Historiography — A Neglected Research Method in Business and Management Studies


  • John O'Brien
  • Dan Remenyi
  • Aideen Keaney


and phrases History, historiography, historicism, context, knowledge, facts and figures, and phrases pedagogical understanding, facts, case studies, critical realism, dialectic, story, narrative


The objective of this speculative paper is to open a debate as to the importance of historiography in the field of business and management studies and to this end the paper argues that it is an under utilised research paradigm. It is the paper's contention that history has a special role to play in academic research. It contextualises the issues being studied and it gives shape to the parameters of the understanding which is offered by the research. Without access to a history of the issues and the ideas being examined it is difficult to make sense of the current situation. Being able to have a broad perspective of the history and the current situation opens the way to being able to make a valuable contribution to the theoretical body of knowledge in the field. Business and management studies can obtain much from historiography and this paper indicates.how it may be used in this context and its affinity with other accepted narrative based research paradigms already in use in this field.



1 Jul 2003