The business history discipline
DOI link for The business history discipline
The business history discipline book
The foundations of business history as a self-consciously differentiated academic subject are traceable to the early decades of the twentieth century in economics and history departments and proto-business schools, when academics in other fields began writing works that constitute business history of sorts. In European universities, business history increasingly attracted the attention of leading economic historians after the Second World War. In Eastern Europe, although totalitarian regimes liked their historians to warm to the theme of the exploitation of the working class, some scholars there bravely wrote some proper history within that constraining framework, while others migrated and kept the flame of the business history of their countries alive in the west. While manufacturing, banks and railways once seemed to dominate business history, the businesses studied increasingly span a wider range, including department stores, commodity exchanges, electric utilities, merchant firms, patent agents, telecoms operators, gangsters, drug dealers, venture capitalists and advertising agencies.