Continuity of Narratives: Reinterpretations of Polish Business History

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Abstract

Purpose: This article seeks to identify the similarities and differences in the narratives of corporate histories published in different periods of time.

Methodology: This study is based on a comparative content analysis of corporate histories of three pharmaceutical plants operating under the “Polfa” Union of the Pharmaceutical Industry based in Poland.

Findings: Corporate histories change depending on the period in which a given history is published. The study reveals that corporate history depends on the nature of the state authority in power at a given time.

Research limitations and implications: This exploratory study concentrates on examination of four corporate histories and contributes to the research on the “uses of the past” in organization studies. Nevertheless, it has several limitations, including a limited number of companies included in the analysis and the adoption of a qualitative approach only.

Originality and value: This is the first article that focuses on a comparative content analysis of corporate histories published at different times in search of the similarities and differences in the domain of corporate narrative.

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