Business history is the study of how business ventures evolve. Researchers in the field analyze the decisions made by business owners and managers, over time, within the physical, regulatory, political, cultural, and technological constraints imposed by their environments. This entry first recounts the emergence of business history as a distinct field. It then examines the link between reputation and business history and how those linkages can affect business leaders and their firms.

Histories of businesses have been produced for centuries, and economists have written about enterprises and industries at least since the 18th century. However, business history was first recognized as a field in its own right during the 1920s with the establishment of the Bulletin of the Business Historical Society at the Harvard University ...

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