Newcastle University Business School

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The East India Company: the first modern multinational? & Organisation Theory in Business and Management History: Present Status and Future Prospects

In this exciting joint lecture Professor Stewart Clegg and Professor Charles Harvey join us.

Date/Time: Tuesday 28 February 2017, 15:00-18:00

Venue: Room 8.10, Newcastle University Business School

Speakers: Professor Stewart Clegg and Professor Charles Harvey

Professor Stewart Clegg will be presenting on 'The East India Company: the first modern multinational?'

The East India Company can lay claim to being the world’s first company whose operations involved systematic organization of multiple countries. It was a pioneer and innovator: it was one of the first companies to offer limited liability to its shareholders, it laid the foundations of the British empire, it spawned Company Man, it developed its own ‘university’. It was a trader, merchant, mercenary, military force and civil administrator; a pioneer bureaucracy as well as being a lean operation.

Using an analytic lens drawn from contemporary discussion on MNCs the chapter reviews the role of the East India Company over its life and draws parallels with contemporary MNCs.

Professor Charles Harvey will be presenting on 'Organisation Theory in Business and Management History: Present Status and Future Prospects'

A common problem is that business history has been marginalised within mainstream business and management research. Professor Harvey will propose that the remedy lies in part with more extensive engagement with organisation theory.

Illustrating the argument by exploring the potentialities for business history of three cognitive frameworks: institutional entrepreneurship, evolutionary theory and Bourdieusian social theory. Exhibiting a higher level of theoretical fluency might enable business historians to accrue scholarly capital within the business and management field by producing theoretically informed historical discourse; demonstrating the potential of business history to extend theory, generate constructs and elucidate complexities in unfolding relationships, situations and events.

Research group: Strategy, Organisations and Society & Business, Accounting and Management History