Journal Article

The origins of organisation : a trans-methodological approach to the historical analysis of preindustrial organisations


Conventional wisdom dictates that the advent of large organisations engaging innovative managerial practices is a natural by-product of the rationality and technological advancements ensuing from the Industrial Revolution. Accordingly, except for a few studies on medieval and early modern institutions such as armies, feudal estates and governments, preindustrial organisations remain largely unexplored by historians. Arguing for a trans-methodological approach that combines the narrative construction of theoretical constructs with a comprehensive description of events within the historical context in which they evolved, I present a microhistorical case study of the ducal chancery of Renaissance Venice as an exemplar of organisation. Placing particular emphasis on the instrumentality of historical context for the study of preindustrial organisations, I foster a fresh debate on what constitutes ‘organisation’ as a unit of historical analysis, arguing that the phenomenon of organisation was conceived and given meaning in the early modern era.

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Iordanou, Ioanna

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Business and Management


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-03-15

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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