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Good War/Bad War: a War to Remember, a War to Forget?

Cox, Howard (2018) Good War/Bad War: a War to Remember, a War to Forget? Management & Organizational History. ISSN 1744-9359 Online: 1744-9367 (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper uses the distinction that has been developed within organizational studies between collected memory and collective memory to explore and contrast the nature of one multinational company’s organizational memory of World War I and World War II. Although the British American Tobacco Company (BAT) experienced severe upheavals as a result of each of the two global military conflagrations of the twentieth century, this paper argues that in terms of its organizational memory there exist clear distinctions between the two. During the course of World War I, BAT was able for the first time to generate a degree of common identity which served it well in the course of its post war expansion during the 1920s. This emergence of a more unified culture, underpinned by a range of common reference points for its staff based on texts, buildings and monuments, facilitated a company-wide collective memory of the war which was subsequently used to promote an esprit de corps across the organization. During World War II, these common cultural reference points were not developed. Thus an organizational memory of World War II only emerged many decades after the event and took the form of a collected memory based on individual recollections.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: British American Tobacco Company, World War I, World War II, organizational memory, mnemonic communities
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
Divisions: Academic Departments > Worcester Business School
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Depositing User: Howard Cox
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2018 12:39
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2018 11:10
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7310

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