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Business history in family business studies: from neglect to cooperation?

Business history in family business studies: from neglect to cooperation? Purpose – This paper seeks to provide a brief overview of what is business history as an academic discipline, with some reflection about its evolutionary patterns and heuristic value in other fields, as for instance, management studies. A peculiar and increasingly practised subfield of business history is that of family business studies, which is thus a promising crossroads and meeting point for both business historians, practitioners and scholars in management studies. Design/methodology/approach – Through an extensive analysis of the literature on family business studies in business history, this article highlights some potential areas of collaboration and suggests some reflections about the way in which the research methods of historians can be beneficial for management scholars. Findings – Business history has in fact a high potential in providing, through its longitudinal and comparative approach, evidence for building new theories and challenging the existing ones. Originality/value – This article tries to move a step beyond from the consideration of history as a repository of interesting evidence, to a new role for the discipline as an heuristic tool, and new chances of cooperation between historians and management scholars. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Family Business Management Emerald Publishing

Business history in family business studies: from neglect to cooperation?

Journal of Family Business Management , Volume 1 (1): 12 – Apr 22, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2043-6238
DOI
10.1108/20436231111122254
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to provide a brief overview of what is business history as an academic discipline, with some reflection about its evolutionary patterns and heuristic value in other fields, as for instance, management studies. A peculiar and increasingly practised subfield of business history is that of family business studies, which is thus a promising crossroads and meeting point for both business historians, practitioners and scholars in management studies. Design/methodology/approach – Through an extensive analysis of the literature on family business studies in business history, this article highlights some potential areas of collaboration and suggests some reflections about the way in which the research methods of historians can be beneficial for management scholars. Findings – Business history has in fact a high potential in providing, through its longitudinal and comparative approach, evidence for building new theories and challenging the existing ones. Originality/value – This article tries to move a step beyond from the consideration of history as a repository of interesting evidence, to a new role for the discipline as an heuristic tool, and new chances of cooperation between historians and management scholars.

Journal

Journal of Family Business ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 22, 2011

Keywords: Family business; Organizational change; Business history

References