An Analytically Structured History Approach Using a Relational Database

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Rasmus Nykvist


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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Peer Interaction and Pioneering Organizational Form Adoption: A Tale of the Two First For-Profit Stock Exchanges
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Cheung, Z., Gustafsson, R. & Nykvist, R.



Building on a historical case study on the first two stock exchanges to adopt the now globally dominant for-profit organizational form, the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1993 and the Helsinki Stock Exchange in 1995, we argue that interaction among socially proximate peers contributes to pioneering organizational form adoption within an industry, particularly when such forms are introduced by established organizations. Peer interaction can induce a search for technically efficient organizational forms through the sharing of collective experiences, the establishment of collective assumptions, and a joint search for solutions. Together, these factors contribute to the legitimization of novel organizational forms in the local setting before the adoption of the first instantiation of those forms. We propose a context-sensitive multilevel model of peer-interaction-induced pioneering organizational form adoption that considers shared macro environmental drivers, idiosyncratic local environmental drivers, and peer interaction as central social mediators between the two.

Digitalization and the future of Management Learning: New technology as an enabler of historical, practice-oriented, and critical perspectives in management research and learning
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Laurell, C., Sandström, C., Eriksson, K., & Nykvist, R.


Publicerat i

How are historical, practice-oriented, and critical research perspectives in management affected by digitalization? In this article, we describe and discuss how two digital research approaches can be applied and how they may influence the future directions of management scholarship and education: Social Media Analytics and digital archives. Our empirical illustrations suggest that digitalization generates productivity improvements for scholars, making it possible to undertake research that was previously too laborious. It also enables researchers to pay closer attention to detail while still being able to abstract and generalize. We therefore argue that digitalization contributes to a historical turn in management, that practice-oriented research can be conducted with less effort and improved quality and that micro-level data in the form of digital archives and online contents make it easier to adopt critical perspectives.

A revised perspective on innovation policy for renewal of mature economies – Historical evidence from finance and telecommunications in Sweden 1980–1990
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Eriksson, K., Ernkvist, M., Laurell, C., Moodysson, J., Nykvist, R. & Sandström, C.



What is the role of innovation policy for accomplishing renewal of mature industries in Western economies? Drawing upon an unusually rich dataset spanning 9752 digitized archival documents, we categorize and code decisions taken by policymakers on several levels while also mapping and quantifying the strategic activities of both entrant firms and incumbent monopolists over a decade. Our data concerns two empirical cases from Sweden during the time period 1980–1990: the financial sector and the telecommunications sector. In both industries, a combination of technological and institutional upheaval came into motion during this time period which in turn fueled the revitalization of the Swedish economy in the subsequent decades. Our findings show that Swedish policymakers in both cases consistently acted in order to promote the emergence of more competition and de novo entrant firms at the expense of established monopolies. The paper quantifies and documents this process while also highlighting several enabling conditions. In conclusion, the results indicate that successful innovation policy in mature economies is largely a matter of strategically dealing with resourceful vested interest groups, alignment of expectations, and removing resistance to industrial renewal.

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