Advertisement

Business History: Travails and Trajectories

  • Rajesh BhattacharyaEmail author
Chapter
  • 194 Downloads

Abstract

The connection between study of history and management education is tenuous. Scholarly output in business history is expanding in scope and by region. But business history remains marginalized in management curricula across the world. This is despite the fact that management scholars realize the benefits of history—a methodological warning against simplistic, linear thinking and a healthy dose of sceptical attitude towards received views. In this essay, we provide the history of the discipline as it strives to carve out its identity vis-à-vis its more established neighbouring disciplines such as history and economics. We also discuss the reasons for the marginalization of business history in management education. We note that business history has not struck its roots in academic institutions in India, nor has business historians in India developed professional associations to promote their cause as in USA, Europe and Japan. Despite this, scholarship in business history of India is thriving. Thus, there are greater opportunities now for teaching business history in management programmes in India. We look at institutional initiatives in teaching history in management programmes in India. We argue that in the Indian case, the study of business history has a special relevance due to the fact that Indian capitalism has a unique colonial origin and a distinctive post-colonial evolution.

Keywords

Business history Management education Indian Institute of Management Economics Harvard Business School 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to Biju Paul Abraham for helpful comments on the draft version of the paper.

References

  1. Amatori, F., & Jones, G. (Eds.). (2003). Business history around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benjamin, N., & Rath P. N. (2005). Modern Indian business history: a bibliographic survey. Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune available at http://www.gipe.ac.in/pdfs/working%20papers/wp6.pdf. Last Accessed 30 Apr 2016.
  3. Bennis, W. G., & O’Toole, J. (2005). How business schools lost their way. Harvard Business Review, 83(5), 96–104.Google Scholar
  4. Bhattacharya, S. (1966). Cultural and Social Constraints on Technological Innovation and Economic Development: Some Case Studies. Indian Economic & Social History Review, 3(3), 240–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (2005). The social structures of the economy. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Calcutta, I. I. M. (2012). Citizens and revolutionaries: An oral history of IIM Calcutta. New Delhi: Rupa.Google Scholar
  7. Chandler, A. D. (1959). The beginnings of “big business” in American industry. Business History Review, 33(1), 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chandler, A. D. (1962). Strategy and structure: Chapters in the history of the American industrial enterprise. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Chandler, A. D. (Ed.). (1964). Giant enterprise: Ford, general motors, and the automobile industry: Sources and readings. New York: Harcourt and Brace.Google Scholar
  10. Chandler, A. D. (1965). The railroads: Pioneers in modern corporate management. Business History Review, 39(1), 16–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chandler, A. D. (1977). The visible hand: The management revolution in American business. Belknap: Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  12. Chandler, A. D. (1978). Presidential Address, 1978: Business history—A personal experience. Business and Economic History, 1978, 1–8.Google Scholar
  13. Chandler, A. D. (1984). The emergence of managerial capitalism. Business History Review, 58(4), 473–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chandler, A. D. (1990). Scale and scope: The dynamics of industrial capitalism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknapp.Google Scholar
  15. Chattopadhyay, R. (1991). Indian business and economic planning (1930–56). In D. Tripathi (Ed.), Business and politics in India: A historical perspective (pp. 308–350). New Delhi: Manohar.Google Scholar
  16. Coase, R. (1937). The nature of the firm. Economica, 4(16), 386–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dávila, C. L., & Miller, R. (1999). Business history in Latin America: The experience of seven countries. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Fellman, S., Iversen, M. J., Sjögren, H., & Thue, L. (Eds.). (2008). Creating nordic capitalism. Palgrave Macmillan, London: The Business History of a Competitive Periphery.Google Scholar
  19. Fridenson, P. (2008). Business history and history. In G. Jones & J. Zeitlin (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Galambos, L. (2003). Identity and the boundaries of business history: An essay on consensus and creativity. In F. Amatori & G. Jones (Eds.), Business history around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gioia, D. A., & Corley, K. G. (2002). Being good versus looking good: Business school rankings and the Circean transformation from substance to image. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 1(1), 107–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gras, N. S. B. (1939). Business and capitalism. New York: F.S. Crofts.Google Scholar
  23. Gras, N. S. B. (1950). Past, present, and future of the business historical society. Business History Review, 24(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gras, N. S. B., & Larson, H. M. (1939). Casebook in American business history. Crofts, New York: F. S.Google Scholar
  25. Hausman, W. J. (2003). Business history in the United States at the end of the twentieth century. In F. Amatori & G. Jones (Eds.), Business history around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hirst, P., & Zeitlin, J. (1991). Flexible specialization versus post-fordism: theory, evidence and policy implications. Economy and Society, 20(1), 5–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Iversen, M. J. (2012). Teaching business history: Experiences from Copenhagen business school. In W. A. Friedman & G. Jones (Ed.), Teaching business history: Insights and debates. Business History Initiative, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA. Available at http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/Documents/00-final-volume-1-report-Oct%2017-2012-with-cover.pdf. Last Accessed 30 Apr 2016.
  28. Jones, G., & Wadhwani, R. D. (2006). Entrepreneurship and business history: Renewing the research agenda. Working paper 07-007, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  29. Jones, G., & Zeitlin, J. (Eds.). (2008). The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kipping, M., & Uskiden, B. (2008). Business history and management studies. In G. Jones & J. Zeitlin (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kirkpatrick, J. (1987). Why case method teaching does not make good history. In T. Nevett & S. C. Hollander (Eds.), Marketing in three era (pp. 201–214). East Lansing: MI, Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  32. Kochhar, K., Kumar, U., Rajan, R., & Subramanian, A. (2006). India’s pattern of development: What happened, what follows?. Journal of Monetary Economics, 53(5), 981–1019.Google Scholar
  33. Kudaisya, M. (Ed.). (2011). The Oxford India anthology of business history. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Kudo, A. (2003). The state of business history in Japan: cross-national comparisons and international relations. In F. Amatori & G. Jones (Eds.), Business history around the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kumar, K., Venkateswaran, R. T., Vijay, D., Sharma, D., Srivardhini, K., & Tumbe, C. (2011). Research on business and entrepreneurship history of India–Reflections on the state of the art and future directions. IIM Bangalore Working Paper 329, IIM Bangalore, Bengaluru. Available at http://www.iimb.ernet.in/research/sites/default/files/Business%20History%20Round%20Table%20WP%20329.pdf. Last Accessed 30 Apr 2016.
  36. Lamb, H. B. (1976). Studies on India and Vietnam. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  37. Lamoreaux, N. R., Raff, D. M. G., & Temin, P. (2008). Economic theory and business history. In J. Geoffrey & J. Zeitlin (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Lazonick, W. (2008). Business history and economic development. In J. Geoffrey & J. Zeitlin (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of business history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Mayo, A. J., & Nohria, N. (2005). Zeitgeist leadership. Harvard Business Review, 83(10), 45–60.Google Scholar
  40. McCraw, T. K. (1997). Creating modern capitalism: How entrepreneurs, companies, and countries triumphed in three industrial revolutions. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. McCraw, T. K. (2008). Alfred chandler: His vision and achievement. Business History Review, 82(2), 207–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nelson, R. R., & Winter, S. G. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. Boston: Belknap PressGoogle Scholar
  43. Pfeffer, J., & Fong, C. T. (2004). The business school ‘business’: Some lessons from the US experience. Journal of Management Studies, 41(8), 1501–1520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Piore, M. J., & Sabel, C. F. (1984). The second industrial divide: Possibilities for prosperity. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  45. Sabel, C. F., & Zeitlin, J. (2002). World of possibilities: Flexibility and mass production in Western industrialization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Smith, G. E. (2007). Management history and historical context: Potential benefits of its inclusion in the management curriculum. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 6(4), 522–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Trank, C. Q., & Rynes, S. L. (2003). Who moved our cheese? Reclaiming professionalism in business education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2(2), 189–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tripathi, D. (1971). Indian entrepreneurship in historical perspective: A re-interpretation. Economic and Political Weekly, 6(22), M59–M66.Google Scholar
  49. Tripathi, D. (Ed.). (1984). Business communities of India: A historical perspective. New Delhi: Manohar.Google Scholar
  50. Tripathi, D. (Ed.). (1987). State and business in India: A historical perspective. New Delhi: Manohar.Google Scholar
  51. Tripathi, D. (Ed.). (1991). Business and politics in India: A historical perspective. New Delhi: Manohar.Google Scholar
  52. Tripathi, D. (2004). The oxford history of Indian business. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Tripathi, D. (2014). Introduction. Business History Review, 88(1), 3–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tripathi, D., & Jumani, J. (2007). The Concise Oxford History of Indian Business. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Tripathi, D., & Jumani, J. (2013). The Oxford history of contemporary Indian business. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Van Fleet, D. D., & Wren, D. A. (2005). Teaching history in business schools: 1982–2003. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(1), 44–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williamson, O. E. (1981). The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach. American Journal of Sociology, 87(3), 548–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Williamson, O. E. (1985). The economic institutions of capitalism: Firms, markets. Relational Contracting: Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  59. Yongue, J. (2012). Teaching business history in Japan. In W. A. Friedman & G. Jones (Eds.), Teaching business history: Insights and debates. Business History Initiative, Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts. Available at http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/Documents/00-final-volume-1-report-Oct%2017-2012-with-cover.pdf. Last Accessed 30 Apr 2016.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management CalcuttaKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations