New business histories! Plurality in business history research methods


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.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Business history on 19/2/15, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: interactions with other disciplines,interpretative and qualitative approaches,research methods,Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous),Business and International Management,History
Publication ISSN: 1743-7938
Last Modified: 03 May 2024 07:11
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2015 10:10
Full Text Link: http://wwww.tan ... 791.2014.977870
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015
Published Online Date: 2015-02-19
Authors: Decker, Stephanie (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0547-9594)
Kipping, Matthias
Wadhwani, R. Daniel



Version: Accepted Version

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record