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About the Journal

Since its establishment in 1998, the Journal of Industrial History (JIH) has published a wide range of material from scholars in Europe, North America and Japan. As the editor outlined in the very first edition, the JIH was aimed at filling a gap in the literature that had existed for many decades: in spite of the enormous literature on industrial history, there was no journal dedicated to this subject. With this in mind, the editor offered the following definition of the subject, claiming that:

Industrial history is the study of the behaviour of, and influences on, dynamic agglomerations of firms which are connected by common production patterns, market experiences and institutional relationships.

Accordingly, articles covering a wide range of issues can be submitted to the journal. These topics include:

  • Industrial structure,
  • strategy and behaviour
  • Industrial and business case-studies
  • Management history
  • Finance
  • Industrial politics and policy
  • Technology and industry
  • Globalisation and competitive advantage
  • Public sector issues
  • Industrial relations and human resource management

It is also important to stress that the JIH is intended to be multi-disciplinary, encouraging scholars from different disciplines to submit material that illuminates debates or sets new research agendas. In fulfilling these aims, it is clear that over the last five years the JIH has been highly successful, attracting high quality material that has helped to initiate and open up debates about industrial history. A complete list of the published and forthcoming articles is available, illustrating how seminal pieces have been published in the JIH. In the first volume, for example, the articles by Scranton and by Toms are regarded as highly innovative in both style and content, reflecting first-class scholarship that rivals the content of any other economic or business history periodical. This standard has also been maintained in successive editions, with American, European and Japanese scholars featuring prominently. Perhaps the most provocative article published in the JIH is the piece by Mick Rowlinson. This article was specially commissioned to stimulate more debate about the need to develop a multidisciplinary style, a commission the author carried out with considerable flair. More recently, as well as in the next edition, Sue Bowden has also been setting a new research agenda for those interested in analysing the changes to British business in the 1960s. Her research will certainly force social scientists to readdress their views on this important decade.

The forthcoming editions of the JIH will maintain this high standard. Not only does it include the next article in Sue Bowden's series, in the 'Debates and Speculations' section it will also publish a comment by John Quail on Bob Fitzgerald's article on the holding company. This will be followed by original pieces by Francesca Carnevali (small firms in the 1950s), Ken Brown (toy retailing) and Christophe Lecuyer (Silicon Valley). In Volume 5, No.2, there will be articles on the American machine tool industry, Swedish and British iron production up to 1750, and the trademarks dispute of the early-twentieth century.

In the future, while the editor is satisfied that the JIH has established an important niche in the literature, we hope to expand its horizons even more ambitiously. In order to achieve this aim, fresh editorial talent will be recruited as a means of adding new dimensions. The first person to be involved will be Charles Booth (University of the West of England), a leading influence in the field of management history. Charles has been especially active in the Academy of Management, sitting on the Management History Division committee and editing the management-history e-mail group. Along with John Wilson, he also sits on the Management History Research Group, a body dedicated to extending our understanding of this much under- researched topic. In addition to bringing Charles Booth on to the editorial team, we shall also be looking for both a third editor and a book review editor. This will again broaden the JIH's remit, adding substantially to its current status. Potential authors should see notes for contributors and can contact the current editor at the following address:

Dr. John Wilson, Nottingham University Business School, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom 44 (0)115 846 6662