Where eagles dare: a discussion on the debates about management history

Jeff Muldoon (School of Business, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Publication date: 7 September 2020



The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate initiated by the “historic turn.” This debate has seen several rebuttals of the methodologies and conceptual frameworks advocated by proponents of the “historic turn” including ANTi-History. In contributing to this debate, this paper provides a discussion on some of the ongoing debates within the field. The purpose is to neither condemn nor defend – but to clarify and find points of agreement.


The design implied is an overview of some of the themes in the field – locating key concepts of agreement and key aspects of disagreement.


There is a middle ground between the two schools. One is a continued focus on primary sources, the use of new methodologies, understanding context and some new approaches. We must carefully consider context and text and limit the use of concepts that have real limitations.


This is an overview of the field by someone who was considered a critic of the new history. The purpose is to find middle ground.



I would like to thank Arthur Bedeian, Regina Greenwood, and Daniel Wren.


Muldoon, J. (2020), "Where eagles dare: a discussion on the debates about management history", Journal of Management History, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 45-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-06-2020-0039

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