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abstract

There are already manifold interactions between business history and management studies but, to date, they have tended to be more particular and patchy than general and systematic. In this introduction we summarize the arguments that scholars from business history, management studies and social science have made for closer contact between these fields which emphasize the benefits to be gained both for theoretical and historical research on business. We highlight how the articles published in this Special Issue show the wide variety of intellectual purposes, approaches, and benefits that closer engagement between business history and management theories might entail. Yet, concerns have also been raised about the value of a closer alliance between business history and management studies and we suggest that they are worthy of further consideration and discussion. To that end, we propose a more deliberate conversation about what it is we do as historians and theorists of business and what we seek to accomplish. Such a discussion would help us not only to better understand the limits to fruitful integration but also how to work together more productively in the collaborations that seem most worthwhile.