Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Debunking Ford’s relation to the past

Electronic data

  • Ford_Debunking_Past_Revision_Submit

    Accepted author manuscript, 315 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Debunking Ford’s relation to the past: history as “Bunk” in Emersonian perspective

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Published

Standard

Debunking Ford’s relation to the past : history as “Bunk” in Emersonian perspective. / Watt, P.

In: Journal of Management History, Vol. 27, No. 4, 30.09.2021, p. 519-536.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Author

Watt, P. / Debunking Ford’s relation to the past : history as “Bunk” in Emersonian perspective. In: Journal of Management History. 2021 ; Vol. 27, No. 4. pp. 519-536.

Bibtex

@article{fc1271b3b36744c292e8c203e8216cfc,
title = "Debunking Ford{\textquoteright}s relation to the past: history as “Bunk” in Emersonian perspective",
abstract = "Purpose: This paper aims to reconsider the significance of Henry Ford{\textquoteright}s claim that “History is more or less bunk”. It argues that this seemingly philistine remark can be understood as a specific historiographical position which informed Ford{\textquoteright}s wider worldview, management approach and philosophy of industry. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on primary philosophical works, secondary criticism and archival evidence. These sources detail the context in which the claim was made, the ideas underpinning its articulation and the conceptual basis on which Ford{\textquoteright}s wider perspectives and contributions to historical experience can be interpreted. Findings: This paper interprets Ford{\textquoteright}s claim as a gesture of allegiance to a deeper cultural sensibility that was informed by Ralph Waldo Emerson{\textquoteright}s transcendental view of history. Practical implications: In addition to offering a rereading of Ford{\textquoteright}s historiographical position, Emerson{\textquoteright}s thought is discussed in relation to Ford{\textquoteright}s subsequent “living history” project (Greenfield Village), which is considered the materialisation of his historical and industrial worldview. Originality/value: This interpretation reveals how a specific historiographical position held by one of the twentieth century{\textquoteright}s leading industrialists offers new insights into his wider worldview and philosophy of industry. It contributes to recent studies that challenge taken-for-granted narratives in management history and recent work that has highlighted the influence of transcendental principles on Ford{\textquoteright}s philosophy of industry. ",
keywords = "American Transcendentalism, Cultural history, Greenfield Village, Henry Ford, Historiography, Ralph Waldo Emerson",
author = "P. Watt",
year = "2021",
month = sep,
day = "30",
doi = "10.1108/JMH-07-2020-0048",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "519--536",
journal = "Journal of Management History",
issn = "1355-252X",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Debunking Ford’s relation to the past

T2 - history as “Bunk” in Emersonian perspective

AU - Watt, P.

PY - 2021/9/30

Y1 - 2021/9/30

N2 - Purpose: This paper aims to reconsider the significance of Henry Ford’s claim that “History is more or less bunk”. It argues that this seemingly philistine remark can be understood as a specific historiographical position which informed Ford’s wider worldview, management approach and philosophy of industry. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on primary philosophical works, secondary criticism and archival evidence. These sources detail the context in which the claim was made, the ideas underpinning its articulation and the conceptual basis on which Ford’s wider perspectives and contributions to historical experience can be interpreted. Findings: This paper interprets Ford’s claim as a gesture of allegiance to a deeper cultural sensibility that was informed by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transcendental view of history. Practical implications: In addition to offering a rereading of Ford’s historiographical position, Emerson’s thought is discussed in relation to Ford’s subsequent “living history” project (Greenfield Village), which is considered the materialisation of his historical and industrial worldview. Originality/value: This interpretation reveals how a specific historiographical position held by one of the twentieth century’s leading industrialists offers new insights into his wider worldview and philosophy of industry. It contributes to recent studies that challenge taken-for-granted narratives in management history and recent work that has highlighted the influence of transcendental principles on Ford’s philosophy of industry.

AB - Purpose: This paper aims to reconsider the significance of Henry Ford’s claim that “History is more or less bunk”. It argues that this seemingly philistine remark can be understood as a specific historiographical position which informed Ford’s wider worldview, management approach and philosophy of industry. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on primary philosophical works, secondary criticism and archival evidence. These sources detail the context in which the claim was made, the ideas underpinning its articulation and the conceptual basis on which Ford’s wider perspectives and contributions to historical experience can be interpreted. Findings: This paper interprets Ford’s claim as a gesture of allegiance to a deeper cultural sensibility that was informed by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transcendental view of history. Practical implications: In addition to offering a rereading of Ford’s historiographical position, Emerson’s thought is discussed in relation to Ford’s subsequent “living history” project (Greenfield Village), which is considered the materialisation of his historical and industrial worldview. Originality/value: This interpretation reveals how a specific historiographical position held by one of the twentieth century’s leading industrialists offers new insights into his wider worldview and philosophy of industry. It contributes to recent studies that challenge taken-for-granted narratives in management history and recent work that has highlighted the influence of transcendental principles on Ford’s philosophy of industry.

KW - American Transcendentalism

KW - Cultural history

KW - Greenfield Village

KW - Henry Ford

KW - Historiography

KW - Ralph Waldo Emerson

U2 - 10.1108/JMH-07-2020-0048

DO - 10.1108/JMH-07-2020-0048

M3 - Journal article

VL - 27

SP - 519

EP - 536

JO - Journal of Management History

JF - Journal of Management History

SN - 1355-252X

IS - 4

ER -