The Alliance of Centres for Business History in Europe

EBHA annual conference, Glasgow (2010)
At the EBHA congress in Uppsala (2013), Centres for Business History and Business History Groups at European Universities and Business Schools have created a network in order to
(1.) improve communication and exchange between the large research groups in Business History;
(2.) improve cooperation and institutional support in research and teaching;
(3) improve PhD education in Business History.
The Alliance is a network under the umbrella of the EBHA and it is open to all European research environments in Business History with at least four tenured positions within the respective University/Business School. These centres/groups are facing common challenges within their University/Business School, and they provide environments allowing for collaboration beyond conventional academic networking.
The Alliance meets annually in connection to the EBHA Congress.

Coordination and contact:
Alfred Reckendrees
Centre for Business History, Copenhagen Business School

Copenhagen, Denmark: Centre for Business History, Copenhagen Business School

The Centre for Business History was established in 1999 with the objective to strengthen the historical dimension in CBS research and teaching. Today, it consists of eight professors and five PhD and postdoc researchers that share a keen interest in the way history contributes to a better understanding of society and business. As historians at a business university, we focus on business in society. We do this in the broadest possible sense and with an ideal of openness with respect to theoretical approaches and topics. The Centre aims at influencing the intellectual parameters of business historical research itself, and also strengthening the status of historical research as such within economic, business, management and organisation research at large.

Glasgow, UK: Centre for Business History in Scotland

The Centre for Business History in Scotland(CBHS), inaugurated in 1987, is Scotland’s only research unit in the discipline and counts as full members 13 business historians engaged in teaching and research. The prime objective of the CBH is to encourage, facilitate and conduct research in all aspects of business history, with particular emphasis on corporate governance, innovation and organisational change.

Milan, Italy: Bocconi Business History group

The Bocconi Business History group is based at Bocconi University, Milan (, in the Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management. The group consists of tenured and non tenured scholars doing research in various fields of business history. The group is active in the organization of conferences and seminars both at national and international level. Broadly speaking, the research interests of its members include topics as entrepreneurship, history of fashion and creative industries, international business, family business and State-owned enterprises.

Oslo, Norway: Centre for Business History, Oslo

Centre for Business History (CBH) at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo was established in 1989 and, with a staff of 14 historians and 1 research coordinator, constitutes the largest group of economic and business historians in Norway. The Centre is a part of the Department of Innovation and Economic Organization at BI. CBH aims to improve the understanding of business institutions, interactions between companies and society as well as the dynamics of economic development. The research includes economic, political, social and cultural perspectives.
Our main research fields are: (1) Innovation, entrepreneurship and technology; (2) The history of capitalism – Norway in a comparative perspective; (3) The making of a Norwegian infrastructure; (4) Financial history.
The main part of the research is commissioned work, organised in a way which shall secure the academic freedom of the researcher, through standardised contracts and also with book committees commenting on the manuscripts.

Reading, UK: Centre for International Business History (CIBH), Henley Business School at the University of Reading

Established in 1997 and part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading, the Centre for International Business History (CIBH) is the largest business history centre in the United Kingdom. CIBH strives to promote the study of the evolution of business and management in an international and comparative context. The Centre’s nine members mainly focus on various aspects of international business history, particularly on topics related to retailing, consumer goods industries, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, industrial finance, small firms, creative industries, and industrial clusters/districts. CIBH staff play active roles in various national and international business and economic history associations and are active participants at the main international conferences in these areas.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Business History @ Erasmus [University of Rotterdam]

Business History @ Erasmus brings together researchers with an interest in the history of business. The platform is an initiative by the School of History, Culture & Communication and the Rotterdam School of Management, both at Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. We aim to improve our academic knowledge in the field of business history and to incorporate insights from this field in teaching programmes.

Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala Centre for Business History (UCBH)

Uppsala Centre for Business History (UCBH) is organizationally and economically associated with the Department of Economic History at Uppsala University. With around 15 professors, researchers and doctoral students, we carry out research in business and financial history intended to yield knowledge concerning the mechanisms that influence the development of the economy in both the short and the long term. The goal is to increase our understanding of current problems and how best to navigate our way into the future. Research on firm organization and its historical evolution, on how markets develop, on strategic choices and on historical successes and failures, all contribute to our store of experiences
A large part of the research focuses on questions about the establishment and development of organizations and markets, primarily within the banking and financial sector of the economy. The dynamic interaction between organizations and institutions, both formal and informal, is considered an important factor in the analysis of development.

Utrecht, The Netherlands: Business History at Utrecht University

Business History at Utrecht University focuses on the historical development of companies and entrepreneurs in their institutional context. As part of Economic and Social History (ESH) business history links to the central debate on the question why some countries are poor and others are rich. What is the role of business in economic growth and prosperity? Business History at UU is therefore closely related to the Centre for Global Economic History, the platform of the UU for pioneering research into the long term evolution of the world economy and its components. Business history is also an important part of the Commissioned Research group, which conducts research for third parties. This research often focuses on individual companies or sectors in their relationship to society. From these two perspectives business historians in Utrecht find their strength in the interaction between the scientific debate and individual case studies.

York, UK: Centre for the evolution of Global Business and Institutions (CEGBI)

The Centre for Evolution of Global Business and Institutions (CEGBI) was inaugurated in 2009 with the aim of contributing with innovative and high quality research to the understanding of how businesses and institutions around the world evolve, and also of helping to inform current management and policy issues. CEGBI’s main areas of research are international business history; global marketing; and governance, entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Distinctive features of CEGBI’s research include its interdisciplinarity and methodologies. It engages with topics of interest to business and management, economics, history, sociology, and law.