University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

The Ghost of Business Past

Chair in business history will examine the evolution of commerce in Canada

Business students will be better equipped to make sound management decisions thanks to the establishment of a $3-million chair in Canadian business history – the first in the country – at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management. “Today’s business leaders must be able to place the business problems they face within a historical and societal context so they can anticipate future changes in the marketplace,” says Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School. “This gift will enable our students to understand the world they will face as future business leaders.”

The chair will fund research that explores the evolution of commerce in Canada and examines the legal, economic and political events that have shaped it. Joseph Martin, executive-in-residence at the Rotman School, has also developed an MBA course in Canadian business history that will be offered next year. An international search is currently underway for a scholar to hold the chair.

The L.R. Wilson/R.J. Currie Chair in Canadian Business History was funded by several prominent business leaders, including Lynton (Red) Wilson, chairman of the board for both CAE Inc. and Nortel Networks, and Richard Currie, chairman of BCE. The chair was also funded by Anthony Fell, chairman of RBC Capital Markets and University Health Network board of trustees; James Fleck, professor emeritus of business government relations at the Rotman School and president of Fleck Management Services; Henry N.R. (Hal) Jackman, former chancellor of U of T; and John McArthur, dean emeritus of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

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