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  • 1.
    Brunninge, Olof
    [external].
    Using history in organizations: How managers make purposeful reference to history in strategy processes.2009In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 8-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract This paper aims to explore how organizational actors make reference to history and how they use historical reference purposefully in order to affect strategy-making. The paper draws on in-depth case studies on two Swedish MNCs. Data have been collected through 79 interviews as well as participant observation and archival studies. Organizational actors purposefully construct and use history in order to establish continuity in strategy processes. The use of historical references legitimizes or delegitimizes specific strategic options. Two old firms with a clear interest in organizational history have been studied. Future research on additional companies, including young firms and firms with less interest in history, is needed. Practical implications – The purposeful use of history can be a powerful tool for managers to influence organizational change processes. Very little research on the use of history in business organizations has so far been done. In an interdisciplinary manner the paper introduces concepts from research in history to management research. Based on two rich case studies the paper contributes by outlining what role different uses of history play in strategic and organizational change.

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