Emerald Publishing Limited
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Special issue on “Black Business and Management History”
It brought us great pleasure to lead a special issue on “Black Business and Management History,” the first of its kind for the Journal of Management History. There appears to be a growing interest in this research area, especially since there has been a call in recent times to “decolonize” the curriculum. In this issue, that call has been answered and there are six compelling articles that are poised to make a meaningful contribution to the literature.
The first paper, written by J. Kalu Osiri, presented the Igbo management philosophy as having the potential to bring about success in Africa. Osiri proposed a framework that comprised a set of values and three key institutions: the marketplace, the family and the apprenticeship system, and the paper showed that effective leaders are servant-leaders who sacrifice for others. The researcher concluded that Igbos developed a management system based on a philosophy that is African, which is different from the Western system.
The second paper, written by Neil Stott and Michelle Fava, reviewed the history of black and minority ethnic housing associations in England since the arrival of Commonwealth migrants. The paper examined how marginalized, racialized groups have achieved and sustained institutional agency over time, through an exploration of the history of BME Housing Associations in England, describing the different types of “institutional work” involved in challenging racialized institutions and establishing new institutions.
The third paper, written by Md Kamral Hasan, Mario Hayek, Maria Gelvez, Wallace Williams, Jr. and Stephanie Pane, examined social identity construction and aimed to understand the means used to create an activist entrepreneur identity that is trusted and perceived as legitimate. In so doing, they used the unique case of Madam C.J. Walker, who they classified as the first African American female millionaire activist entrepreneur.
The fourth paper, written by Shannon Sales, Monica Calloway Burke and Colin Cannonier, made the argument that the history of African American women in leadership roles is not sufficiently recognized and that the issues contemporary black women face are still similar to those faced by African American women in earlier decades, in spite of increased career mobility. The paper concluded that perceptions of leadership roles differ among the African American women leaders when compared to other ethnicities.
The fifth paper, written by Keith Hollingsworth, looked at strategies and methods used by black entrepreneurs in the period between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement to show legitimacy in black economic endeavors by black businesspeople. Three specific Atlanta entrepreneurs’ efforts were used as demonstrative examples.
The sixth and final paper, written by Robert Lloyd, Daniel Mertens, Ashley Adams, Christina Pruden and Angela Bates, established a supported and validated reference point for understanding how Nicodemus, Kansas warrants significant inclusion in both the history of management and current entrepreneurship education. The authors made the case that collective courage and cooperative advantage used by Nicodemus carries implications for how modern black communities can advance their economic and social agendas.
This special issue provided a snapshot of the range of possibilities, as it relates to conducting Management History research while examining black historical actors and communities, and we look forward to more work being done in this exciting area of research.