Why Business historians Need a Constructive Theory of the Archive

Research output: Working paperResearch

Abstract

Archival records are a constitutive element of business historical research, and such research, in turn, is fundamental for a holistic understanding of the role of enterprise in modern capitalist societies. Despite an increasing debate within business history circles about the need to theorize the historian as author and creator of narratives, a fuller reflection on the uses and limitations of the archive in business historical research has not yet taken place. This article takes its lead from theories of organisational epistemology, and asks to what extent business historians are trapped by an outdated, realist methodology and epistemology which is in danger of ignoring the multiple roles that archives play in their knowledge production.
Archival records are a constitutive element of business historical research, and such research, in turn, is fundamental for a holistic understanding of the role of enterprise in modern capitalist societies. Despite an increasing debate within business history circles about the need to theorize the historian as author and creator of narratives, a fuller reflection on the uses and limitations of the archive in business historical research has not yet taken place. This article takes its lead from theories of organisational epistemology, and asks to what extent business historians are trapped by an outdated, realist methodology and epistemology which is in danger of ignoring the multiple roles that archives play in their knowledge production.
LanguageEnglish
Place of PublicationMünchen
PublisherMunich Personal RePEc Archive
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2013
SeriesMPRA Paper
Number46650

Keywords

  • Business History
  • Metthodology
  • Epistemology
  • Archives
  • Organizational Epistemology
  • Sociology of Knowledge

Cite this

Schwarzkopf, S. (2013). Why Business historians Need a Constructive Theory of the Archive. München: Munich Personal RePEc Archive. MPRA Paper, No. 46650
Schwarzkopf, Stefan. / Why Business historians Need a Constructive Theory of the Archive. München : Munich Personal RePEc Archive, 2013. (MPRA Paper; No. 46650).
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Why Business historians Need a Constructive Theory of the Archive. / Schwarzkopf, Stefan.

München : Munich Personal RePEc Archive, 2013.

Research output: Working paperResearch

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