socially-constructed category of “white”. This is not to say that they are not 100% deserving of our support, but there is a discrepancy in how Western countries have treated the victims of Russian aggression in Ukraine and the victims of Russian aggression from Syria. (My personal view is we should be more generous in how we treat all refugees, Ukrainian and non-white).  The EU, which is in some subtle ways a systemically racist organization, has displayed a massive double-standard as just a few months ago it supported the efforts of Poland to keep a handful of Middle Eastern refugees from crossing the Belarus-Ukraine border. It is now being far more generous to the Ukrainians, which is great except for the double standard. Sadly, the UK government, which has recently introduced a new colour-blind immigration system and has a strikingly non-racist policy aimed at helping BNO refugees fleeing Communist tyranny in Hong Kong, appears to be moving towards a similar double-standard policy. I’m disappointed that a Cabinet that includes so many non-whites has followed the EU in this way.  Even more strikingly, American journalists employed by previously “woke” companies have expressed essentially racist ideas when discussing the Ukraine crisis on air (I’ve shared two video clips from Novara Media, a pro-Corbyn media source I don’t normally agree with, below). The sad fact of the matter is that race and a certain amount of white privilege influences the cultural context in which MNC managers make decisions about whether to do business with odious regimes. The same firms that have boycotted Russia continue do to business in other Eurasian autocracies, even those that are engaged in genocidal policies towards (non-white and non-Christian) populations. Public opinion in the West lets them get away with doing so, in part because people in Western countries are more upset about human rights abuses where the victims are within the imagined community of the white race.  In the past, I have published papers that deal with cultural and intellectual legacies of colonialism for multinational firms (see here). The historical periods covered in those two papers end around 1980, which I then regarded as the effective end of the era in which ideas of racial superiority and inferiority ceased to be relevant to understanding how multinational firms operate. I may need to revise that view.





Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM)

11 03 2022

Esse quam videri: Marketing history for real

21st Biennial

Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM)

1 to 4 June 2023, Duke University, Durham, NC

Submission Deadline: 26 November 2022

Direct your submission to the Program Chair: CHARM2023Submissions@gmail.com

We invite business, marketing, social science, and humanities scholars from all backgrounds to join us at Duke University for a friendly, collegial, and interdisciplinary research conference focused on the history of marketing and advertising. We call on scholars from around the globe to explore the theme of this year’s conference, based on the motto of North Carolina, esse quam videri, to be rather than to seem. The motto is drawn from Marcus Tullius Cicero’s essay, How to Be a Friend (De Amicitia), which is very appropriate, because this is the ethos of CHARM.

Both individual papers and panels on all aspects of marketing history, historic marketing, and the history of marketing thought in all geographic areas and all historical time frames are welcome. In accord with the Conference theme, we welcome papers that both examine the history of marketing as a discipline and also critically draw on marketing as a source in reconstructing the past. Topics may include but are not exclusively restricted to the following:

Marketing pioneersHistories of the development and evolution of the marketing disciplineVarieties of marketing cultures and historiesWriting the past: constructing histories in/for marketingExploring the historical role of relationships and networks in marketing;Historical Marketing in the projection of national and regional identitiesHistory and Marketing research
Marketing history “from below” – how consumers and citizens respond to and interact with firms and brands
Advertising history
Distribution and packaging history
Sector case studies with historical focus, for example beauty and fashion marketing, transportation, leisure, etc.Histories of branding and brand development

We also encourage historical submissions that discuss methodological, pedagogical and historiographical questions in marketing.

Address any proposals for special sessions or panels directly to the Program Chair for more information.

Submission Information:

Submit a full paper or extended abstract. All paper submissions (full and extended abstracts) will be double-blind reviewed and a proceedings volume will be published. Full papers (between 8,000 and 12,000 words, inclusive of references and all other items) or extended abstracts (between 1,200 – 1,500 words) may be submitted. Authors may choose to publish either full papers or extended abstracts in the proceedings. To provide reviewers with sufficient information, extended abstracts should include the research purpose, source material or data, and sample references. Please note: submitting a full paper to the proceedings volume does not preclude a submission of your paper to a journal. The copyright of a paper published in the CHARM proceedings remains with its authors, and over the years many CHARM conference papers have made their way into marketing, historical, sociological and other journals.

All submissions, full papers and extended abstracts, must be in double-spaced Microsoft Word format. All must contain a cover page that includes the following:

  1. Manuscript title.
  2. Author(s) name and title.
  3. ORCID identifier, where you have one.
  4. Contact information, including email address.
  5. Corresponding author (for co-authored works).
  6. The names of associated authors where a panel is proposed.
  7. Author(s) status (student, faculty or independent scholar).
  8. Paper vs. abstract designation
  9. One or two recommended reviewers.

All cover pages should also include the following statement: “In the event this submission is accepted for presentation and publication in the CHARM Proceedings, I (or a co-author) intend to present our work at CHARM 2023.” Please use the “Properties” function in Word to remove author information from the document file.

Full papers are eligible to be considered for either the Stanley C. Hollander Best Paper Award (best overall paper) or the David D. Monieson Best Student Paper Award (best paper by a graduate student). The David D. Monieson Award eligibility requires that the paper be authored solely by a graduate student(s) and that student authorship be noted on the cover page upon submission.

Program ChairProceedings EditorArrangements ChairDoctoral Workshop Chair
Prof. Leighann C. Neilson Associate Professor , Marketing, Sprott School of Business Carleton University Ottawa, ON CANADA   leighannneilson@cunet.carleton.ca  Prof. Joanne McNeish Associate Professor, Marketing, Ted Rogers School of Business Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON CANADA   jmcneish@ryerson.caJacqueline Reid     Wachholz Director, Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising &     Marketing History, Duke University, Durham, NC USA   j.reid@duke.eduDr. Richard A. Hawkins Reader in History, Department of History, Politics & War Studies, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton UK   r.a.hawkins@wlv.ac.uk




Possible Venue to Present Business-Historical Research on Politics in International Business

2 03 2022

I’m always scoping out venues where business historians can present research findings to other groups of management academics. Since many business historians do research on how multinational firms deal with political risk, this recently-announced workshop may of interest. I don’t know if the organisation of this workshop, which will take place in a city that was once under partial Russian occupation (Vienna) is at all connected to recent events in Ukraine.

Let’s talk politics:
Politics in International Business

EIBA Workshop (EIBA-W)
Let’s talk politics:
Politics in International Business
WU Vienna, Austria | June 9-10, 2022
Call for Papers & Participants
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: April 29, 2022 (23:59 CEST)
{NOTE: Submitting a paper is not a participation requirement…}
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 13, 2022

Location: WU Vienna
Dates: June 9-10, 2022
EIBA-W Organizer: Vera Kunczer, WU Vienna (vera.kunczer@wu.ac.at)
EIBA Sponsor: Jonas Puck, WU Vienna
NOTE: This EIBA Workshop (EIBA-W) is expected to be held as an on-campus, in-person event – with options to join online if travel restrictions due to the current Covid-19 pandemic or other factors so require.

Aim of the EIBA-W on Politics in IB
The aim of this EIBA-W is to bring together junior and senior scholars interested in the overlap of International Business and Politics. We invite paper proposals as well as working paper submissions that will receive useful feedback in an interactive discussion format. Participants without submissions are also very welcome. All will benefit from networking opportunities, senior faculty talks, and expert roundtables.

Topics addressed at the EIBA-W
After decades of economic integration and increasing globalization, firms now face an environment that is characterized by protectionist measures and nationalist movements. Developments and events such as the rise of right-wing parties, the Brexit, trade wars, and increasing nationalism characterize today’s political landscape and entail particularly harmful interventions for firms. Such political changes leave firms in uncertain and unstable environments that lead to more complexities for their international operations. These developments also create instabilities in the political environment due to a transformation from a globally integrated world to a more protectionist society that is marked by anti-foreignism, leading to unpredictable future developments, decreasing international exchange, and essentially complicate international operations. This situation presents a new environment where specifically internationally operating firms must find their way.


The political environment is part of the institutional structures that are besides firm and industry characteristics a shaping aspect for firms’ international strategic behaviour (Peng et al., 2009). One of the objectives of institutions is the provision of an order that regulates the external environment and hence governs firms’ internationalization decisions (Ahuja et al., 2018; Kostova et al., 2019). We still lack knowledge about the consequences of this new political paradigm for firms’ international business operations. Given the importance of the political environment for firms’ international strategies (e.g., Henisz, 2000; Kobrin, 1979), an investigation of those changed conditions provides great relevance for International Business studies.
This EIBA-W seeks to address research questions and relevant topics that investigate the interconnection between International Business and the political environment. The Workshop aims at providing straightforward advice from top researchers on how to conduct research in this field as well as give rewarding insights into relevant future research directions. Furthermore, senior faculty will provide constructive feedback on individual papers.
EIBA-W papers could address the following questions (among others):
• How do political shocks or turbulences influence firms’ internationalization decisions (e.g., internationalization timing, location choice, entry mode decisions) and MNE operations (e.g., global value chain configurations, HQ-subsidiary relations)?
• How can firms successfully manage politically uncertain and turbulent host countries? How do firms respond through e.g., corporate political activities?
• What are the consequences of nationalist and anti-globalization sentiments for firms’ international collaborations?
• What is the role of corporate political activities in influencing the political environment in host countries?

Preliminary program
June 9, 2022
18:30 Welcome reception

June 10, 2022
09:00-09:30 Morning coffee with breakfast
09:30-10:30 Senior faculty panel: “Research at the interface of Politics and International Business”
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-12:30 Expert roundtables:
• Quantitative methods in IB research
• Qualitative methods in IB research
• Theory building in politics and IB research
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 Interactive paper roundtables:
• Discussing submitted papers in small groups to gain feedback from senior faculty
Idea development roundtables:
• Discussing and developing research ideas in an interactive manner in small groups with senior faculty
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-17:00 Senior faculty panel: “The future of research on Politics in IB”
19:00 Dinner

Submission & application details
To participate in this EIBA-W, a paper submission is not mandatory. With or without a submitted paper, the benefits of participation include senior faculty talks, expert roundtables, and social events.
Interested participants who wish to submit their work and receive feedback at the EIBA-W are invited to submit two types of paper (with no preference given to either type):
• Paper proposals
Paper proposals should not exceed seven (7) pages and a total of 4,000 words. Five (5) pages should be used for the body of the proposal, and up to two (2) pages may be used for references, diagrams, charts, tables, etc. The 4,000-word limit also includes all text from references, diagrams, figures, tables, etc.

• Full working papers
Interested participants can (also) submit papers that are already at a more developed stage. Full working papers must not exceed 10,000 words, including all references and appendices. A short abstract not exceeding 200 words should be included at the beginning. Use 12pt Times New Roman font and double spacing. All tables, figures, appendices, etc. should be placed at the end of the document, after the references.
Submissions for the EIBA-W on Politics in IB should be sent via e-mail by April 29, 2022 (23:59 CEST) to Vera Kunczer (vera.kunczer@wu.ac.at) in PDF format. Author information and title should appear on the first page of each submission. For any formatting questions not already indicated above, refer to the JIBS style guide (https://www.palgrave.com/gp/journal/41267/authors/presentation-formatting). Interested participants may make a maximum of two submissions to this EIBA-W.

Registration
Registration for participating in the EIBA-W is mandatory. The registration deadline is May 13, 2022. To register for the EIBA-W on Politics in IB, please send an e-mail to Vera Kunczer (vera.kunczer@wu.ac.at).

Participation fees
For current EIBA members (2022), the participation fee is €40 EUR (€20 for PhD students).
The fee for non-EIBA-members is €120 EUR (€80 for PhD students) – which includes EIBA membership for the remainder of the calendar year (2022) and entitles EIBA-W participants to receive all the existing EIBA membership benefits (e.g., being part of a global network, online access to International Business Review (IBR), Progress in International Business Research (PIBR) book series, etc.). More information on EIBA membership and its benefits is available on the EIBA website (https://www.eiba.org/membership-benefits).
EIBA-W participation fees include: the welcome reception (June 9th); meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and non-alcoholic beverages; coffee break refreshments (June 10th). Participants must cover and organize their travel and accommodation on their own. EIBA-W organizers would be pleased to help with finding and booking accommodation and transfers.

Senior faculty (to be confirmed and extended)
• Srividya Jandhyala (ESSEC Business School)
• Thomas Lindner (University of Innsbruck)
• Alexander Mohr (WU Vienna)
• Jakob Müllner (WU Vienna)
• Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki (University of Vienna)
• Jonas Puck (WU Vienna)

Contact & further information
Vera Kunczer
Assistant Professor
Institute for International Business, WU Vienna
Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 31336 4366
E-Mail: vera.kunczer@wu.ac.at
For references and to share this announcement with others, please download the complete Call for Papers.

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