Research Proposal: Sociology History of Business Science

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Delimitations

Today, modern business systems help an increasingly globalized world function in seamless ways. In fact, English is rapidly becoming the lingua franca of the business world and transnational borders and cross-cultural factors no longer operate as major barriers to commerce. Further, a wide range of financial instruments exist such as letters of credit and bills of lading whose purpose and operation are readily understood by businesspeople from New York to New Delhi. Business correspondence too has a fairly standardized format that businesspeople all over the world both use and understand and all of these features have helped create a modern business system that is both efficient and effective in achieving the movement of goods and services around the world. All of these business systems, though, did not just fall out of the sky into modern entrepreneurs' laps, but are rather the end product of centuries of innovation and refinement. The purpose of this study was to identify the changes that have occurred in the business environment from the 12th century to the democratic governments and free trade enjoyed by many countries around the world today. To this end, a discussion of the respective roles played by influential individuals and institutions in history is followed by an analysis of the paradigm shift and development of modern economies and knowledge revolution related to business. A qualitative review of the relevant literature is presented in chapter four and synthesized in the concluding chapter together with conclusions and recommendations.

A History of Business Science

On the shoulders of giants we stand. -- Isaac Newton

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Statement of the Problem

Mankind has been transacting business of all sorts for millennia, but the study of business as a science is of fairly recent introduction, dating to the mid-19th century according to some scholars. Because business transactions are such a fundamental component of the human condition, it is little wonder that business science has emerged as an important and highly relevant field of investigation in the last century or so, but like many disciplines, business remains more a mixture of art and science than a strict science per se. Nevertheless, 5,000-plus years of human history have shown time and again that as trade between people and nations progresses, civilization advances and people come to realize there is more to life than buying something for one dollar and selling it for two. For example, Cochran (1977) emphasizes that, "Business practices, inevitably reflecting the forms of society and culture, have roots far back in the past with offshoots in unexpected directions. The rise in the early modern period of interest in exactness and quantification, accompanied by a shift from religious sanctions toward recognition of utility as self-justifying, was part of the basis for a phenomenal rise of commercial enterprise" (p. vii).

Likewise, the study of best practices in businesses of all types and sizes has gained particular momentum in recent years as the World Wide Web has leveled the playing field for many small- to- medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which can now compete with their larger counterparts on a global basis. Indeed, the history of business science continues to be rewritten on an almost daily basis now, so capturing a "snapshot" of where the discipline stands today represents a timely and valuable contribution. In this regard, in an increasingly globalized and competitive marketplace where constant change is the norm rather than the exception, gaining an improved understanding of the history of business science can provide some unique insights and observations concerning current and future trends that may offer a competitive advantage for SMEs seeking to grow their businesses at home and abroad, an attribute that forms the basis of this study and the purpose of which is discussed further below.

Purpose of Study

The main purpose of this study was to discover the important changes that have taken place in the business environment from the time of the formation of the Illuminati and suppression of science linked to business, the revolutionary times in Europe to the democracy and free trade enjoyed today. The pioneers and their assistance with Knights Templar, Free Masons and other sociological and science societies that have propelled the world into the 21st century. The study examines the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning these issues during the period from the Dark and Middle Ages up to the present day. A discussion of the respective roles played by luminaries such as Thomas Kuhn, Galileo, Newton and others and the societies they belonged to is followed by an analysis of the paradigm shift, development of economies and knowledge revolution related to business. A qualitative review of the relevant literature is presented in chapter four and synthesized in the concluding chapter together with salient conclusions and findings.

Importance of Study

Aristotle Onassis once observed that the secret to business success was "knowing something the other fellow didn't," and it is reasonable to suggest that to the extent that business leaders and entrepreneurs today understand how and why the current business practices that have emerged over the millennia will be the extent to which they will be better prepared to use these practices to their advantage. In this regard, Thomas (1999) suggests that, "Understanding the historical, political, social, and material context in which earlier documents were created also helps us be more aware of the web of influences and constraints that affect business communication today and thus helps us to be better able to assess, and if need be, work to change them" (p. 40).

Scope of Study

Although the study's scope extended to global events in terms of their significance and impact on the development of modern business practices, there was an emphasis on events and individuals in the West.

Rationale of Study

An old adage suggests that "history repeats itself," while another cautions that "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Based on this rationale and countless examples of how the importance of this knowledge it has played out in the historical record, identifying salient events and individuals who have contributed to modern business practices provides a useful snapshot that can be used to gauge future progress. This rationale is congruent with Chandler's (1962) observation that, "If the chronological development of the story [of business] is kept intact and if it can be presented as it appeared to the actors in the story, the data should have more value to businessmen and scholars interested in the growth and government of the great industrial corporation than if they were selected and arranged to develop or illustrate one particular historian's theses" (p. 7). Therefore, rather than focusing on a single episode, event or individual, this study sought to provide a comprehensive overview of the development and emergence of business as a science over the past 1,700 years or so.

Overview of Study

This study used a five-chapter format to achieve the above-stated research purpose. Chapter one of the study was used to introduce the topics under consideration, provide a statement of the problem, the purpose, importance and scope of the study, as well as its supporting rationale. Chapter two of the study was used to deliver a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the development of business practices and the emergence of a science or discipline, and chapter three describes more fully the study's methodology, including a description of the study approach, the data-gathering method and the database of study that was consulted. Chapter four of the study was used to provide a qualitative analysis of the data developed during the research process and chapter five provides the study's conclusions, a summary of the research and important recommendations for entrepreneurs and business leaders alike.

Definition of Key Terms

Ars dictaminis

The art of letter writing.

Business:

The legal definition provided by Black's Law Dictionary (1991) advises that this term means, "Employment, occupation, profession, or commercial activity engaged in for gain or livelihood. Activity or enterprise for gain, benefit, advantage, or livelihood" (p. 198).

Business science:

For the purposes of this study, will this will loosely include various contemporary usages such as business administration, business disciplines, and so forth.

Letter of credit:

Black's provides the following definition for this term: "An engagement

by a bank or other person made at the request of a customer that the issuer will honor drafts or other demands for payment upon compliance with the conditions specified in the credit" (p. 904).

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE

Chapter Introduction

This chapter presents a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, Freemasons and some other particularly influential individuals such as Thomas Kuhn, Galileo, and Newton. An analysis of the evolution of modern business practices from the era of the foregoing individuals and societies to the present day is followed by a summary which concludes the chapter.

Illuminati

In a day and age that was characterized by ignorance and a paucity of opportunities to obtain a formal education… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sociology History of Business Science.  (2009, July 15).  Retrieved June 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sociology-history-business-science/367760

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"Sociology History of Business Science."  Essaytown.com.  July 15, 2009.  Accessed June 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sociology-history-business-science/367760.