Call for Papers
This Call for Papers builds on the first sub-theme convened within the framework of the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) 08 on 'Historical Perspectives in Organization Studies' in Gothenburg last year, as well as the preceding ones with a similar orientation held in various EGOS Colloquia over the past decade. This particular SWG was formed as a response to the increasing calls for bringing history (back) into organizational analysis. Although the literature accompanying such calls has likely contributed to a greater awareness and appreciation of history and historical approaches to studying organizations, empirical research has somewhat lagged behind. The specific purpose of this second round within this SWG is to bring together theoretically informed empirical studies that explicitly take a historical perspective in the study of organizations, organizational populations and fields.
Our aims in calling for papers of this kind are essentially twofold: Firstly, we hope to create a platform to engage more explicitly with the question of in what ways history and historical approaches can contribute to developing, refining and extending theories on organizations. This could be, for one, by bringing history in new ways into well-established theoretical perspectives, such as institutionalism and evolutionary theories of organizations, as well as the resource-based view, for example, in the adjacent field of strategy. It could also be through re-considering, extending or developing in novel ways some of the earlier limited work which has more specifically built on the effects of history on organizational characteristics and actions, such as founding conditions and imprinting, path dependence, and administrative heritage. Studies in either of these genres should also provide an opportunity for an assessment of the issues around data and methodology in historical research.
The second way in which we hope this call can contribute to moving historical research forward relates to the plurality of views on how history could, or should, be brought into organization studies. This has engendered some limited debate and, indeed, controversy around what form of historical approach can best contribute to studying organizations. Different positions on this entail varying claims about what needs to be done as history is brought in, how this is to be done and with what purpose. We hope to elicit papers which are based on different persuasions with respect to studying and writing about the past and how these may be linked to research and theorizing on organizations. A debate among the proponents of these positions should provide fertile ground not just to enrich the work of organizational scholars but possibly also to bring historians into the study of organizations and organizational phenomena.
To achieve these aims, we will be giving priority to papers that are empirical but that also have some explicit connection to theory. We would also welcome papers that have a specific methodological focus. We are also willing to consider a few papers that are conceptually oriented but which promise to make a substantial theoretical contribution.