The “Talking About Organizations” podcast is always worth listening to. It does what it promises to do: engaging in conversations about management and organization studies, usually on the basis of foundational publications and theories, but then veering into their contemporary relevance. In it’s most recent episode, it discusses the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company, a 17th century trading firm which faced multiple pandemics during its early existence. Based on two publications – O’Leary, Orlikowski, and Yates’ 2002 chapter titled Distributed work over the centuries: Trust and control in the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1670-1826” and Hackett’s Averting disaster: The Hudson’s Bay Company and smallpox in Western Canada during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries published in 2004 in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine – it discusses parallels to today’s pandemic.
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