An Analytically Structured History Approach Using a Relational Database

PublicationArticle (with peer review)


We present an analytically structured history approach using a relational database to bridge the methodological divide between history and management and organizational research. Extensive digitized archival sets with rich metadata and analytical structures form the core of the database. The approach provides multiple methodological strengths. First, source transparency is established by linking all steps of the coding and analysis to the sources in the database. Second, the approach enables real-time research collaboration and constant comparison of the coding and analysis of sources. Third, the always available and searchable database enables the researcher to easily move back and forth from sources to narrative construction and theorizing. Due to this efficiency gain, research can be based on extensive archival datasets enabling rigorous conceptual development. The approach responds to the call for methodological openness and disclosure when conducting historical analyses. Additionally, the approach enables the development of contextually grounded explanations and theories that respond to the criticism that management and organizational research is ahistorical. Thus, the approach fulfills the requirement for the dual integrity of historical veracity and conceptual rigor.

Cheung, Z., Lakomaa, E., Aalto, E. J., & Nykvist, R. (2022). An Analytically Structured History Approach Using a Relational Database. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2022, No. 1, p. 16116). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.

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