This paper introduces the Journal of Management History, relaunched as a stand‐alone journal and explores its raison d'être.
The articles that constitute this first issue of the relaunched journal form the launching pad for this discussion, with these ideas and those from previous research used to comment on the theme of “the worthy endeavour of the scribe”.
In The Life of Reason, Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Managers looking for the “next big thing”, without being able to effectively incorporate it into their experience, and the experience of those who are long gone, are condemned to repeat not just only the past but also the mistakes of the past. Accordingly, it is also critical for management scholars to both recognise and take advantage of earlier thinking and empirical work to inform their contemporary musings and research if they are to provide meaningful frameworks for practitioners.
Drawing on the themes presented in the articles of this issue, the paper demonstrates the value of knowing accurately the history of management thought to scholars and practitioners alike.
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