Best Dissertation Prize

The European Business History Association (EBHA) Dissertation Prize

During the 23rd Annual Congress of the European Business History Association, June 22-24, 2022, Madrid, Spain, the EBHA will award a prize for the best dissertation in business history. This dissertation should have been submitted to a European university in the previous three years prior to the hand-in dead-line, January 15, 2022. The dissertation can be written in English or in another European language. Please note that the prize is awarded every two years, but because of the pandemic, the prize has not awarded since 2018. The dissertation prize committee therefore decided to extend the criteria that that the dissertation should have been submitted to a European university in the previous two years to three years.

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 EBHA congress in Madrid. The presentation is part of the final assessment. 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 entitled for a waiver of their registration fees for the conference. In addition, the prize winner will receive EUR 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 by the William Lind Foundation, located in Scotland. The EBHA sincerely thanks this foundation and the Centre for Business History in Scotland (CBHS) for their precious support.

Procedure for entry

All candidates wishing to enter the prize competition must meet the criteria indicated above and must attach a summary of 1-2 pages of their dissertation to the application along with an electronic copy of the dissertation itself. The candidate must document that the thesis has been accepted. If possible an assessment report should be added to the application. Supervisors of candidates may also be invited by the candidate to write a 1 page recommendation outlining the strong points of the thesis. Recommendation and assessment reports are, however, optional, and absence of these documents will not count against the candidate in the competition.

The dissertation and accompanying documentation as specified above must be submitted by email to
The deadline for application for the prize is January 15, 2022. Dissertations submitted after this date or submitted without a summary and a documentation of acceptance, will not be considered further.

Members of the 2022 EBHA Dissertation Prize Committee

Pierre-Yves Donzé (Chair), Osaka University
Rolv Peter Amdam, Norwegian Business School
Ann-Kristin Bergquist, Umeå University
Bram Bouwens, Utrecht University

Judgement criteria

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 2022

Amaury de Vicq (Utrecht University)
Exploring the Dynamics of Small and Local Financial Institutions: The Case of the Netherlands, c.1860-1940

Matthijs Degraeve (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) - PRIZE WINNER
Building Brussels: Construction Entrepreneurs in a Transforming Urban Space, 1830-1970

Elin Åström Rudberg (Stockholm University)
Sound and Loyal Business: The History of the Swedish Advertising Cartel, 1915–1965


2022 Matthijs Degraeve, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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