Archival Historical Research in Management

Abstract

Archival research is increasingly used in management and organization studies, but practical guidelines on how to identify, access, and conduct research in organizational archives are still relatively rare. Similarly, analyzing and interpreting historical sources for management research are not a skill regularly taught to students at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This case study outlines basic considerations of how to approach archival research. It covers how to identify and to approach archives, how to develop a research design for archival research, how to get started when access to an archival collection has been negotiated, and what to consider when analyzing historical sources. Guidance for referencing archival materials and pointers in terms of further reading, helpful websites, and digital archival resources are also provided. By drawing on a case study of archival research, it outlines a range of issues and strategies that archival researchers might face, especially in organizational archives, and suggests ways of addressing them.

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