Memories of War and the Reorientation of Postwar Business, 1945-1960

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This developmental paper is based on archival research in company records, local government holdings, and institutional histories. It will review the significance of organisational memory in the post-war experience of several Mittelstand companies in Baden-Württemberg, all family-owned. It will explore discourses of defeat and rebuilding and the notion of a “zero hour” from which businesses were able to make a clean start. In particular, it will explore the importance of shared memories as a catalyst for business revivification and growth. It will then move on to conduct an identical exercise with similar businesses in Coventry and Birmingham, exploring whether the collective memory of victory had negative or positive influences on the business community’s attitude towards post-war commercial development. This review of collective memory will also provide an insight into company leadership, questioning the extent to which business leaders drew upon wartime and post-war experiences as a means of generating the energy necessary for business growth.eyond. It will also meet the Conference’s aim of understanding how social groups’ shared identities are of particular value to the family firm.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 2018
EventAssociation of Business Historians Annual Conference 2018 - Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 201830 Jun 2018


ConferenceAssociation of Business Historians Annual Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityMilton Keynes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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