For the first time, a professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business has been named the recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Research Award. Matthias Kipping, Richard E. Waugh Chair in Business History at Schulich, earned the research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a German organization that promotes science, cross-disciplinary research and intercultural understanding.
Over the years, 14 other York University scholars across a variety of disciplines have received a Humboldt Research Award, which is presented globally to up to 100 leading academics each year. In 2016, of 68 research awards granted, six were received by Canadian scholars.
The €60,000 prize, worth about $92,000, is intended to cover living costs during a six- to 12-month research stay in Germany and to promote cross-disciplinary research and collaboration between German academics and leading scholars around the world. Nominations for the awards are made by scholars working at German universities.
Kipping was nominated for the award by Jörg Sydow, chair for Inter-firm Cooperation, and Georg Schreyögg, chair of Organization and Leadership, who are professors with the Department of Management at Freie Universität Berlin. In a lengthy nomination submission that outlines Kipping’s many professional achievements, the German professors asked that he also be recognized for “his wide-ranging efforts to build a constructive dialogue and promote cross-fertilization among (business) historians and organization theorists/management scholars”.
“He not only crosses disciplinary boundaries but also geographic and linguistic ones with a career that has taken him from Germany to France, the U.K., Spain and now Canada,” said the nominators, “and that has enabled him to conduct truly international and comparative research.”
“I feel very honoured to receive this Humboldt Research Award and to be able to infuse an historical consciousness into other management disciplines,” said Kipping, who noted it is unusual for a business school professor to receive a Humboldt Research Award, though as a professional historian, he is not a typical business school scholar. “Schulich is one of the few business schools in North America – Harvard is another – that have a business historian on their faculty.”
Kipping, who is also a professor of strategy, credits Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth with having the vision in 2003 to create one of the world’s first endowed business history chairs at a graduate management school.
Kipping said he will fulfill his Humboldt-funded research stay at Freie Universität Berlin in 2019 during a sabbatical break from his role as academic director of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program.
Along with developing several business history courses at Schulich, Kipping has co-organized workshops and sessions at major conferences where business historians and management scholars were presenting their work and could dialogue, including those by the Academy of Management, the European Group for Organizational Studies, the Business History Conference, and the European Business History Association.
He is the author of numerous books on the role of business and management, including Defining Management: Business Schools, Consultants, Media, 2016, co-authored with Lars Engwall and Behlül Üsdiken, and the forthcoming History in Management Research: Context, Content, Conduct, co-authored with Üsdiken. Kipping is also co-editor, with Horváth, and Dominic Barton of McKinsey & Company, of Re-Imagining Capitalism, a book of essays published by Oxford University Press.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which is mostly financed by the German government with some financial assistance from the European Union and various German and international organizations, enables more than 2,000 researchers at different levels from all over the world to spend time in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of more than 28,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 55 Nobel Prize winners.