New business histories! Plurality in business history research methods

Stephanie Decker, Matthias Kipping, R. Daniel Wadhwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We agree with de Jong et al.'s argument that business historians should make their methods more explicit and welcome a more general debate about the most appropriate methods for business historical research. But rather than advocating one ‘new business history’, we argue that contemporary debates about methodology in business history need greater appreciation for the diversity of approaches that have developed in the last decade. And while the hypothesis-testing framework prevalent in the mainstream social sciences favoured by de Jong et al. should have its place among these methodologies, we identify a number of additional streams of research that can legitimately claim to have contributed novel methodological insights by broadening the range of interpretative and qualitative approaches to business history. Thus, we reject privileging a single method, whatever it may be, and argue instead in favour of recognising the plurality of methods being developed and used by business historians – both within their own field and as a basis for interactions with others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalBusiness History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


  • interactions with other disciplines
  • interpretative and qualitative approaches
  • research methods


Dive into the research topics of 'New business histories! Plurality in business history research methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this