Nationalism and national identity in and around business organizations: History-informed perspectives for management research (NaBus)

Main funder

Funder's project number340492

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 307 567,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date01/09/2021

Project end date31/08/2024


The rising wave of nationalism is a pressing reality in democracies worldwide and presents a new challenge for economic actors. The nationalist ideology—the belief in the superiority of national sovereignty and, in its extreme way, the supremacy of a particular nation—pressures transnational political and economic institutions. Therefore, business leaders and organizations, amongst other actors, have highlighted the urgency for action. However, management and organizational studies has done very little to help render business initiatives more effective. The problem is that, while many management disciplines can provide insights, nationalism cuts through the boundaries of established disciplines, requiring interdisciplinary collaboration.
The NaBus project aims to understand better how business affects and is affected by nationalism. The first goal is (1) to determine when, how, and with what effects business actors can engage in public national identity struggles. The second goal is (2) to develop an understanding of how native and foreign companies deal with aspects of national identity when relevant stakeholders give native companies a superior status. For both objectives, the project mobilizes historical research approaches. Accordingly, the third goal is (3) to examine why and how “history” can help enhance nationalism-sensitive management research and education.
The project draws together different research traditions of history and management to study the nationalism-business nexus to address these goals. The research will be done through a multi-method research design. More precisely, the project involves (1) an in-depth historical study that examines the past through archival sources from the Swiss context. Then, it develops (2) a study that uses interview data to explore the role of past-related national identity narratives in the Nordic retail sector. The final empirical study draws from (3) expert interviews with business professors with a “history” discipline background.
The findings of the interdisciplinary project aim to advance particular streams of management research: (1) business and society, (2) international business, and 3) research on the “historic turn” in organization studies. In all, the research findings may help build collective capacity and produce educational and instrumental guidelines and strategies for dealing with nationalism from a business perspective.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Primary responsible unit

Follow-up groups

Profiling areaSchool of Wellbeing (University of Jyväskylä JYU) JYU.Well

Last updated on 2024-17-04 at 13:01