CGBE Lecture: Business and History: From an Inconvenient Past to an Organizational Asset


Kategorie: Competence Center for Corporate Governance & Business Ethics

Wann: 14.03.2019
Uhrzeit: 20:00 Uhr
Wo: FHWien der WKW, Währinger Gürtel 97, 1180 Wien, Audimax

Prof. Dr. Judith Schrempf-Stirling is Associate Professor of Responsible Management at Université de Genève (Switzerland). In her presentation, Prof. Dr. Schrempf-Stirling will focus on Business and History: From an Inconvenient Past to an Organizational Asset. For more information, please refer to the abstract below. The lecture will be held in English.

This event is free of charge.

If you have any questions regarding the lecture series, please contact us at

Best regards,
Research Cluster SMEs & Family Businesses
Competence Center for Corporate Governance & Business Ethics

There is a growing awareness of the critical but understudied role of time and history in the challenges we face in the present and the future. Businesses, universities, governments, and organizations in myriad industries and of all sizes are increasingly held to account for the actions of prior generations of leaders. The lingering effects of Monsanto’s Agent Orange, Yale University’s decision to change the name of Calhoun College, and controversies around the world concerning commemorations of leaders with complicated pasts (e.g., indigenous peoples, slavery) barely scratch the surface of this global phenomenon. While the past can present a threat to current business operations, it can likewise function as an asset. Danish beverage company Carlsberg successfully revived the corporate motto Semper Ardens (always burning) in the 1990s when it named one of its handcrafted beer lines after it. Naming the new style of beer after the founder’s motto helped the company to legitimize the handcrafted beer line.

In this talk, I discuss the importance of history for business. First, I present how past events influence current business operations. I discuss cases in which businesses have been confronted with their inconvenient past and elaborate on how competing narratives on the role of business in past events evolve and converge. Finally, I explore how history can be an organizational resource and used as an asset to boost reputation, gain legitimacy, and obtain competitive advantage.

© Copyright 2019 FHW GmbH. Impressum