Professor Geoffrey Jones

Geoffrey Jones is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at the Harvard Business School. He was born in Birmingham in Britain, and worked briefly at the chocolate company Cadbury that is discussed in Deeply Responsible Business before earning his B.A. and Ph.D degrees at Cambridge University. He also holds an honorary Doctorate in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School and an honorary Ph.D degree from the University of Helsinki. He taught at Cambridge University, the London School of Economics, and Reading University, and held Visiting Professorships in Colombia and Japan, before moving to the United States in 2000.  He became a U.S. citizen in 2010 and now lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Professor Jones researches the history of globalization and global business, the ecological and social responsibility of business, and the business history of emerging markets. Among his books on these themes are British Multinational Banking 1830-1990 (Oxford University Press, 1993), Merchants to Multinationals (Oxford University Press, 2000), Renewing Unilever (Oxford University Press, 2005), Multinationals and Global Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2005), Beauty Imagined. A History of the Global Beauty Industry (Oxford University Press, 2010), Profits and Sustainability. A History of Green Entrepreneurship (Oxford University Press, 2017), Varieties of Green Business: Industries, Nations and Time (Edward Elgar, 2018), (ed. with Asli Colpan) Business, Ethics and Institutions: The Evolution of Turkish Capitalism in Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2020) and (with Tarun Khanna) Leadership to Last.  How Great Leaders Leave Legacies Behind (Penguin Random House India, 2022). He has published extensively in both business history and management journals.

"What happened over time was this: you could call it, homogenization of what it meant to be beautiful spreading out throughout the world. And beauty consumers came to see beauty in very much more uniform or, you could say, restrictive terms. And this conception of what it meant to be beautiful was reinforced by television, by Hollywood, by the whole ecosystem of the beauty industry area, of magazines, the gatekeepers of beauty. So if you were to take a long-term historical perspective, consumers' conception of what it meant to be beautiful narrowed and homogenized dramatically."  
-Big Think Interview with Geoffrey Jones

Other books by Geoffrey Jones

Professor Jones's keynote at the 13th Godrej Archives Annual Lecture 

EBHA 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award 

Geoff Jones was awarded the first European Business History Association's (EBHA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 when the conference met in Madrid, Spain. You can find out more information about the scholarly society here

Creating Emerging Markets oral history project

Professor Jones established and co-directs the Creating Emerging Markets oral history project at the Harvard Business School. This project conducts lengthy interviews with the most impactful business leaders in Africa, Asia and Latin America over the last four decades. The transcripts and video materials are fully accessible and freely available online for research and teaching purposes. Professor Jones is using these materials in his current book project that is a business history of emerging markets between World War 1 and the present day.

Service to the profession and the business history field

Professor Jones co-edited the British-based journal Business History for two decades. Since 2004 has been co-editor of the journal Business History Review. He co-edits the book series Harvard Studies in Business History and the Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise. He was President of the Association of Business Historians 1992-3 and 2000-1, President of the European Business History Association 1997-8, and President of the Business History Conference 2001-2. Professor Jones is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, a Fellow of the Japan Academy of International Business Studies, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.

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