Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Business History in the Blogosphere

Some links to recent items of interest to business historians from the blogosphere:
Two recent posts at The Historical Society blog:
  Heather Cox Richardson on a famous and a not-so-famous board game and capitalism: "Board Games, Capitalism, and Piracy," and Dan Alosso on "Capitalism and Colonialism";

The Echoes blog— most recently, Philip Scranton ("This Week in the Great Depression"), Maury Klein, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, and Wendy Woloson;

The Smithsonian's blog for its new "American Enterprise" project;

James Livingston on "corporate personhood" at HNN, parts I and II;

Library of Congress Digital Preservation Blog: "Preserving Business History" (featuring the Hagley Library and Museum and David Kirsch's DotCom Era);

Caitlin Rosenthal's blog for news pertinent to Harvard's "Study of Capitalism Program";

Daniele Pozzi of the Università Carlo Cattaneo, posting on "Business History and Critical Management Studies"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Website: Business Organization and Economic Development in Spain and Latin America

The BOLDE Project (Business Organization in Late Developing Economies), directed by Professor Nuria Puig, has created a website to disseminate its current research. Created by Professor Puig and her colleagues, the project "examines the relationship between business organization and economic development from an economic and business history perspective. It does so by systematically and comparatively analyzing the emergence and development of economic groups in Spain and Latin America, the starting hypothesis being that in late industrializing countries business groups constitute an efficient alternative to the large managerial firm." As the researchers state:
The available research on Spanish and Latin American business history suggests that the large, multidivisional managerial enterprise is not an appropriate paradigm for studying the business organizational structure of late developing countries. Alternative organizational structures such as business groups, networks, industrial districts, and family firms seem far more adequate than the Chandlerian model for understanding the dynamics of markets and firms in Spanish-speaking countries. . . . The group created around the Urquijo Bank, the most important in 20th-century Spain as well as an influential partner in various Latin American groups, provides an excellent case study upon which to build a conceptual, dynamic, and comparative analysis of business groups, particularly with regard to their growth strategies and responses to major economic shocks.
So far, the site provides information on the group's personnel and objectives, as well as a bibliography of publications on the overall topic made by the project's members.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bretton Woods Transcript Apparently Found

J. M. Keynes addresses Bretton
Woods delegates, 1944
The Telegraph (UK) reported yesterday on its blog that a previously unknown transcript of the 1944 monetary conference at Bretton Woods has been discovered. According to the post,
"this extraordinary manuscript has never before come to light. Professor Steve Hanke of John Hopkins University, whose former student it was who discovered the document, is now dashing to publish it in full in conjunction with his friend, Jacques de Larosiere. The first stage of the process, transcribing the type-written document into digital form is now complete, though it is not yet available. It's hoped eventually to produce a hard-copy, book version."
    The transcript, which runs to 800 pages, would provide the only complete first-hand account of the meetings that set up the basis for a postwar international monetary system. (One can find a partial list of currently available materials at the International Monetary Fund Archives website.) No word yet on when, or in what form, the transcript will be made available. Hanke is co-director, with Louis Galambos, of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

March Enterprise & Society Available

The March 2012 issue of Enterprise & Society is now available on the Oxford University Press website. Full text access requires a subscription (included in BHC membership), but the abstracts or extracts are accessible to all.
  Contents include Richard John's presidential address from the 2011 BHC meeting ("Robber Barons Redux: Antimonopoly Reconsidered"), as well as the following articles:
Philip M. Glende, "Labor Makes the News: Newspapers, Journalism, and Organized Labor, 1933-1955"

Patricia Van Den Eeckhout and Peter Scholliers, "The Proliferation of Brands: The Case of Food in Belgium, 1890-1940"

Geoffrey Jones and Christina Lubinski, "Managing Political Risk in Global Business: Beiersdorf, 1914-1990"

Janette Rutterford, "The Shareholder Voice: British and American Accents, 1890-1965"

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf, "Religion, Human Relations, and Union Avoidance in the 1950s: The Electrical Industry's Southern Strategy and Its Limits"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reading Centre for Economic History Launch Event: Program Available

The newly established Centre for Economic History at the University of Reading (no website yet available) will host a one-day conference on "Crisis and Change in Historical Perspective" on March 23, 2012, at the ICMA Centre. Herewith the program:
9:30 Registration
9:45 Welcome
10:00 Prof. Harold James, Princeton University
  "Making the European Monetary Union"
11:15  Coffee
11:45  Prof. Nick Mayhew, Winton Institute for Monetary History, Oxford
  "Money and Prices in Medieval and Early Modern England"
1:00  Lunch
2:00  Dr. D'Maris Coffman, Centre for Financial History, Cambridge
  "Re-Thinking the Origins of the British Public Debt, 1643-1742"
3:00  Prof. Philip Cottrell, University of Leicester
  "Banking in Greece during the 1880s"
4:00  Tea
4:30  Prof. Brian Scott-Quinn
  "What Financial Crises All Have in Common--Or Do They Not Have a Common Cause?"
6:00  Drinks reception and formal launch of the new Centre
For further details about the day, please contact the Centre director, Margaret Yates:  m.h.yates@reading.ac.uk. To register, contact Astrid House:  a.house@reading.ac.uk.


Hat tip to Andrew Smith at "The Past Speaks" 

Friday, February 17, 2012

“New Business History” Program Available

On April 12, 2012, the York Management School hosts a conference on the "New Business History," organized by Abe de Jong (Rotterdam School of Management) and David Higgins (University of York). The conference explores new approaches to business history. The full program is now available here (pdf file). In addition to papers presenting current research in business history, several theoretical papers will be offered: " 'New Business History'? Justification for new approaches," by David Higgins, Abe de Jong, and Hugo van Driel; "New directions and traditional trajectories in business history: an assessment of trends, methods and potentialities," by Peter Wardley; and "In Defense of Business History," by Ben Wubs. Sessions will be preceded by an opening dinner on Wednesday evening. For additional information, please contact David Higgins or Abe de Jong.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Columbia Business History Forum Spring Schedule

The Business History Forum at Columbia University has posted its spring schedule. Dates, speakers, and topics are:
February 28: Susie J. Pak, "J. P. Morgan, German-Jewish Bankers, and the Crisis of the First World War"
March 27: Mary O'Sullivan, "Why Yankee Doodle Went to London: American Corporate Securities on the London Market, 1865-1914"
April 5: Dan Raff, "The Business of Oxford University Press and the Future of Academic Publishing"
All sessions take place in 523 Butler Library (114th and Broadway), 6:30–8:00 p.m., and are followed by a reception. Please see the website for abstracts of each talk.
   The forum, co-sponsored by the Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History, is administered by Eric Wakin, Lehman Curator for American History and Curator of Manuscripts at Butler Library; questions may be directed to him at etw2@columbia.edu.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Henry Luce and Publishing" on C-Span

The AHA session on "Henry Luce and Publishing in the Twentieth Century" has been archived on C-Span's American History TV, where it is freely available for viewing. The session, chaired by Martin H. Kaplan of the University of Southern California, featured Alan Brinkley discussing his recent work, The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century (Knopf, 2010). Commentators were Michael Kazin, Georgetown University, T. J. Jackson Lears, Rutgers University, New Brunswick,and Rick Perlstein, freelance journalist and historian.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CFP: SHOT, 2012

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will hold its 2012 meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 4-7. The Program Committee invites paper and panel proposals on any topic in the history of technology, broadly defined. The Committee welcomes proposals for individual papers or sessions, as well as works-in-progress from researchers at all levels. Unconventional sessions—that is, session formats that diverge in useful ways from the typical three/four papers with comment—continue to be encouraged. These might include round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with papers that are pre-circulated electronically, or "author meets critics" sessions. Proposals are also solicited for presentation in poster sessions.
   Special themes for 2012 are "Technology, sustainability, and environment," and "Technology, East-West relations, and the Cold War." The deadline for proposals is March 31, 2012.
   Please see the full SHOT call for papers for additional details and submission information, which will be available after February 13.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

CFP: EABH Archival Workshop

The EABH (European Association for Banking and Financial History) will hold its next archival workshop on June 7, 2012, in Bucharest at the invitation of the National Bank of Romania, on whose premises the workshop will convene. The topic is "Archives and the People—Recording Working Life in Financial Institutions."
    Papers that investigate how the records of bank staff can be used for wider social studies such as the history of trade unions and staff associations, social clubs, and welfare provision are particularly encouraged. Practical contributions in the form of case studies about the relationship of a bank’s staff to the archives, such as oral history programs, volunteer projects, and staff education, are also welcome.
   Archivists, historians, researchers, scholars, and archival staff trainers interested in presenting a paper or discussing their field of work in relation to the topic should send a titled abstract (of approximately 500 words) with contact data and a short CV (maximum of 5 lines) via email to info@bankinghistory.de by February 29, 2012. The full call for papers is available on the EABH website.

Monday, February 6, 2012

CFP: Business History at the British Academy of Management

The 2012 British Academy of Management (BAM) conference will be held on September 11-13 at Cardiff University. The overall conference theme is "Management Research Revisited: Prospects for Theory and Practice." The deadline for proposals, originally announced as February 17, has been extended to February 29. Kevin Tennent, chair of the Management and Business History track for the meeting, has written:
As a track we can make an important contribution to the discussion as a whole at BAM 2012, while further encouraging historians to think more clearly about how theory underpins their work and how it can potentially inform practice. We believe that the current environment both in the world of practice and within the academic sphere offers historians an excellent opportunity to introduce the value of their work to other social scientists.
The full track summary is available on the BAM2012 site, where complete submission details can also be found.

Friday, February 3, 2012

CFP: Law and Economics of Organization

The Walter A. Haas School of Business, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has issued a call for original research papers to be presented at the conference on "The Law and Economics of Organization: New Challenges and Directions." The conference will be held at the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, California, on November 30-December 1, 2012. A reception and dinner will follow a keynote address by Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson on Friday.   
   The purpose of the conference is to take stock of recent advances in the analysis of economic organization and institutions inspired by the work of 2009 Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson and to examine its implications for contemporary problems of organization and regulation. Empirical research and research informed by detailed industry and institutional knowledge is especially welcome.   
   Paper proposals or, if available, completed papers should be submitted on line at http://www.bus.umich.edu/Conferences/Haas-Sloan-LEO-Conference by March 31, 2012. The deadline for completed papers will be November 1, 2012.    For complete information, please see the conference website.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Obituary: Fred Bateman, Former BHC President

Professor J. Fred Bateman, 74, passed away on Monday, January 10, 2012, at his home in Athens, Georgia. Bateman was the Nicholas A. Beadles Professor in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He moved to Georgia to become department head in 1991 after a long and productive career at Indiana University that began in 1964. Bateman was the president of the Business History Conference in 1982-1983.

Bateman received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Tulane University, and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina. He spent two years as a research associate at Harvard University before taking his first academic position in the School of Business at Indiana University, where he became professor in 1975.

Bateman was the author of two books, the editor of two others, and wrote more than 50 scholarly articles. He was an expert in agricultural history and manufacturing in nineteenth-century America. His most frequent collaborators were Jeremy Atack, with whom he authored more than two dozen articles, and Tom Weiss.

He was interested in archival work and created several original databases that have been used by numerous scholars, including the panel database of American Agriculture. With James Foust he created the Agricultural and Demographic Records of 21,000 rural households from the 1860 census. With Foust and Tom Weiss he constructed a sample of U.S. Manufacturing Firms from 1850 to 1870, and with Jeremy Atack he constructed a sample of U.S. Manufacturing in 1880 and a matched sample of rural households in 1880.

Please see the EH.Net announcement for a full obituary.