Paradigms lost: integrating history and organization studies

Stephanie Decker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews recent attempts at mapping research paradigms in Management and Organizational History and argues that the old distinctions between supplementarist, integrationist, and reorientationist approaches have been superseded by attempts at integrating historical research in organization studies. A typology of these integrationist approaches differentiates between pluralist and unitary integration, as well as between models based on either historical theory or organization theory. Each has distinct weaknesses and strengths, but essentially all limit their integration of historical research paradigms to only a few. As a result, there is a danger that history might become reduced to a methodology, an empirical endeavor, narrative representations, or indeed be considered the subject of research rather than a research approach in its own right. I argue that all of these present an impoverished picture of the rich research traditions available in the discipline of history, which has unique insights and approaches to offer to the study of organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-379
Number of pages16
JournalManagement and Organizational History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Historic turn
  • historical theory
  • history and organization studies
  • integrationist MOH
  • paradigm maps


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