OS SI CfP: Institutional Change

Organization Studies

Special Issue on: Organizing for Social and Institutional Change in Response to Disruption, Division, and Displacement

Guest Editors

 W.E. Douglas Creed | University of Rhode Island, USA & University of Melbourne, Australia

Barbara Gray | Pennsylvania State University, USA

Charlotte M. Karam | American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Markus A. Höllerer | WU Vienna, Austria & UNSW Sydney, Australia

Trish Reay | University of Alberta, Canada

Contact: douglascreed@uri.edu

Deadline for paper submissions: October 31st 2018

The world today is experiencing jarring manifestations of disruption, division, and displacement, making for a troika of societal and institutional upheaval. In its 2018 Report on Global Risks, the World Economic Forum identified risks stemming from disruptions in five distinct categories: economical, technological, environmental, geopolitical, and social.  In terms of economic risks, inequality in wealth distribution is increasing across the globe (Anand & Segal, 2015); Oxfam reports that the richest 1% has accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined (BBC News, 2016). Technological risks threaten privacy and security of individuals, organizations, and nations. Extreme weather conditions and the failure to mitigate climate change are among the most pressing environmental risks.  Finally, a rise in religious and national identity conflicts has created geopolitical and social risks resulting in a substantial increase in global migration and a variety of tensions and fault lines. According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, there is an estimated 65.3 million forcibly displaced persons in the world, with 21.3 million numbering as refugees. Forces such as populism, nationalism, coupled with increasing economic inequity, sectarianism, and extreme political polarization look to be undermining the ‘habits of the heart’ that are fundamental to democracy (Putnam, 2000). Some even argue that the very heart of democracy is in need of healing and we must work for a politics commensurate with human dignity (Palmer, 2011). Separately and together, patterns of disruption, division, and displacement will likely rock global society for the foreseeable future – and call for robust organizational and/or institutional responses.

For this Organization Studies Special Issue, we encourage organizational scholars to address these and related grand challenges through the development of research that attempts to further investigate and better understand such disruption, division, and displacement as well as their consequences from varied perspectives and levels of analysis. We see that organizational scholars have much to contribute in these domains and we believe that this Special Issue can be a space for reflection, investigation, and sowing the seeds for future robust action. Although we see strong potential for research from an institutional perspective, we equally welcome submissions grounded in many other research traditions. Our key goal in the Special Issue is to bring together scholarship that sheds new light on organizing for social and institutional change that addresses these forms of upheaval.

We see significant potential for researchers to build on the growing interest in understanding both how organizational and institutional paradoxes (Tracey & Creed, 2017) are implicated in such grand challenges and how organizations of various sorts can respond. Complex or ‘wicked’ problems (Rittel & Webber, 1973) are likely to require complex solutions involving many different stakeholders (Gray & Purdy, 2018). A variety of tensions may be involved, such as: democracy versus authoritarianism; civil discourse versus demagoguery and intolerance; global versus local; nationalism versus internationalism/globalism; the North versus the ‘Global South’; wealth versus poverty; urban versus rural; and multiculturalism versus ethnocentrism and/or xenophobia. Research focused on the organizational and institutional implications of such tensions and how to address them could reveal valuable insights.

In framing this call for papers, we see particular value in Ferraro et al.’s (2015) pragmatist perspective that outlines ways of responding to grand challenges based on the concept of robust action.  They draw attention to three strategies which we, as scholars, can also apply in building our knowledge base: creating new participatory architectures that enable prolonged, productive engagement among diverse stakeholders; promoting and sustaining cooperation and coordination through activities that sustain multiple voices, diverse interpretations, and interrelated goals; and experimenting in ways that promote small wins, evolutionary learning, and increased engagement.

We suggest that exploring the organizational and institutional implications of disruption, division, and displacement may require a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of entrenched oppression and latent power dynamics (Gray & Kish-Gephardt, 2013; Karam & Jamali, 2015; Marti & Mair, 2009; Mair et al., 2016; Creed et al., 2010). We encourage scholars to investigate cases addressing where and how individuals, groups, or organizations have mobilized in attempts to overcome such deep-rooted problems. Further, we see that addressing the multifarious divisions that run through these problems requires engaging in emotionally fraught encounters and change processes that involve mechanisms spanning the micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis (Hochschild, 2016; Creed & Scully, 2000; Creed et al., 2014; Lok et al., forthcoming). More attention to these processes and their effects is important and encouraged.

With this call for papers, we hope to foster academic attention to this broad topical area.  Consistent with the mandate of Organization Studies, we aim to promote the understanding of organizations, organizing, and the organized, and the social relevance of that understanding in relation to the challenges identified here.

Below we offer our initial thoughts on possible questions and opportunities. However, we stress that this list is not meant to narrow our collective vision. In the spirit of robust academic engagement that is participatory and multi-vocal, and that builds on and contributes to engaged organizational scholarship, we encourage innovative, thoughtful, and provocative submissions from scholars at all stages of their academic careers.

Opportunities for Theorizing and Praxis

  • What mechanisms explain social and institutional change processes in the context of displacement, disruption, and division?
  • What are tools and mechanisms for organizing around these challenges?
  • What are the implications of displacement and disruption for institutional stability and embeddedness, as well as for the persistence of, or change in distinct inequality regimes?
  • How can we buttress civil society and civility in the face of such challenges?
  • Can conflict be beneficial in promoting voice and resistance to power in this current era of displacement, disruption, and division – and if so, how?
  • What are the multilayered and multi-leveled processes for dealing with resistance and conflict in the face of grand challenges and wicked problems?
  • How can institutions, organizations, and individuals, including scholars, respond more effectively to refugee issues, disenfranchisement, and economic dislocation?

Levels of Analysis

  • What are the bottom-up and top-down processes behind mobilizing for change at and across different levels of organizing, and how are they shaping organizational, institutional, and societal responses to these types of upheaval?
  • How can the examination of organizing around displacement, disruption, and division assist in better understanding the microfoundations of institutional change?
  • What practices, unfolding at the micro and meso levels, foster civility and contribute to the healing of polarizing societal rifts?
  • In what ways can civil society innovations be facilitated in the face of multiple and multifaceted global threats?

Global and Local Forms of Organizing

  • How do geographical and place-based dynamics affect action and possibilities for change?
  • What are examples of novel forms of organizations and organizing around these wicked problems and what can be learned from them?
  • What are the key forces, patterns, and players involved in building local collaborations against a backdrop of global disruption and global agendas?
  • In what ways can local collaborative partnerships be scaled up and replicated?
  • What is the role of local organizations (e.g., SMEs, cooperatives, non-profits, public sector organizations, and civil society) in responding to disruption and displacement? What are innovative local patterns of organizing for responding to and mitigating the difficulties of disruptive global shifts (Höllerer et al., 2017)?

Institutional and Collective Identity Building Efforts

  •  What are the possibilities for cross-sectoral collaboration in the face of power differences?
  • What are the possible roles for conflict management and peacemaking?
  • How do we cultivate civility, engagement, and listening in the face of the polarization, hostility, and social demonization that arise as a consequence of displacement, disruption, and division? How do we reach across the ‘empathy wall’ (Hochschild, 2016), and what are the practical next steps?
  • What are the identity dynamics (e.g., gender, race, class, religious) involved and what are the implications for various forms of tensions and responses, ranging from exclusionary backlash to inclusion? What can be learned through applying an identity lens to (re)analyzing disruption and displacement?
  • What are the difficulties in working across differences in privilege and power and how can they be addressed?
  • How are ‘deep stories’ and identities implicated in how persons and local populations respond to disruption, displacement, and division?


To be considered for publication in the Special Issue, papers must be submitted via the OS website at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/orgstudies by October 31, 2018. There you can also find guidelines for submission and information on the review procedures.


Anand, S. & P. Segal. 2015. The Global Distribution of Income. In: A. B. Atkinson and F. Bourguignon (Eds.), Handbook of Income Distribution. Volume 2A, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 937-979.

BBC News. 2016. Oxfam Says Wealth of Richest 1% Equal to Other 99%. January 2018.


Creed, W.E.D., R. DeJordy, & J. Lok. 2010. Being the Change: Resolving Institutional Contradiction through Identity Work. Academy of Management Journal 53(6), 1336-1364.

Creed, .E.D., B.A. Hudson, G. Okhuysen, & K. Smith-Crowe. 2014. Swimming in a Sea of Shame: Emotion in Institutional Maintenance and Disruption. Academy of Management Review, 39(3) 275-301.

Creed, W.E.D. & M. Scully. 2000. Songs of Ourselves: Employees’ Deployment of Social Identity in Work Place Encounters. Journal of Management Inquiry 9(4), 391-412.

Ferraro, F., D. Etzion & J. Gehman. 2015. Tackling Grand Challenges Pragmatically: Robust Action Revisited. Organization Studies 36(3), 363–390.

Gray, B. & J. Kish-Gephart. 2013. Encountering Social Class Differences at Work: How “Class Work” Perpetuates Inequality. Academy of Management Review 38(5), 670-699.

Gray, B. & J.M. Purdy. 2018. Collaborating for Our Future: Confronting Complex Problems through Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Hochschild, A.R. 2016. Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. New York: The New Press.

Höllerer, M.A, P. Walgenbach, & G.S. Drori. 2017. The Consequences of Globalization for Institutions and Organizations. In R. Greenwood, R. Meyer, C. Oliver & T. Lawrence (ds.) Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Karam, C.M. & D. Jamali. 2015. A Cross-Cultural and Feminist Perspective on CSR in Developing Countries: Uncovering Latent Power Dynamics. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2737-7

Lok, J., W.E.D. Creed, R. DeJordy, & M. Voronov. 2017. Living Institutions: Bringing Emotions into Organizational Institutionalism. In R. Greenwood, R. Meyer, C. Oliver & T. Lawrence (Eds.) Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Mair, J., M. Wolf & C. Seelos. 2016. Scaffolding: A Process of Transforming Patterns of Inequality in Small-Scale Societies. Academy of Management Journal 59(6), 2012-2044.

Marti, I. & P. Fernández. 2013. The Institutional Work of Oppression and Resistance: Learning from the Holocaust. Organization Studies 34(8), 1195-1223.

Palmer, P. J. 2011. Healing the Heart of Democracy; The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Rittel, H.W. & M.M. Webber. (1973). Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences 4, 155-169.

Tracy, P. & W.E.D Creed. 2017. Beyond Managerial Dilemmas: The Study of Paradoxes in Organizational Theory. In: W.K. Smith, M.W. Lewis, P. Jarzabkowski, & A. Langley (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report 2018. Geneva: Switzerland. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GRR18_Report.pdf


BAM council elections

In case you are member of the British Academy of Management, please remember to vote!

From January 2019 there will be vacant places on the BAM Council. 32 candidates have been nominated, representing a diverse range of research backgrounds and interests.

These elections are important as they will decide who will serve as members of Council for the next three years (Jan 2019 – Dec 2021) and will help to shape the academy going into the future.

The closing date for votes to be returned is 12.00 on Friday 24th August

The Candidates (In Alpabetical Order)

  • Dr Tony Abdoush
  • Dr Ijeoma Ogochukwu Anaso
  • Dr Norin Arshed
  • Professor Thankom Arun
  • Professor Charles Baden-Fuller
  • Dr Brendan Canavan
  • Dr Fariba Darabi
  • Professor Stephanie Decker
  • Dr Alison J. Glaister
  • Dr Russ Glennon
  • Dr Dieu Hack-Polay
  • Dr Qile He
  • Dr Inge Hill
  • Dr Emmanuel Idowu
  • Mr James Johnston
  • Dr Susan Kirk
  • Dr Smirti Kutaula
  • Professor Jonathan Liu
  • Dr Mark Loon
  • Dr Nnamdi Madichie
  • Dr Maktoba Omar
  • Kingsley Omeihe
  • Professor Emma Parry
  • Professor Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki
  • Dr Ijaz A. Qureshi
  • Dr Stefanie Reissner
  • Dr Ashley Roberts
  • Dr Sukanlaya Sawang
  • Dr Usha Sundaram
  • Dr Wen Wang
  • Dr Svetlana Warhurst
  • Dr Kemi Yekini

BAM Members – Cast Your Vote

To read statements from each of the nominees and for information on how to vote, please click here:

View Candidate Profiles (Available to Active BAM Members Only)

Please click here to vote in the BAM2019-2021 Council Elections

The closing date for votes to be returned is 12.00 Friday 24th August.

Kind regards,


Lewis Johnson | Membership and Communications Administrator
British Academy of Management, 137 Euston Road London, NW1 2AA, UK
T: +44 (0)2073 839 794 | F: +44 (0) 2073 830 377 | ljohnson@bam.ac.uk
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OS SI CfP: Connectivity

Organization Studies

 Call for Papers

 Special Issue on: Connectivity in and around Organizations

 Guest Editors 

Darl G. Kolb, Graduate School of Management, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Marleen Huysman, KIN Research Group, VU University, The Netherlands

Kristine Dery, Center for Systems Information Research, MIT, Australia & USA

Anca Metiu, Senior Editor, Organization Studies, ESSEC Business School, France


Deadline for paper submissions: September 30th 2018

The journal is seeking papers for a Special Issue that reflects and considers the impact of ubiquitous and near-constant connectivity in and around organizations.

In 2008, Organization Studies published an article entitled, ‘Exploring the Metaphor of Connectivity: Attributes, Dimensions and Duality’  (Kolb, 2008). A lot has happened in the world of connectivity in the past 10 years. Following the BlackBerry (‘CrackBerry’) era, the release of the iPhone in 2007 accelerated the ‘smartphone’ era. To be sure, the topics of mobile communication practice (Dery, Kolb, & MacCormick, 2014; MacCormick, Dery, & Kolb, 2012; Mazmanian, Orlikowski, & Yates, 2013; Sergeva, Huysman, van den Hooff, & Soekijad, 2017) virtual work and collaboration (Fayard & Metiu, 2014; Kolb, Collins, & Lind, 2008), work-life balance (Bakker & Leiter, 2010; Mazmanian, 2013), perceptions of proximity (Leonardi, Treem, & Jackson, 2010; Wilson, O’Leary, Metiu, & Jett, 2008), cognitive and socio-emotional effects of hyper-connectivity (Carr, 2010; Turkle, 2011) have received considerable attention in the years since the past decade. However, with some notable exceptions (Bakker & Leiter, 2010; Flyverbom, Leonardi, Stohl, & Stohl, 2016; Leonardi & Barley, 2010; Orlikowski & Scott, 2008), theoretical developments have been relatively sparse in this relatively new, yet important field of inquiry.

We believe the time is right for a dedicated collection of scholarly work that advances our theoretical and practical understanding of the unprecedented connective context within and around organizations. Our intent is to produce a provocative and memorable Special Issue of Organization Studies. We therefore invite refreshing scholarly discourse on what constitutes connectivity (what it is and/or what it means), including its antecedents, its social materiality and the conceptual relationships that underpin and/or define connectivity, thereby offering advances in theory. Meanwhile, we expect critical evaluations of some of the ‘consequences’ and implications for practice. We are also seeking empirical studies that illuminate the subject and provide evidence and evocation for theory-building or theory-challenging.

Objectives of the Special Issue:

  • To advance our understanding of how connectivity affects organizational life
  • To stimulate dialogue and debate on connectivity as a dimension of contemporary life
  • To offer fresh, empirically-based insights into the practice of connecting with others through technology

We invite papers that will address, but are not limited to the following themes:

  • new perspectives on mobile human-computer interaction,
  • advancements and/or challenges to socio-technical and sociomaterial theoretical lenses,
  • the integration of work and non-work dimensions of life,
  • the stresses and strains associated with work-life integration, and
  • isolation and alienation that accompany and contradict increased connectedness.

We are particularly interested in papers that provoke new ways of thinking about questions such as, but not limited to:

  • How do face-to-face organisational processes and practices compete for attention with ubiquitous personal connective technologies?
  • Who decides when and how much organizational members connect or disconnect?
  • What are the implications of near-constant connectivity on health and wellness?
  • The paradox of autonomy: How do independent individuals still work collaboratively?
  • How are work practices co-evolving with connective technologies?
  • How are organizational structures co-evolving with connective technologies?

Papers may be conceptual, theoretical and/or empirical in nature, with a preference for empirical-based theoretical work.  While qualitative research may be most appropriate for supporting new theoretical directions and critical perspectives, quantitative research is also welcome, as long as it addresses new questions and contributes to the conceptual conversation in straightforward (accessible) language.

The scope of papers is intentionally broad, but papers should have a bearing on ‘organizational’ phenomena, as per the overall purpose and general guidelines of Organization Studies.


Please submit papers through the journal’s online submission system, SAGE track, by visiting http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/orgstudies. Create your user account (if you have not done so already), and for “Manuscript Type,” choose the corresponding Special Issue. All papers that enter the review process will be double-blind reviewed, following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. You may submit papers for this Special Issue through SAGE Track between September, 15th and 30th 2018.

For administrative support and general queries, please contact:

Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor, Organization Studies: osofficer@gmail.com.



Bakker, A. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2010). Work Engagement: A handbook of essential theory and research. New York: Psychology Press: Taylor and Francis Group.

Carr, N. (2010). The shallows: How the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember. London: Atlantic.

Dery, K., Kolb, D. G., & MacCormick, J. (2014). Working with flow: The evolving practice of smartphone technologies. European Journal of Information Systems, 23(5), 558-570.

Fayard, A.-L., & Metiu, A. (2014). The role of writing in distributed collaboration. Organization Science, 25(5), 1391-1413.

Flyverbom, M., Leonardi, P. M., Stohl, C., & Stohl, M. (2016). The management of visibilities in the digital age. Interntional Journal of Communication, 10, 98-109.

Kolb, D. G. (2008). Exploring the metaphor of connectivity: Attributes, dimensions and duality. Organization Studies, 29(1), 127-144.

Kolb, D. G., Collins, P. D., & Lind, E. A. (2008). Requisite connectivity: Finding flow in a not-so-flat world. Organizational Dynamics, 37(2), 181-189.

Leonardi, P. M., & Barley, S. R. (2010). What’s under construction here? Social action, materiality, and power in constructivist studies of technology and organizing. The Academy of Management Annals, 4(1), 1-51.

Leonardi, P. M., Treem, J. W., & Jackson, M. H. (2010). The connectivity paradox: Using technology to both decrease and increase perceptions of distance in distributed work arrangements. Journal of Applied Communications Research, 38(1), 85-105.

MacCormick, J., Dery, K., & Kolb, D. G. (2012). Engaged or just connected?: Smartphones and employee engagement. Organizational Dynamics, 41(3), 194-201.

Mazmanian, M. (2013). Avoiding the trap of constant connectivity: When congruent frames allow for heterogeneous practices. Academy of Management Journal, 56(5), 1225-1250.

Mazmanian, M., Orlikowski, W. J., & Yates, J. (2013). The autonomy paradox: The implications of mobile email devices for knowledge professionals. Organization Science, 24(5), 1337-1357.

Orlikowski, W. J., & Scott, S. V. (2008). Sociomateriality: Challenging the separation of technology, work and organization. The Academy of Management Annals, 2(1), 433-474.

Sergeva, A., Huysman, M., van den Hooff, B., & Soekijad, M. (2017). Through the eyes of others: How onlookers shape the use of mobile technology at work. MIS Quarterly, 41(4), 1153-1178.

Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books.

Wilson, J. M., O’Leary, M. B., Metiu, A., & Jett, Q. R. (2008). Percieved proximity in virtual work: Explaining the paradox of far-but-close. Organization Studies, 29(7), 979-1002.

Hagley Museum & Library Research Fellow

The Hagley Museum and Library’s Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society is recruiting for a twelve month Research Fellow and Intern commencing September 1, 2018, or soon thereafter. The position requires approximately two days per week of work which must be conducted at Hagley, and permits the Fellow to make use of a private office for his/her own research activities in addition as well. It may be held in conjunction with other employment (eg teaching or fellowships) so long as those do not interfere with Hagley responsibilities, especially Thursday events.

Responsibilities include:

  • To be present at Hagley on average two days per week, including attending and assisting as assigned at the Center’s author talks, seminars, conference, and brown bags.
  • Conduct research interviews with visiting scholars that will be included in the Center’s Stories from the Stacks
  • Obtain and edit blog articles from visiting scholars that will appear in Hagley’s Research and Collection News.
  • Prepare promotional materials for the Center to post on Hagley’s web page and manage social media for the Center.
  • Network with resident scholars at Hagley and enhance Hagley’s scholarly community.
  • Engage in and share personal scholarship while at Hagley.



  • $24,000 for eleven months of work in a twelve month period
  • Private office and computer accessible during Hagley’s regular business hours
  • Status as funded scholar, providing use of Hagley mail, Internet, interlibrary loan, etc.
  • $1,500 for travel to scholarly events or for personal research.
  • No healthcare or other benefits provided



  • Master’s degree in history or related discipline; ABD status or above preferred
  • Research interests relevant to Hagley’s collections
  • Experience with programming and/or event coordination
  • Knowledge of social media, spreadsheets, and web page software
  • Well-organized and self-motivated


Application Procedure

Send a letter and c.v. to Roger Horowitz, Director, Center for the History of Business, Technology and Society, Hagley Museum and Library, rhorowitz@Hagley.org. The letter should address the following: the applicant’s research interests, programming experience, and social media experience. Applications should be sent as soon as possible and will be accepted until the position is filled.

OS SI CfP: Organizational Control

Call for Papers

Special Issue on Organizational control and surveillance of new work practices

NEW Deadline for paper submissions: August 31st 2018

Guest Editors :

François-Xavier de Vaujany (Université Paris-Dauphine, France)

Aurélie Leclercq-Vandelannoitte (CNRS, LEM UMR 9221, IESEG School of Management, France)

Iain Munro (Newcastle University Business School, United Kingdom)

Yesh Nama (RMIT University, Australia)

Robin Holt (Copenhagen Business School)



Agnès, a young new startupper at the ‘Coworking Space’ in Berlin, explains[1]:

 Convivial, flat, free, fun, effective, adaptable, remarkable, transparent….this is how this coworking space described itself. In reality, I’ve never had the impression to be in an environment freed of hierarchy. We were all installed in a large, open space, separated from each other of only some meters… … except our CHO (Chief Happiness Officer), who had his own office, and could suddenly burst in. There was no overtime, only flexible hours. Actually overtime was considered the norm. We were all together in the same space, looking at each other’s’ comings and goings. When a coworker left at 6 pm, we all ironically (and legitimately) asked him if he was having a break! Fortunately beers and pizzas were distributed after 7 pm to motivate us to stay… we all seemed to enjoy this kind of stomach control. The rule for those who arrived late in the morning – 9 was the norm – was to bring pastries … However over time, I had the feeling that being late was met with disapproval. After all, maybe it was a sign that people were less motivated by, less confident in, or less passionate about their projects? One day, I felt ill at ease with this climate, it stifled me… I isolated myself in the restrooms, took my smartphone, and called my boyfriend to get some kind of support…

The emergence of new work practices and workplaces, as shown by the joint search for more mobility, openness (e.g. with open innovation), horizontality (e.g. with coworking practices and collaborative entrepreneurship), digital and collaborative practices (including more and more external stakeholders, e.g. customers and citizens, in the co-production of services), has raised new questions of organizational control, and surveillance. In a global context marked by the invisible revolution of surveillance capitalism (Zuboff, 2015) and the resurgence of risk (Beck, 1992), security fears and terror, which have re-legitimized the need for close surveillance and control, new work practices and workplaces have transformed the ‘premises of human involvement in organizations’ (Kallinikos, 2003, p. 595), as well as the mechanisms and conditions of control and surveillance. In particular, work transformations (project-based work, teleworking, distributed work arrangements, collaborative entrepreneurship and the emergence of third and collaborative practices and spaces, e.g. coworking spaces, maker spaces, innovation labs) are revealing how work increasingly gets performed outside the typical physical, spatial and temporal boundaries of the organization or within the context of third spaces and liminal spaces (Oldenburg, 1989; Garrett et al., 2017; Sewell and Taskin, 2015; Spinuzzi, 2012; Waber et al., 2014; Johns and Gratton, 2013).

These work transformations and new ‘sites’ (Schatzki, 2005) of work alter the structure of ‘presence’ and ‘visibility’ of employees and consequently affect the nature of the control of work practices (from supervision to more reporting, from technocratic to more social, peer- and self- control): both horizontal relationships (with co-workers) and vertical relationships (with supervisors) are transformed. These new work practices imply a ‘dispersal’ and ‘distantiation’ (Beyes and Stayaert, 2012; Sewell and Taskin, 2015) in the time and space of control (Bauman and Lyon, 2013; Orlikowski, 1991), and raise singular and often paradoxical challenges. On the one hand it entails collaborative forms of management control that extends beyond direct visual sight (Dambrin, 2004; Halford, 2005; Sewell, 2012), and on the other, forms of self-disciplining and transformation in which autonomy becomes almost a synonym for governance. Under the impress of both trends, surveillance has become increasingly mobile, flexible, pervasive and unbounded (Bauman and Lyon, 2013), and in turn encourages them.

It is important, however, not to limit understanding of control and surveillance to the digital and immaterial. Indeed, it seems they are more than ever constituted by, embedded in and infused in the materiality, corporeity, spatiality and temporality of new work practices and workplaces. Organizational control and surveillance should be conceived of not only as digital, virtual, fluid, flexible and discursive, but also as ever more deeply grounded in the concrete, material, spatial, embodied underpinnings (e.g. work practices, spatial practices, places, bodies, technologies in use, information tactics) of everyday life (Munro and Jordan, 2013; Leclercq-Vandelannoitte, 2011). New work practices and recent work transformations enhance the complexity of situations to control and highlight the ambiguity of spaces, instruments, objects, artefacts, management systems (Miller, 2008, 2009; Dale, 2005; Dale and Burrell, 2008; Lorino, 2013; de Vaujany and Vaast, 2014; Munro, 2016). The evolution of organizational control and surveillance through new work practices also points to the versatility of the uses of technologies in control and surveillance efforts (Orlikowski and Scott, 2008); some research for example emphasize a resurgence of ancient, bureaucratic forms of administration in new work settings, as managers seek to compensate for the distance, absence, and lack of visibility of their subordinates (Sewell and Taskin, 2015; Orlikowski and Scott, 2008; Halford, 2005). These new practices, coupled to evolving IT uses, constitute a new kind of organising of employees, placing them on an almost permanent front stage (Goffman, 1959). Such evolutions thus call for a deeper investigation of the materiality, corporeity, spatiality and temporality of control and surveillance through new work practices and work settings.

Furthermore, the continuous evolution of work practices and emergence of new work practices (e.g. remote work, digital mobility, collaborative entrepreneurship, coworking practices, Do It Yourself, makers, corporate hacking…) characterized by a potential shift—from static, central oversight to untethered, dispersed (auto)organization, embedded in material technologies—raises important tensions in terms of power relations, morality and ethics, with potentially paradoxical consequences. Novel types of control and surveillance find increasing legitimacy among those being subjugated, who may cooperate willingly, in a relation that raises new tensions between technology and human flourishing (Bauman and Lyon, 2013). Developments of consumer surveillance, biometrics, workplace surveillance, and ubiquitous computing constitute the embodied individual not only as a target of continuous oversight, but also as a subject of (self) exposure, through a process of data representation, interpretation and sharing, so that games of visibility (exhibitionism), observation (voyeurism) and secrecy (hiding one’s work) now abound in the workplace (Brivot and Gendron, 2011).

Thus, the tensions between the material, the virtual, the social, the embodied individual, and their implications, have never been so crucial to theories of control and surveillance. Emerging practices and organizational forms fuel tensions between our notions of freedom and security, physical and virtual or digital spatiality, the material with the social, the visible with the invisible, the continuous with the discontinuous, the reified with the virtual, the mind with the body, political (domination and oversight) with cultural or ideological control (persuasion and consent), and manipulation and collaboration.

With this special issue, we seek to rethink control and surveillance by developing a more materialized, spatialized, embodied and temporalized view in relation to new work practices that can supplement and so counterbalance a vision these being purely virtual and digitally enabled. By such we refer to theoretical analyses and contributions that emphasize the entanglement of social and material dimensions of control and work practices and the importance of ontological questions (i.e. what should be the main – ‘real’- focus of analysis: objects, activities, processes, perceptions, practices…?); issues of space, time, corporeity, embodiment, visuality and materiality involved in control devices and new work practices (Dale, 2005), as well as their relationships with organizations and organizing (Robichaud and Cooren, 2013); and broader ontological debates (Leonardi et al., 2012; Carlile et al, 2013; Orlikowski, 1991; Orlikowski, 2007; Scott and Orlikowski, 2012), across different ‘epistemic communities’ (Holt and den Hond, 2013; Boxenbaum et al., 2015; de Vaujany and Mitev, 2015).

Potential approaches and questions to be addressed in the special issue

To summarize, this special issue seeks to advance the study of organizations and organizing by exploring the materiality, meaning, nature and forms of control and surveillance of and through new work practices in contemporary society. We hope to involve a diverse range of scholars and scholarly traditions in debate. We welcome submissions that address control and surveillance from different ontological vantage points, in different contexts, using different methodologies.

Authors intending to submit papers to this special issue are encouraged to focus on some of the broad issues in the following far from exhaustive list:

  • Philosophical, historical and sociological roots of societal and organizational control and surveillance of work practices;
  • The unexpected presence and emergence of control and surveillance in the context of new work practices (e.g. sharing economy, remote work, digital mobility, collaborative entrepreneurship, coworking practices, Do It Yourself, makers, corporate hacking…);
  • Semiosis and digital infrastructure of control and surveillance processes in organizations and organizing;
  • The role of corporations and the ‘security–industrial complex’ in the deployment of new techniques;
  • Materiality, ontologies, politics of control and surveillance, and new agencies for such;
  • Concern for materiality, spatiality, liminality and temporality in control, discipline and surveillance;
  • Critical perspectives on new work practices and the emergence of control;
  • The rise of terrorism (often in the city) and challenges for control and surveillance in the public and private spaces;
  • Accomplishments and failures of control and surveillance;
  • The role of risk-management culture and risk-management tools in the emergence of surveillance capitalism and its material, corporeal, spatial and temporal forms;
  • Relations between control and surveillance in new work practices and governance;
  • The disciplinary nature of control and surveillance in new work practices;
  • New work and collaborative practices (e.g. coworkers, digital nomads, makers, hackers);
  • Managerial and leadership techniques of control and surveillance.


Please submit papers through the journal’s online submission system, SAGE track, by visiting http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/orgstudies. Create your user account (if you have not done so already), and for “Manuscript Type,” choose the corresponding Special Issue. All papers that enter the review process will be double-blind reviewed, following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. You may submit papers for this Special Issue through SAGE Track until August 31st 2018.

For further information about this CFP, please contact:


For administrative support and general queries, please contact:

Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor, Organization Studies: osofficer@gmail.com.


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Boxenbaum, E., Jones, C., Meyer, R., & Svejenova, S. (2015). The Material and Visual Turn in Organization Theory: Objectifying and (Re)acting to Novel Ideas. Call for Papers, Special Issue of Organization Studies, http://oss.sagepub.com/content/35/10/1547.extract.

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[1] Inspired and adapted from the story of Ramadier M. (2017) Bienvenue dans le nouveau monde, comment j’ai survécu à la coolitude des startups, Premier Parallèle.