Sub-plenary 5:

Re-imagining History in Unsettled Times


Stephanie Decker

Senior Lecturer in International Business
Aston Business School, UK 



Stephanie Decker's research falls into two related areas: business and development in sub-Saharan Africa, and the use of historical analysis for management and organization studies.

Her recent publications include "Research Strategies in Organizational History", co-authored with M. Rowlinson and J. Hassard [Academy of Management Review, 39 (3), 2014], and "Solid Intentions: An Archival Ethnography of Corporate Architecture and Organizational Remembering" [Organization, 21 (4), 2014].

She is also a co-editor of Business History and has held various roles in major professional associations for business historians.


Michael Rowlinson

Professor of Organization Studies
University of London, UK



Michael Rowlinson is Professor of Organization Studies at Queen Mary, University of London


He has explored the tensions between Organization Studies and Business History. His last major research project explored the relation between documentary corporate history and knowledge management, examining how companies use historical knowledge of the past in the present.

Michael is co-editing a forthcoming Special Topic Forum of the Academy of Management Review on "History and Organization Studies: Toward a Creative Synthesis".


R. Daniel Wadhwani

Associate Professor of Management
University of the Pacific, USA



R. Daniel Wadhwani is Fletcher Jones Professor at University of the Pacific, USA, and Velux Visiting Professor in Business History at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
His research has used historical approaches to study the emergence of new markets, the nature of entrepreneurial agency, and the processes of categorization and valuation in organizational fields.
He is co-editor of "Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods" (Oxford University Press, 2014), which examines the role of history in organization studies and the role of organization theory in business history.



Behlül Űsdiken

Professor of Management and Organization
Sabancı University, Turkey




Behlül Űsdiken is Professor of Management and Organization at Sabancı University, Istanbul, Turkey. Previously, he was a Professor at Boğaziçi University.
Behlühl's studies on the relations between history and organizational theorizing have appeared in various edited collections and journals, including, most recently a paper (with Matthias Kipping) in the Academy of Management Annals. He has served as a co-editor of Organization Studies in 1996–2001 and a Section Editor of the Journal of Management Inquiry in 2007–2012.



What is history and does it provide unique perspectives on organizations and organizing? The recent return to historical inquiry in organization studies is based not on a monolithic view of history as the representation of the past, but as a variety of perspectives on the past and its relationship to the present. History is being used by organization scholars to build new theory, to understand processes and change, to reflect on contemporary problems and crises, as a critique of assumptions and beliefs in the present, and for the ways in which it is employed by organizational actors themselves. This sub-plenary seeks to contribute to this re-imagining of the past by fostering a dialog on historical research and its role in organizational scholarship.