The Business History Unit (BHU) was established in 1978 by LSE and Imperial College London via a trust fund established by leading UK businesses. It was the first research centre of its kind in Europe and remains the UK's leading centre for business history research. Its primary aim is to promote work in all aspects of business history, capitalising on its premier reputation and status as an international centre. Most of the leading scholars in the field have worked at the Unit or been connected with one or more of its research projects (notably the Dictionary of Business Biography and the International Bibliography of Business History).

While much of the BHU's work is of a micro-economic nature, concerned with the structure and performance of individual companies and industries, its research ambitions are broader. Indeed, a large proportion of its research output deals with the analysis of business in a wider sense, embracing economic, social and political aspects.

The BHU has played host to a large number of distinguished visitors from the business and academic community, both at home and overseas. The Unit's work has also led it into co-operation with related areas of study in the social and technological sciences.

The London School of Economics is currently the Trustee of the BHU, which is part of the Economic History Department. An Advisory Committee chaired by John Marshall provides advice on policy and administration.

Business History Unit Staff

Dr Terence R Gourvish, Professorial Research Fellow (until March 2010), Senior Fellow (from March 2010)

Recent publications include:

  • Terry Gourvish, The Official History of Britain and the Channel Tunnel (Routledge, 2006)
  • Terry Gourvish, Britains's Railways 1997-2005: Labour's Strategic Experiment (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Terry Gourvish and Kevin Tennent, 'Peterson and Berger revisited: Changing market dominance in the British popular music industry, c. 1950-80', Business History, 52:2 (April 2010)
  • Youssef Cassis, Capitals of Capital: a History of International Financial Centres, 1780-2005 (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • Richard Coopey and Peter Lyth (eds) Business in Britain in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2009)