Upcoming Events


  • Jul15
    • 15 Jul 2016
    • Conference

    Capturing Contemporary Latin American Business History: Oral History and Digital Resources

    Organized by Geoffrey Jones and Andrea Lluch, leading business and economic historians from Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru will discuss the role or oral history and new digital resources in scholarly research on the region’s development since 1970. The discussion will be organized around the Creating Emerging Markets project underway at Harvard Business School.

    This conference will be held at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Av. Dag Hammarkjold 3269, Third Floor, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile.

    Attendance is by invitation only. Please contact Jenny Sanford if you would like to attend.

  • Oct28
    • 28 Oct 2016
    • Conference

    Varieties of Big Business: Business Groups in the West

    Organized by David Collis, Asli Colpan, and Geoffrey Jones

    This conference will bring together scholars interested in business strategy and organization, governance, and economic development. The discussions will explore the long-term evolution and developmental role of different varieties of large enterprises in the developed economies of North America and Western Europe, focusing on understudied business groups. This conference will also examine nation-specific large-enterprise economies and the diversified business groups within them, and the resilience, stagnation or disappearance of the business group organization in international perspectives.

    Location & Date: This conference will be held at Harvard Business School on Friday, October 28, 2016. The conference is open to the public.


Business History Seminar

Held in Baker 101 from 3:30 to 5:00 PM on Mondays in the fall. For more information, please contact the Business History Initiative at bhi@hbs.edu.



  • Oct17
    • 17 Oct 2016
    • Business History Seminar

    “States, Not Nation: The Sources of Political and Economic Development in the Early United States”

    Naomi Lamoreaux, Yale University
  • Nov07
    • 07 Nov 2016
    • Business History Seminar

    “Creating New Legal Forms: Introducing the GmbH in Germany”

    Timothy Guinnane, Yale University
  • Nov14
    • 14 Nov 2016
    • Business History Seminar

    “Corporate Governance and Vertical Integration into Selling in the 19th Century U.S.”

    Eric Hilt, Wellesley College
  • Nov28
    • 28 Nov 2016
    • Business History Seminar

    “World's Apart: The Cold War in the 20th Century”

    Arne Westad, Harvard University
  • Dec05
    • 05 Dec 2016
    • Business History Seminar

    “Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff”

    Edward Balleisen, Duke University

Past Events

Conferences and Workshops

  • Apr29
    • 29 Apr 2016
    • Workshop

    Experience, Logics and the Science of Trade in the Long 18th Century

    Organized by Sophus Reinert, Harvard Business School, and Christine Zabel, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
    The science of trade was professionalized as a form of expert knowledge in the early modern period. Disparate discourses were connected through processes of mutual emulation that in the 18th century shifted from continental commercial republics to England and the British Empire. Simultaneously, the group of practitioners believed to best generate economic knowledge was joined by political arithmeticians, statisticians, and, with time, “political economists” who were considered better able to systematize and render economic experience useful for states and policy-makers. The kind of knowledge generated by these new “experts” in turn influenced the practices of merchants across Europe. This workshop will address the historical relationship between theory and practice in early modern political economy, particularly with regards to the challenges of systematizing and harnessing practical knowledge.
  • Nov30
    • 30 Nov 2015
    • Workshop

    The HBS Medici Collection: Understanding the History of Renaissance Business

    Sponsored by Harvard Business School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
    Baker Library at Harvard Business School holds the largest collection of Renaissance Florentine account books outside Italy. The Medici Collection, which comprises more than 150 ledgers and other manuscript volumes, sheds extraordinary light on the business and personal activities of six generations of one branch of Florence's Medici family, and it contains an abundance of unique materials from the late 14th to the early 18th century, with the vast bulk dating from 1400 to 1600. These lectures and workshops explored the richness and potential for research of the Medici Collection.