Business history: Agendas, historiography and debates
Business history has more recently become more embedded in business schools and the wider social sciences, thereby expanding its research agenda to incorporate questions of interest to a wide range of academics, policy makers and practitioners. More recently, it has accommodated, rstly, the ‘historical turn in organizational studies’ (Clark and Rowlinson, 2004), potentially opening up the discipline to a new range of philosophical and methodological approaches, and secondly, ‘new business history’ which utilises a range of methodologies with the objective of obtaining generalisable results (de Jong et al., 2015). These alternative perspectives provide the opportunity for the debates (for example, Taylor et al., 2010; Toms and Wilson, 2010) that indicate the health and continuing development of any sui generis discipline. They have also made available a variety of methodologies that can be applied to the understanding of history. Alternatively, the historical method can be used to inform the investigation of present-day research agendas, involving the approaches less familiar perhaps to mainstream scholars of business and social scientists.