Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

Business History group

The group is organised within Centre for Business History, which was established in 1999 with the aim of strengthening the historical dimension of research and teaching at Copenhagen Business School.
At the Centre for Business History we study business along with other economic, social and cultural areas from a historical perspective. The research is conducted in close collaboration with private and public companies who want to have the history of their company written, or who have another interest in the area.


The overarching vision of the Centre for Business History is to be one of the world’s leading research and teaching sites in business history by:

  • the continuous publication of monographs and a significant publication of papers in recognised, international journals or in anthologies published by recognised, international publishers
  • participation in a broadly based and well-developed national and international network, and sustained concrete collaboration with research environments here and abroad
  • an intense and stable partnership with the Danish business community about our research and the communication of its results
  • a strong base in CBS’ teaching programmes, with mandatory business history courses in all bachelor’s programmes and a broad range of specialised and goal-oriented courses at all levels of CBS’ teaching programmes
  • high visibility in regard to the public and the Danish business community.


We conduct research into the history of corporations and industries from the 1800s to today. We take corporations to be economic, cultural, social and political organizations that are involved in complex interactions with the surrounding society and its institutions. Our work is oriented both nationally and internationally.

  • The evolution of the Danish energy sector with an emphasis on the period after 1945.
  • Applying empirical, institutional, and technological approaches to infrastructure, our research concerns the development of the IT and telecommunications industries, among others, both at the societal and corporate levels from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. Here we include questions about public and private corporations and the influence of infrastructure on the development of society.
  • The relation between the cooperative movement and Danish corporations within the agro-industrial complex serves as a pivot. The corporations Arla and Danish Crown are studied, among others.
  • Financial history in all its manifestations, history of money, central banks, savings banks and financial banks, regulations, entrepreneurship, financial crisis and economical development.
  • The economic significance of Danish design. Branding and design as factors of competition. Danish design abroad. Designers and furniture-architects, fashion and the history of the fashion industry.
  • Various historical perspectives on major Danish corporations, emphasizing their significance in society and the economy. Foundations have a great influence in Danish business life and they are included in this research area.
  • Construction- and entrepreneurial industry in Denmark after the inter-war period. Emphasis on the construction industry during the occupation, multi-national Danish entrepreneurial corporations including the industrialization of construction and the construction industry in the post-war period.
  • Danish-German cooperation, economic collaboration, economic politics etc. during the occupation.
  • The emphasis is on how the past is used by corporations to create both national and individual identities.
  • Historical narratives are both resources and limitations for corporate culture, organizational change, strategy and branding. Change can demand a reinterpretation of the historical narratives of corporations.
  • The emphasis is on the historical relation between ownership and management and strategy including crisis of corporations.
  • Healthcare, work environment, the relation between the public and the private sector, the welfare society. Analysis of institutional and organizational change.
  • The blooming and development of the international IT industry.
  • Formal and informal institutions shape the framework for the achievements of corporations and economies. We look into how effective and ineffective institutions emerge and change and how they create path-dependence in public and private corporations.


Research Director:
Associate Professor Mads Mordhorst

The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy // 10/03/2019