Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to make a specific attempt of historicizing outstanding academic leadership in the field of management history. Design/methodology/approach – By using the biographical method and applying it to the material contained in Hodgetts's video interview of Wren and Bedeian's autobiography, the authors examine how outstanding management laureates, Wren and Bedeian, look back on their own lives and the people who influenced them. Findings – The intellectual and institutional origins of their life stories are traced and the factors in Wren's and Bedeian's lives that might explain their pathways to becoming the US outstanding management historians as the Academy of Management Fellows are assessed. Practical implications – The paper highlights the most outstanding achievements of the past in a manner that might be valuable when addressing the present day concerns about outstanding teaching and research in the field of management history. Originality/value – The unique contribution of this study is its focus on showing how the manner in which outstanding management historians narrate the past may explain their present‐day achievements, and thus help readers understand that very past.
Journal of Management History – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 9, 2009
Keywords: Leadership; Modern history; Management history