Tasks, Organisation and History of the Association

The VHB (German Academic Association for Business Research) was founded on the 26th of November 1921 after a series of informal meetings. The first meeting of university professors took place during Whitsun 1914 in Leipzig, Germany.

The history of the association has always been closely linked to the most important and influential German-speaking researchers in business administration. The founding initiative was carried out by Heinrich Nicklisch, Ernst Pape, and Fritz Schmidt. Soon afterwards, Josef Hellauer joined the association and after Eugen Schmalenbach also joined, Nicklisch, Schmalenbach, and Schmidt formed the Executive Committee, which remained unchanged until 1933. From 1933 until 1948, the association suspended its activities due to political reasons. Initiated by Rudolf Seyffert, the first meeting after World War II took place in the ruins of the University of Frankfurt and was attended by 35 members. The assembly decided to temporarily re-establish the association as an informal get-together. At the following meeting on the 10th of August 1949 the assembly formally re-established the Association of University Professors of Management. Eugen Schmalenbach and Fritz Schmidt were awarded with honorary memberships at the same meeting. From 1950 onwards, following the old tradition, the annual meetings were scheduled in the first week after Whitsun.

More recently, the association has taken extraordinary steps towards a stronger international orientation. The association was actively involved in the foundation of the International Federation of Academics of Management (IFSAM [http://www.ifsam.org]) during its annual meeting in Frankfurt in 1990 and is one of its founding members. As a consequence of the German reunification, the association began to admit professors of the former German Democratic Republic (DDR). For the first time since the early 1930s, the annual meeting in 1997 was held in the Eastern part of Germany. Whereas the association’s first annual meetings after the Second World War were attended by around 30 members, today the association counts approximately 2,000 members. Finally, it should be noted that over the last years the share of female members of the association has increased continuously.

The launch and further development of communication through newsletters and the internet platform, as well as regular events with discussion forums have proven to be important measures for the scientific dialogue among members. The association’s website has been continuously upgraded to include more interactive elements - thereby providing a platform for up-to-date information, exchange, and discussion.