Company history

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Under the company's history is defined as the scientific study and documentation of the history of individual companies , in particular their action and decision processes. Historical methods paired with business knowledge are used for this purpose. In the scientific landscape, corporate history is a sub-discipline of economic history and social history .

Usually large and traditional companies have a well-documented company history. In Germany, some companies have hired historians to research and document their involvement during National Socialism and thus counter any allegations or to comply with claims for damages, for example Allianz AG or Deutsche Bank .

The company's own history nowadays also occasionally helps companies shape their corporate identity .

Subject history

The USA was a pioneer in the company's history. In 1927, for example, the Chair of Business History was established there at the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University . From 1928, the first trade journal, The Journal of Economic and Business History , appeared there .

In Germany, development began after the Second World War with the publication of the trade journal Tradition from 1956 by Wilhelm Treue . After the company's history in Germany for a long time was mainly carried out in and by companies themselves, the first scientific institution was founded in Frankfurt in 1976, mainly at the instigation of the former boss of Deutsche Bank Hermann Josef Abs and the head of the historical archive of Deutsche Bank Manfred Pohl . the Society for Company History (GUG). The company now continued the trade journal Tradition as a journal for company history , which became the company's official organ.

In 1989 the working group for critical corporate and industrial history (AKKU) was founded in Bochum as a counter- institution.


  • Clemens Wischermann / Katja Patzel-Mattern / Martin Lutz / Thilo Jungkind (eds.): Study book institutional economic and corporate history. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-515-11122-5 .
  • Berghoff, Hartmut : Modern company history. A topic and theory-oriented introduction . Paderborn 2004, ISBN 3-8252-2483-X .
  • Janssen, Philip / Krawietz, Marian: History as Capital (PDF; 1.9 MB), in: Presses spokesman, 05/2004, pp. 26–28.
  • Leuthold, Dieter: Corporate history as a core element of corporate culture . Bremen 2006 (series of publications by the working group for management and economic research, vol. 5; the author works at the Institute for Company History IFUG at the University of Bremen).
  • Pierenkemper, Toni : company history. An introduction to their methods and results . Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3515076743 .
  • Articles in the journal for corporate history (ZUG), ISSN  0342-2852

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Ulrike Schulz: Conference Report. Company under National Socialism. To historize a research economy . In: H-Soz-u-Kult, February 22, 2010.