Fully-funded PhD opportunity (ESRC)

I am very pleased to announce that we have been able to get funding for a doctoral student in the history and contemporary experience of female entrepreneurship in West Africa. The application deadline is very soon (15 February), please encourage any good candidates you may know to apply!

Female entrepreneurship in West Africa

ESRC DTP Joint Studentship in the Midlands Graduate School

 Aston University and University of Birmingham

The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), with the first intake of students to begin in October 2017.

One of 14 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham.

Midlands Graduate School is now inviting applications for an ESRC Doctoral Joint Studentship between Aston University (where the student will be registered) and the University of Birmingham to commence in October 2017.

Contemporary research such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)[1] shows that female entrepreneurship is more common in Africa than in the rest of the world. This is particularly true of West Africa, which has higher rates of female entrepreneurship than the rest of Africa. Historical research shows that this has a long tradition, with women having been perhaps even more dominant as entrepreneurs before colonialism.

This doctoral research project aims to establish both historical and contemporary reasons for the greater prevalence of female entrepreneurship in West Africa. It is important to understand this because a) entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth and job creation, and b) gender has been recognized as an important factor in driving social development, inclusive growth and intergenerational progress. However, high levels of entrepreneurial activity can also be an indicator of poverty and inequality. This doctoral research project should identify the complex reasons behind the predominance of women in West African entrepreneurship.

Research questions:

– Why do women in West Africa chose to become entrepreneurs more commonly than in other areas of the world?

– What drives these choices: necessity, cultural attitudes, lack of alternative opportunities, historical tradition, gender stereotypes?

The student to be recruited to this project would develop these research questions further in line with her/his expertise and interest. The exact choice of case context (country / region) would be a matter of negotiation with the student researcher. Applicants who are invited for interview will be ask to indicate the direction in which they would like to take this project, and how they would develop the topic.

Application Process

 To be considered for this PhD, please complete the Joint Studentship application form available online here, together with a cover letter and a CV (form available here) and along with two references email this to e.bridges@aston.ac.uk.

 Application deadline: Wednesday 15 February 2017

Interviews will be held Tuesday 7 March 2017 at Aston Business School


Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP

 Our ESRC studentships cover fees and maintenance stipend and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available only to successful applicants who fulfil eligibility criteria. To check your eligibility, visit: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/mgsdtp/studentships/eligibilty/

Informal enquiries about the research or Aston Business School prior to application can be directed to Professor Stephanie Decker.

 For more information on how to apply, please go to the Midlands Graduate School:



[1] E.g., Global Entrepreneurship 2014 Women’s Report (2015). http://gemconsortium.org/report/49281 GEM Subsaharan Africa Report (2015) http://www.gemconsortium.org/report/48601

An Economic History of Trumpism

What can economic history tell us about the election of Donald Trump, and what it might mean for America’s future?

Source: An Economic History of Trumpism

Studentship in history of consumer good industry

Studentships in the history of consumer goods industries at the Centre for International Business History, Henley Business School, University of Reading

Reading’s Centre for International Business History (CIBH) welcomes applications for Ph.D study in all aspects of the history of consumer goods industries, including fast moving goods, clothing and fashion sectors, consumer durables, housing, and personal transport.

CIBH is able to consider applicants for fully-funded research studentships.

For further details, please contact Peter Scott (p.m.scott@reading.ac.uk).

Event: Managing Political Risk

Managing political risk and uncertainty from a historical perspective

Monday 27 February 2017, 10.00 – 17.00
Coventry University Techno Park

This workshop is hosted by

  • Economy, Society and History cluster, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University,
  • School of Strategy and Leadership, Coventry University,
  • In conjunction with the British Academy of Management Special Interest Groups for Strategy and Management and Business History.

In a climate of increased political volatility, this workshop will examine organisational responses to political risk and uncertainty over time. It will explore the development of theoretical and methodological approaches to analysing non-market strategy and the management of political risk, specifically focusing on how history has been used. The workshop aims to generate discussion around the contribution to be made by history to the scholarship in this field.

Who should attend and the benefits
The organisers welcome and encourage scholars at all levels working across the range of disciplines (business and management studies; history; political science; sociology), as well as practitioners, interested in this field. It aims to increase interdisciplinary dialogue and will add to understanding of different approaches to the subject.

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Steven McGuire (School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex)
  • Professor Thomas Lawton (Open University Business School)
  • Professor Emeritus Michael Moran (School of Government, University of Manchester)
  • Professor Neil Rollings (Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow)

£30 for BAM members/ £50 for non-BAM members

For specific information, contact one of the workshop co-organisers:

Dr Andrew Perchard
Centre for Business in Society
Coventry University

Dr Neil Pyper
School of Strategy & Leadership
Coventry University

Dr Kevin Tennent
York Management School
University of York
Register online: www.bam.ac.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=3234


CfP: Collaboration & Materialities workshop

Cross-posted from Organizations, Artifacts & Practices workshop:

Dear all,

Deadline for submission to the 7th Organizations, Artifacts & Practices (OAP) workshop is approaching (January, 27th).

The topic of this year will be “Collaboration & Materiality: New Places, Communities and Practices of the Collaborative Economy”. OAP 2017 will be hosted between the 16th and 18th June at SMU and ESSEC in Singapore.

This event will be an opportunity to discuss the relevance of ontological, material and sociomaterial views about new work practices and organizational collaboration. We will be particularly interested in all empirical and theoretical works about collaborative dynamics (e.g. virtual/distributed teams, on-line communities, collective entrepreneurship, open innovation, coworking, makers, hackers, telework, digital nomads, etc.).

The event will start on the 16th June (at SMU) with a learning expedition (in the morning), a meeting of our Standing Group, a panel of entrepreneurs of the collaborative economy in Singapore and East-Asia. They will share their views about what is going on with regards to collaborative economy and collaborative practices here. Between the 17th and 18th, we will be at ESSEC Singapore for the workshop itself (including three keynote speakers, around 50 papers and a concluding panel).

Our social events will be sponsored and hosted by RMIT and and the French Embassy.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Singapore!

Best wishes

Julien, Marie-Léandre, Philippe, Ted, Yesh, François and Nathalie, co-chairs of OAP 2017


OAP background

The first OAP workshop was launched in May of 2011 at Université Paris-Dauphine with the goal of facilitating discussions among scholars from various disciplines (e.g. management, anthropology, sociology, organization studies, ergonomics, philosophy, psychology…) who collectively share an interest in Science and Technology Studies (STS) in the context of organization and organizing.

OAP deals with topics such as Ontologies, Materiality, Technology, Practices, Sociomateriality, Performativity, Iconography, Process, Time, Space, Legitimacy, Symbolic artifacts and Managerial Techniques in the context of organization and organizing. It draws on various theoretical perspectives (phenomenology, pragmatism, institutionalism, design, post-Marxism, critical realism, among others).

OAP 2017: 7th session

OAP 2017, the seventh session of OAP workshops, will concentrate on the subject of collaboration and materiality, or to put it differently how ‘matter matters’ (Carlile & Langley, 2013) in the context of collaboration. In what follows, we introduce possible themes and topics of interest.

Today’s social life is characterized by increasing collaborations and/or networks within and between organizations involving a large number of stakeholders with different profiles and different interests and intensions. More and more, with the so-called ‘end of waged employment’, a high number of individuals (independent workers) are involved in complex and fluid collaborations, depending on market demand.  Collaborations and networks appear as collective responses to address transversal questions that people face in distributed environments. One difficult issue for such heterogeneous and distributed networks/collaborations concerns their ability to maintain their own dynamics of coherent and accepted collective action and teleology. In particular, it requires the setup of common spaces (physical or virtual) and timeslots (synchronous or not) for collaborative work. And due to the nature of the collective – i.e. bringing together individuals and objects from different institutions, organizations and (potentially) distant geographic locations – those spatial and temporal domains are not given a priori. In this context, a growing number of possibilities and themes have arisen/emerged, in particular the three following ones:

New forms of projects: projects are growingly global, and with an increased complexity. More and more, projects involve distributed actors, and open logics. Projects have no clear temporal and spatial boundaries they involve open communities, focus on ever evolving products, and result in open innovations). This involves collaborative modalities, materializations, mediations, which probably depart from those of the eighties or even nineties;

The emergence of third places in the context of the collaborative economy: in contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places “host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work.” (Oldenburg, 2001, p.17). These third places are now occupying a central role in the organizing process of some collectives. These places can be public spaces, beer gardens, main streets, pubs, cafés, coffeehouses, post offices, but also fab labs, maker spaces, hacker spaces and any other kind of co-working place. Such places are in certain circumstances becoming the heart of a community’s social vitality. They are the places, times and spaces at the heart of the emerging collaborative economy, i.e. a new market logic expected to be based on gift-counter-gifts, horizontal collaboration and value-co-creation. Critical perspectives about theses discourses and practices are welcome.

Exploring digital materiality and digital affordance: coined by Gibson (1977), the concept of affordance is based on the assumption that what may principally matter about an artifact is not what it’s made out of, but what it affords people to do. Therefore, digital materiality suggests considering digital artifacts (i.e. software, virtual meeting rooms, etc.) as important as material artifacts in the organizing processes. We believe that this new interpretation of materiality opens new avenues for approaching the concept of collaboration and materiality in a context where collaboration is often asynchronous, and distributed among different geographical areas, and time zones. The stakes of digital materiality could also be explored in the development of the collaborative economy, where digital platforms such as Amazon, YouTube, AppStore, TripAdvisor, play a key role.

This workshop will aim at shedding light on the following topics, among others:

– Comprehensive studies of the new forms of collaborations: what are the specificities of the new forms of projects, third places and public spaces? What are the new materializations or mediations involved? How do these new organizations emerge in time and space?

– To which extent do these collaborations affect workers’ identity? Do they modify hierarchies, power relationships?

How do actors make sense of these collaborations and their material entanglement? How do actors develop new forms of collective, embodied, sensemaking through digitalization, new artifacts and spaces?

Exploration of material practices and processes related to learning, creativity and innovation: What type of learning and knowledge dynamics are developed through these new forms of collaborations? Do co-working spaces, fab labs, BYOD, maker spaces, hacker spaces create new conditions for collaborative innovation? To which extent do they favor creativity?

New work practices (generalization of entrepreneurship, end of work, coworking, cohoming, digital nomads, DIY…) and their impact on collaboration: how does working at home impact collaboration? What are the socio-temporal consequences of working at home? How do new forms of mobility affect work and collaboration?

– Beyond digital platforms, we are also particularly interested in papers emphasizing the role and possible return) of communities in the context of the sharing and collaborative economies.

Of course, OAP 2017 will also be open to more general contributions about Science and Technology studies, ontologies, sociomateriality, organizational sensemaking mediated by technological or material artefacts, anthropology of technology or more general theoretical and empirical work about materialization and performativity processes in organizations and organizing

Submission to OAP 2017

Submission can be done at the following address via easychair: https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=oap2017

Deadline for submissions is 27th January 2017, 00.00 (CET).

Administrative support


Location and registration

June, 16th: 3rd meeting of OAP Standing Group (at SMU campus)

June, 17th-18th: 7th OAP workshop (at ESSEC campus)

There are no fees associated with attending this workshop.


Anderson, C. (2012). Maker:  the new industrial revolution, Crown Business.

Carlile, P. R., & Langley, A. (2013). How matter matters: Objects, artifacts, and materiality in organization studies (Vol. 3). Oxford University Press.

de Vaujany, F. X., & Mitev, N. (2013). Materiality and space: organizations, artefacts and practices. Palgrave Macmillan.

Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, A. (2011). Knowledge collaboration in online communities. Organization science, 22(5), 1224-1239.

Gandini, A. (2015). The rise of coworking spaces: A literature review. ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 15(1), 193-205.

Gibson, J. J. (1977), -The Theory of Affordances-, in R.E. Shaw and J. Bransford (eds), Perceiving, Acting and Knowing, Hillsdale (NJ): Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hancock, P., & Spicer, A. (2011). Academic architecture and the constitution of the new model worker. Culture and Organization, 17(2), 91-105.

Leonardi, P. M. (2010). Digital materiality? How artifacts without matter, matter. First monday, 15(6), 1-17.

Oldenburg, R. (2001). Celebrating the third place: Inspiring stories about the” great good places” at the heart of our communities. Da Capo Press.

Orlikowski, W. J. (2007). Sociomaterial practices: Exploring technology at work. Organization studies, 28(9), 1435-1448.

Schor, J. B., & Fitzmaurice, C. J. (2015). 26. Collaborating and connecting: the emergence of the sharing economy. Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption, 410.