This invitation is addressed to business historians as well as to scholars from other fields whose research has a historical perspective. The main question behind this conference is: how, from colonial times to the present , has business related to space? During the last decades,the historical and economic analysis of business has focused on strategies and structures. In the process, the role of space as a significant analytical category has often been ignored and
left mainly to geographers and locational theorists . And yet, the relation between business and space is essential. It goes without saying that management and marketing don't represent the same reality if we are in Canada or in Switzerland, if a company's scope is continental or local. Moreover, the configuration of the national urban network significantly affects the strategies and structures of big and small businesses alike. Thanks to the size and the diversity
of its resources and population, Canada represents an interesting field for the analysis of the spatial dynamism of businesses. Topics such as the relations among Canada's large regions, the North-South axis with our American neighbour, the rivalry opposing regional
metropolises, the impact of enterprises on the urban fabric and on gender relations, will be discussed during the Conference.
All types of enterprises are taken into consideration, be they commercial, financial or industrial, private or public, family-owned or large anonymous corporations, etc. We would like to group the papers under three themes:
Relational space and business structure: the deployment of business activities in order to build a market and to supply plants with material resources; the use of franchises, branches and other strategies for providing customers with a range of goods and services; the interaction of retailers and financial institutions with urban and rural customers, locally and regionally; the impact of managerial change on thelocation of decision centers, on units of production and/or service centers; the transfer of activities from countryside to cities; internationalization; etc.
Industrial space, commercial space, and urban space: the development of urban territory resulting from the organization of production and the sale of goods and services; space and work organization; growth and change of urban space and their influence on business; influence of the enterprise on the urban setting (for instance, regulations, , built environment , architecture); environmental impact; etc.
Business migration and human migration: the impact of the establishment or the closing of a plant, shop, or service on the growth of the labour force at the local or regional level; the recruiting area of the personnel (managers, scientists, and labour); the training of manpower and the differential geographic mobility of men and women; geographic origins of shareholders; etc.
Preference will be given to papers focusing on these themes. Proposals for panels of papers on other topics in business history will be considered. Canadian business historians have not
yet set up a formal association. However, for the last twenty years they have met on a regular basis . This Conference is their sixth one. Besides offering papers and providing a forum for discussing the spatial dimensions of business, this Conference will pursue two goals: reflecting on the opportunity to reinforce the structures of our meetings, and increasing the participation of Francophones. The 2002 edition, being part of the official activities of the Centre
interuniversitaire d' tudes qu b coises (CIEQ), will be held in Trois-Rivi res on the 10th and 11th of October. We invite you to send a 100-word proposal for a paper and a brief curriculum vitae before March 31 2002 to one of the email addresses or the fax number below. We plan to publish a selection of the papers presented during the Conference.
Transportation and accommodation costs will be partially reimbursed; priority however will be given to doctoral students and to scholars without institutional affiliation.
Claude Bellavance and Pierre Lanthier
Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises (CIEQ)
Université du Québec a Trois-Rivières
C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, QC
Tel: (819) 376-5096
Fax: (819) 376-5179 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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