The Limits and possibilities of history: How a wider, deeper and more engaged understanding of business history can foster innovative thinking
© Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2016. Calls for greater diversity in management research, education, and practice have increased in recent years, driven by a sense of fairness and ethical responsibility, but also because research shows that greater diversity of inputs into management processes can lead to greater innovation. But how can greater diversity of thought be encouraged when educating management students beyond the advocacy of affirmative action and relating the research on the link between multiplicity and creativity? One way is to think again about how we introduce the subject. Introductory textbooks often begin by relaying the history of management. What is presented is a very limited monocultural and linear view of how management emerged. This article highlights how this history may limit the view of management scholars in contrast to the broader perspectives that the histories of other comparable fields, like medicine and architecture, encourage. We discuss how a wider, deeper, and more engaged understanding of management history can foster thinking differently in our field.