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Title: Business History: Travails and Trajectories
Authors: Bhattacharya, Rajesh
Keywords: business history
management education
Indian Institute of Management
Harvard Business School
Issue Date: 1-May-2016
Series/Report no.: WORKING PAPER SERIES;WPS No. 780 May 2016
Abstract: The connection between study of history and management education is tenuous. Scholarly output in business history is expanding in scope and by region. But business history remains marginalized in management curricula across the world. This is despite the fact that management scholars realize the benefits of history—a methodological warning against simplistic, linear thinking and a healthy dose of sceptical attitude towards received views. In this essay we provide the history of the discipline as it strives to carve out its identity vis-à-vis it‘s more established neighbouring disciplines like history and economics. We also discuss the reasons for the marginalization of business history in management education. We note that business history has not struck its roots in academic institutions in India, nor has business historians in India developed professional associations to promote their cause as in USA, Europe and Japan. Despite this, scholarship in business history of India is thriving. Thus, there are greater opportunities now for teaching business history in management programs in India. We look at institutional initiatives in teaching history in management programs in India. We argue that in the Indian case, the study of business history has a special relevance due to the fact that Indian capitalism has a unique colonial origin and a distinctive post-colonial evolution.
Appears in Collections:2016

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