A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Accounting for management and organizational history : strategies and conceptions (2021)

Arseneault, R., Deal, N. M., & Helms Mills, J. (2021). Accounting for management and organizational history : strategies and conceptions. Journal of Management History, 27(2), 288-308. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-08-2020-0049

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Arseneault, Rene; Deal, Nicholous M.; Helms Mills, Jean

Journal or series: Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

eISSN: 1758-7751

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 01/02/2021

Volume: 27

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 288-308

Publisher: Emerald

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-08-2020-0049

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to answer the question of where the course of the collective efforts in historical research on business and organizations has taken this discipline. By raising two key contributions that have sought to reshape the contours of management and organizational history, the authors trace the work of their field since their inception and, in doing so, critique the utility of these typologies as representative of diverse historical knowledge in management and organization studies (MOS). Design/methodology/approach: Drawing on elements of an integrative review that seeks to critically appraise the foundation of knowledge built in a scholarly field, the authors interrogate the historical knowledge that has been (and is being) produced in three leading management and organizational history journals by synthesizing the posture history takes as an object and subject of study in MOS. Over 400 articles were closely examined and categorized using Rowlinson et al.’s (2014) research strategies in organizational history and Maclean et al.’s (2016) four conceptions of history. Then, this research was used to examine the integrity of these two typologies and their practice by management historians. Findings: The bulk of the work our field has produced mirrors an analytically structured history feel – where “doing history” straddles careful divide between data analysis and narrative construction. Narrating as a conception of history used in organization studies research remains the most subscribed representation of the past. It was found that while some work may fit within these typologies, others especially those considered peripheral of mainstream history are difficult to confine to any one strategy or conception. The authors’ examination also found some potential for a creative synthesis between the two typologies. Research limitations/implications: Because only three management history journals are used in this analysis, bracketed by the choice of the periodization (between 2016 and 2019 inclusive), this study must not be viewed as being wholly representative of all historical research on business and organizations writ-large. Practical implications: This research attempts to demonstrate the recent direction management and organizational historians have taken in crafting history. The authors embrace the opportunity to allow for this paper to act as a tool to familiarize a much broader audience to understand what has been constituted as historical research in MOS to-date and is especially useful to those who are already contributing to the field (e.g. doctoral students and junior scholars who have demonstrable interest in taking up historically inspired dissertations, articles, chapters and conference activities). Originality/value: The research conducted in this article contributes to the debates that have sought to define the scholastic character of management and organizational history. The authors build on recent calls to take part in creating dialogue between and among each other, building on the collective efforts that advance history in both theory and practice.

Keywords: organisational research; historical research; typologies

Free keywords: typology; historic turn; creative synthesis; longitudinal qualitative; management and organizational history; research strategies

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:39