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The silence of the archive: post-colonialism and the practice of historical reconstruction from archival evidence

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  • Decker, Stephanie

Abstract

History as a discipline has been accused of being a-theoretical. For business historians working at business schools, however, the issue of methodology looms larger, as it is hard to make contributions to social science debates without explicating one’s disciplinary methodology. This paper seeks to outline an important aspect of historical methodology, which is data collection from archives. In this area, postcolonialism has made significant methodological contributions not just for non-Western history, as it has emphasized the importance of considering how archives were created, and how one can legitimately use them despite their limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Decker, Stephanie, 2012. "The silence of the archive: post-colonialism and the practice of historical reconstruction from archival evidence," MPRA Paper 37280, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37280
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/37280/1/MPRA_paper_37280.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Geoffrey Jones & Tarun Khanna, 2006. "Bringing history (back) into international business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(4), pages 453-468, July.
    2. Tiffany, Paul, 2009. "Does History Matter in Business?," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 816-830, December.
    3. Stephanie Decker, 2010. "Postcolonial Transitions in Africa: Decolonization in West Africa and Present Day South Africa," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s1), pages 791-813, July.
    4. John Wilson & Steven Toms, 2008. "Fifty years of Business History," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 125-126.
    5. Godelier, Eric, 2009. "Comments on Comments, or the Richness of Dialogue," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 837-846, December.
    6. Stephanie Decker, 2011. "Corporate political activity in less developed countries: The Volta River Project in Ghana, 1958--66," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(7), pages 993-1017, December.
    7. Christopher Kobrak & Andrea Schneider, 2011. "Varieties of business history: Subject and methods for the twenty-first century," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(3), pages 401-424.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Linking History and Management Discourse: Epistemology and Method
      by bbatiz in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-04-19 18:36:38
    2. Linking History and Management Discourse: Epistemology and Method
      by bbatiz in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-04-19 18:36:38
    3. Linking History and Management Discourse: Epistemology and Method
      by bbatiz in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-04-19 18:36:38

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter J. Buckley, 2016. "Historical Research Approaches to the Analysis of Internationalisation," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(6), pages 879-900, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business History; Historiography; Historical Methodology; Qualitative Methodology; Organization Studies;

    JEL classification:

    • N8 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History
    • N87 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • N80 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other

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