Business History Seminar: Mario Daniels (German Historical Institute, Washington) Economic and Industrial Espionage in Germany, the U.S. and Great Britain 1880-1990

The project discusses the importance of economic espionage for corporations and their countermeasures to protect themselves against illegal knowledge transfer. Since the late 19th century, a technological "lead" has increasingly been regarded as one of the factors responsible for an uneven distribution of market and political opportunities of states in a global competition. Governments and corporations therefore cooperated closely in the area of a "knowledge policy," which included espionage by national intelligence agencies in favor of the national economy as well as concerted safety precautions by state and corporations against industrial espionage.

Business History Seminar: Daniel Raff (Wharton Busniess School). The transformation of book retailing in America, 1970–95

Daniel Raff (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) will talk about the transformation of book retailing in America ca. 1970–95. The major transition was less modal sales venues shifting from Central Business Districts to suburban locations than the rise of extremely broadly merchandised ‘superstores’ and their supporting infrastructure. Complementarities and the persistence of core capabilities are striking features of the organizational histories, but so is—over a fairly extended period—evolutionary change.

Business History Seminar. Anne Schmidt (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin) : Advertising Emotions

In my talk I discuss Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and History of the Emotions approaches and ask how these approaches can be used to analyze advertising culture in Germany throughout the twentieth century. Based on several examples I will show how I use analytical tools to examine the following research questions: How were consumers and advertisers enacted in advertising culture? How did the processes of making up consumers and advertisers influence product qualities and characteristics as well as the techniques of offering products? And vice versa: How did these techniques rework the makeup of advertisers and consumers?

WORKSHOP Historical Approaches to Entrepreneurship Research: Toward a “New Entrepreneurial History”

In recent years, scholars have grown increasingly interested in the promise of using historical sources and reasoning in entrepreneurship research. History, it has been argued, can be valuable in addressing a number of limitations in traditional approaches to studying entrepreneurship, including in providing multi-level perspectives on the entrepreneurial process, in accounting for contexts and institutions, in understanding the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic change, and in situating entrepreneurial behavior and cognition within the flow of time. Historical methods, in this regard, point the direction to both valuable sources and data for addressing such questions and to a body of historical theory from which to conceptualize context, time, and change analytically. Indeed, it is for many of these same reasons that Schumpeter called for theorists and historians to collaborate in the study of entrepreneurship.

New Book: Perspectives on European Economic and Social History - Perspektiven der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, ed. by J. Hesse / C. Kleinschmidt / A. Reckendrees / R. Stokes

The articles in the volume offer an overview of key lines of development of European society, economy and financial markets after the Second World War and report on and analyse recent research hypotheses and strategies. They also mark out important desiderata for future research in their respective research areas.