Annual Congress 2020

24th Annual Congress of the European Business History Association

Nagoya, Japan, September 10-12 2020

Business History in a Changing World

As we entered the final decade of the twentieth century a shared sense of optimism and certainty towards the twenty first century pervaded. The triumph of liberal democracy was lauded and the march towards economic integration and globalization relentless. However, as we approach the end of the second decade of the twenty first century, several events and developments have tempered such optimism. The rise of China as the “workshop of the world” has had economic implications across the globe and challenged conventional models of industrialization and the prerequisite governing institutions to bring about that process. Several crises have beset national and global economies in recent memory, including the financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the rise of neo-nationalism and populism, “lost decades” of economic growth, the fallout from 9-11, and Brexit, to name but a few. Furthermore, looming challenges associated with demographic transition, technological and climate change shroud the prospects of our future society and economy with a degree of uncertainty, casting into doubt what once seemed the inevitable path towards political democratization and economic globalization. Rather than witnessing any “end of history”, understanding change over time remains of central importance to our discipline and wider society. We therefore call on Business Historians to come together and examine “Business History in a Changing World” during the 2nd World Congress on Business History to be held in Nagoya, on September 10-12, 2020, shortly after the Tokyo Olympics.

Reflecting the ever-changing world of business, the discipline of Business History has been far from static. In recent decades there has been a dramatic diversification in both research topics and methods following on from the now classic works of Chandler et al. The emergence of research relating to alternative historical approaches and organizational science, and those which incorporate quantitative methods and/or embraces the “cultural turn”; the institutionalization of Business History research with the establishment of academic societies and academic journals; the internationalization of the field, etc., are all encouraging trends in the evidence of a vibrant research field. The program committee thus welcomes papers/panels from postgraduate, early career and established scholars on a wide-range of topics and various dimensions of “Business History in a Changing World” these include, but are not limited to:

- Competitiveness and its determinants
- The role of local and central government in economic change
- The role of family, small- and medium-sized firms and industrial clusters in the revitalization of economies
- Changing cultures of capital and finance and their impact on companies and stakeholders
- Skills formation, technical training and labour in local and international business
- The impact of information technology and artificial intelligence
- Radical technological innovation and incremental improvement.
- Business portfolios and organizational forms across time and space
- The causes and consequences of domestic/cross-border M&A
- Nationalization and privatization in historical perspective
- The relationship between capital markets and busines
- Varieties of corporate governance
- The evolution of monitoring systems and incentive schemes (ownership, board and compensation schemes)
- Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Social Governance in business history
- Methodology and disciplinary bases of business history
- Historiography of business history

Papers with other foci, however, will also be considered.

The organizers also welcome submissions with alternative formats, such as workshops, roundtable debates/discussions, and poster presentations. In such cases, submissions should be sent directly to the organizers.

Congress Information

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2021 Madrid, Spain