How the Future Shaped the Past: The Case of the Cashless Society

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, Thomas Haigh, David L. Stearns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The future matters to business history, because the adoption of new technology and new organizational forms has often been driven by acceptance of a collective sense of what the future will be. Investments are made and strategies set on an industry-wide basis, influenced by the predictions of business consultants, industry groups, and futurists. To explore the part played by the future in shaping the past, we focus on the establishment and early acceptance of the idea of a rapid and inevitable transition to a “cashless society” in the US retail financial services industry during the 1960s and 1970s. Our aim is thus to advance a methodological point rather than to arrive at a definitive conclusion about the future of money.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-131
Number of pages29
JournalEnterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History
Issue number1
Early online date14 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'How the Future Shaped the Past: The Case of the Cashless Society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this