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In search of continuity: Theoretical and methodological insights from a case study of a Polish centennial company

Tomasz Olejniczak (Department of Management, Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland)
Anna Pikos (Department of Management, Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland)
Toshio Goto (Japan University of Economics, Tokyo, Japan)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 11 November 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to represent an early attempt to define the notion of continuity and empirically illustrate its explanatory potential and methodological challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

This study combines historical and qualitative research techniques to conduct a qualitative analysis of continuity in the Jablkowski Brothers Department Store, a Polish centennial company. The paper highlights the potential synergies between historical and qualitative methods when applied to the analysis of long periods of time.

Findings

The authors find that using a theoretical framework of continuity provides novel ontological and epistemological insights into the nature of long-lived companies. Based on the findings, the authors present continuity in the context of existing theories and argue that it is a unique concept that deserves more scientific attention and rigorous empirical study.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature in three ways. First, it provides a brief, interdisciplinary overview of the concept of continuity. Second, it provides an empirical illustration of continuity analysis in a Polish centennial company with extremely discontinuous history. Finally, it positions continuity within the wider context of existing theories and shows how, through continuity, history can contribute to both the practice and theory of management.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Grant for Statutory Research number 785.

Citation

Olejniczak, T., Pikos, A. and Goto, T. (2019), "In search of continuity: Theoretical and methodological insights from a case study of a Polish centennial company", Journal of Management History, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 565-584. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-01-2018-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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