Business history and the historiographical operation

S Taylor, E Bell, B Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we explore the implications of the epistemological position taken by writers of business history through a critical hermeneutic reading of recent key statements within this field. Using the theoretical lens provided by Ricoeur in Memory, History, Forgetting, we concentrate on the potentially reflexive nature of the historiographical operation that is involved in transforming memory into history. We argue that there is little sign of reflexive historiography within business history and suggest that this reluctance goes some way towards explaining the sub-discipline's relative isolation from the rest of organization and management studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-166
Number of pages16
JournalManagement & Organizational History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

M1 - Journal article


  • business history
  • epistemology
  • historiography
  • Ricoeur
  • reflexivity
  • Organisation, Work and Technology
  • HC Economic History and Conditions

Cite this