Best Dissertation Prize

Guidelines: the European Business History Association (EBHA) Dissertation Prize

Every two years, the EBHA awards a prize for the best dissertation in business history submitted to a European university in the previous two years. Eligible dissertations may be in any European language. The next prize will be awarded at the EBHA annual meeting in Ancona in September 2018.
Three finalists will be selected from the dissertations submitted for consideration, and the authors will be required to give a presentation based on their dissertations at a plenary session at the forthcoming EBHA conference. All three finalists will receive a certificate that they have been among the short-listed candidates and will be eligible for reimbursement of part of their travel costs. All three will also be eligible for a waiver of their registration fees for the conference. In addition, the prize winner will receive € 500 and a special certificate. The finalists are invited to have written versions of their presentations published in the Newsletter of EBHA.
The prize and the travel cost reimbursement fund have been funded since 2010 by the William Lind Foundation, located in Scotland.

Procedure for entry

Members of the 2018 EBHA Dissertation Prize Committee

Ann-Kristin Bergquist (Chairperson), Umeå University
Adoración Álvaro, Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros (CUNEF, Madrid)
Peter Miskell, University of Reading

Criteria for judging

Each dissertation will be evaluated by at least one external referee, preferably from another country than the candidate.
The dissertation committee, which is appointed by the EBHA council, will select the three, or if necessary four, finalists. Their decision cannot be overruled and will be taken on the basis of the following criteria:
a) significance and novelty (innovation) of the topic and/or methodology;
b) adequacy of theoretical framework, including literature review and formulation of hypotheses;
c) methodology, including description and evaluation of sources used;
d) structure of thesis and cohesion of arguments;
e) overall written presentation of results;
f) oral presentation.
A checklist of items a) through e) will be given to the external referee, who will be asked to rank the dissertation's quality for each criterion on a simple three point scale (with 1 indicating among top 10%, 2 among the top 33%, and 3 among top 50% based on the experience of the referee). In case of very similar rankings, a second referee may be consulted at the discretion of the judges.
The judges will then use this information along with any judgments they themselves have formed on the basis of all materials submitted to choose the finalists. The oral presentation will be ranked by them, and the overall rankings will be then used to choose the prize winner. The prize winner will be announced at the gala conference dinner.
Please note: Names of referees and all paperwork associated with the decision-making process will be confidential. It will not be possible to enter any correspondence or discussion about the decision of the judges or the process through which they have arrived at it.

Finalists of the EBHA Dissertation Prize 2018

Tom R. Buckley (University of Reading)
The Productivity of Large-Scale Retail Organisations in Britain 1950-1980

Thomas Mollanger (Université de Bordeaux)
How brand strategies of Cognac brandy companies have reconfigured the issue of reputation within supply chains, end of the 18th c. – 1920s.

Valeria Giacomin (Copenhagen Business School) (PRIZE WINNER)
Contextualizing the cluster – Palm oil in the Southeast Asia in Global Perspective (1880s-1970s)


2018 Valeria Giacomin, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
2016 Marten Boon, NTNU, Norway
2014 Nadia Matringe, EUI, Italy
2012 Christopher Colvin, Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland
2010 Kevin Tennant, University of Glasgow, UK
2008 Veronica Binda, Bocconi University, Itlay
2006 Brita Lundström, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Sweden
2004 Anna Spadiavecchia, LSE, UK
2002 Kees Boersma, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
2000 Suzan Becker, Bonn University, Germany
1998 Knut Sogner, Norway
1996 Ludovic Cailluet, University of Lyon II, France and Mark Spoerer, University of Bonn, Germany