Tony Slaven doctoral workshop & Francesca Carnevali travel grants

Call for Applications
Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop in Business History
Sheffield Hallam University, 4th July 2019

The ABH will hold its seventh annual Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop on 4 July 2019. This event immediately precedes the 2019 ABH Annual Conference at Sheffield Hallam University. Participants in the Workshop are encouraged to attend the main ABH Annual Conference following the Workshop. The Workshop is an excellent opportunity for doctoral students to discuss their work with other research students and established academics in business history in an informal and supportive environment. Students at any stage of their doctoral studies, whether in their first year or very close to submitting, are urged to apply. In addition to providing new researchers with an opportunity to discuss their work with experienced researchers in the discipline, the Workshop will also include at least one skills-related session. The Workshop interprets the term ‘business history’ broadly, and it is intended that students in areas such as (but not confined to) the history of international trade and investment, financial or economic history, agricultural history, the history of not-for-profit organisations, government-industry relations, accounting history, social studies of technology, and historians or management or labour will find it useful. Students undertaking topics with a significant business history element but in disciplines other than economic or business history are also welcome. We embrace students researching any era or region of history.
Skills sessions are typically led by regular ABH members; in the past these have included ‘getting published’, ‘using historical sources’, and ‘preparing for your viva examination’ sessions. There will be ample time for discussion of each student’s work and the opportunity to gain feedback from active researchers in the field.

How to Apply for the Tony Slaven Workshop
Your application should be no more than 4 pages sent together in a single computer file: 1) a one page CV; 2) one page stating the name(s) of the student’s supervisor(s), the title of the theses (a proposed title is fine), the university and department where the student is registered and the date of commencement of thesis registration; 3) an abstract of the work to be presented.

You may apply via email to Dr Mitch Larson at Please use the subject line “Tony Slaven Workshop” and submit by the 31 January 2019.

Francesca Carnevali Travel Grant for PhD Students

Students whose papers are accepted for either the Slaven Doctoral Workshop or the main ABH meeting may apply for funds to partially defray their travel costs by applying to the Francesca Carnevali Travel Grant for PhD Students. A limited number of scholarships are available from the Francesca Carnevali fund of the ABH to contribute towards the travel, accommodation, and registration costs of students doing a PhD in the United Kingdom, who are presenting in the Slaven Workshop or the ABH conference. These will be awarded competitively prior to the Workshop. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered for one of these travel grants.



CfP: Uses of the Past in International Economic Relations

Uses of the Past in International Economic Relations

St. Hilda’s College
University of Oxford
9-10 May 2019

How do policymakers and economic actors use the past in their decision-making? One of the many exceptional aspects of the global financial crisis of 2008 was the prominence policymakers and commentators gave to the importance of history in helping to determine their response to the crisis. Comparisons with the Great Depression of the 1930s were a recurrent feature of assessments of the depth and spread of the global financial crisis and reveal the extent to which policymakers sought to ‘learn’ from the past. But how relevant is the past as a guide to the present, or even the future, and how is it used when policymakers, bankers and the public are faced with difficult economic challenges?

The main objective of the conference is to build an understanding of how policymakers and economic actors have used the past as a foundation for their decisions, how they created and discriminated among different interpretations of the past according to their preconceptions, and how they were conditioned by the experiences of their predecessors.

Examples may include (but are not limited to) the development of regulation, the reaction to economic or financial crises, the opening of overseas branches or subsidiaries, and the assessment of the credit-worthiness of customers. We welcome all proposals related to this theme across the 19thand 20thcenturies.

PhD students, early career researchers, and confirmed researchers are invited to submit proposals. Applications should comprise a 1 page abstract/summary and short CV. We have some limited funds to support travel costs and accommodation of speakers.

Please send to:

For further information please contact Chloe Colchester:

Deadline for proposals: 25thJanuary 2019

Conference Committee:

  • Catherine Schenk (University of Oxford)
  • Mary O’Sullivan (Universite de Geneve)
  • Mats Larsson (Uppsala University)
  • Stefano Battilossi (Carlos III Madrid)
  • Emmanuel Mourlon-Druot (University of Glasgow)

The UPIER project is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme 3 Uses of the Past which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, BMBF via DLR-PT, CAS, CNR, DASTI, ETAg, FWF, F.R.S. – FNRS, FWO, FCT, FNR, HAZU, IRC, LMT, MIZS, MINECO, NWO, NCN, RANNÍS, RCN, SNF, & VIAA.

The UPIER project has also received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649307

BAM2019 – MBH track

BAM2019 Conference

3rd – 5th September 2019
Aston University, Birmingham, UK
Track 14: Management and Business History

Track Chairs:
– Kevin Tennent, University of York
– Roy Edwards, University of Southampton

Track description:
This track aims to encourage the growing number of management and business historians who work in business schools and social science departments to engage in constructive debate with a wide
range of management scholars. The 2019 conference theme, ‘Building and Sustaining High Performance Organisations During Uncertain Times: Challenges and Opportunities’, is an ideal
opportunity to explore the value of historical study for management research. Histories of organizations, industries and institutions give us the opportunity to understand how managers have built through uncertain and challenging times in the past, whether it be through war, economic crisis, scandal or other disruptions to their activities. Inspired by Fayol, Ford and Taylor, managers also attempted to boost productivity, often with mixed results. In this track we specialize in
chronologically or longitudinally motivated research. We welcome papers, symposia or workshop proposals either using new and innovative methodologies or applying archival methodology to a
new disciplinary context. We are also interested in context specific papers using more traditional historical methodology but which take innovative approaches to relate their findings to wider social
science concerns. In addition, we appreciate papers dealing with the legacy of uncertainty in the past in business and management more generally, and how it has influenced the diversity of
experience in present day businesses, regions and communities.
This year we encourage cross-disciplinary papers and workshop submissions that link different Tracks, while the main conference theme ought to feature prominently in all submissions. As a group
we are inherently multi-disciplinary and believe in the application of theory to historical analysis, and there is no single epistemology for approaching this. We aim to encourage theoretically orientated
social science history with a clear relationship to present day debates in the management discipline.
Contributions might focus on but are not limited to: the economic or social history of business, historical case studies for theory building, theoretical contributions on the relevance of history to
management studies, the uses of history, history as a method for management studies.

Please note that while we are open-minded work not featuring a historical dimension, broadly defined, will not be accepted.

This editorial may be a useful provocation:

  • Tennent, K.D., 2018. Guest editorial. Journal of Management History, 24(2), pp.122-127.

Some theoretical and empirical examples of the genre of work that we seek to welcome include:

  • Cummings, S. and Bridgman, T., 2011. The relevant past: Why the history of management should be critical for our future. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10(1), pp.77-93.
  • Edwards, R., 2010. Job analysis on the LMS: mechanisation and modernisation c. 1930–c. 1939. Accounting, Business & Financial History, 20(1), pp.91-105.
  • Gillett, A. G., and Tennent, K. D., 2017. Dynamic Sublimes, Changing Plans, and the Legacy of a Megaproject: The case of the 1966 Soccer World Cup. Project Management Journal. 48(6), pp. 93- 16.
  • Gillett, A.G. and Tennent, K.D., 2018. Shadow hybridity and the institutional logic of professional sport: Perpetuating a sporting business in times of rapid social and economic change. Journal of Management History, 24(2), pp.228-259.
  • Maclean, M., Harvey, C. and Clegg, S.R., 2016. Conceptualizing historical organization studies. Academy of Management Review, 41(4), pp.609-632.
  • Mollan, S. and Tennent, K.D., 2015. International taxation and corporate strategy: evidence from British overseas business, circa 1900–1965. Business History, 57(7), pp.1054-1081.

Capri Doctoral summer school

The Call for Participation for the Capri Summer School on Research Methods in Management Studies 2019, 9-13 September (VII Edition) is open!

The Capri Summer School is co-organized by Cardiff Business School, University of Naples Federico II, HEC Paris, Grenoble Ecole de Management, Open University, SciencesPo, Stockholm School of Economics and Aalto Business School, Cass Business School, Hasselt University.

The Capri Summer School was born on the impulse of Italian Academy of Management and Business Administration to foster knowledge and methodologies among young scholars settling a challenging and stimulating context in one of most charming places in the world: The Island of Capri.

This International Summer School is supported by a number of leading faculty members belonging to a network of both promoting and external universities. Among those who have already confirmed their availability, there are: Hugh Willmott (Cass Business School & Cardiff Business School), Emma Bell (Open University), Marie-Laure Djelic (SciencesPo), Afshin Mehrpouya (HEC Paris), Islam Gazi, Amanda Peticca-Harris & Marcos Barros (Grenoble Ecole de Management), Roberto Di Pietra (Universiy of Siena), Staffan Furusten (Stockholm University), Rebecca Piekkari (Aalto Business School), Patrizia Zanoni (Hasselt Unversity)


The submission must be done by 2nd May 2019.

The course is aimed at doctoral students and early stage researchers in the areas of management, interested in qualitative studies of accounting, management, finance, organization, etc. We would be delighted to welcome some participants from your group/institution.

Please for further information visit the Capri Summer School Website

BAM SIG workshop: Can History Inform Corporate Responsibility?

British Academy of Management: Management and Business History SIG

Call for Papers:

Workshop at The York Management School, University of York, UK – jointly between the BAM Management and Business History SIG, and the Management and Organizational History Research Cluster

10th January 2019

Responsible Business, Business Ethics and Management History Strategy in Conversation – Can History Inform Corporate Responsibility?

There is continued and increasing academic interest in responsible business – and how this interacts and informs management and organization strategy and practice (eg, Porter and Kramer, 2011). Recent scholarship and practice has put the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other corporate responsibility initiatives, such as B-corporation accreditation, centre stage in driving forward the agenda (eg. Voegtlin & Scherer, 2017; Moroz, et al., 2018).
At the same time, scholarship in management history has examined the origins and directions of of corporate responsibility (eg, Hoffman, 2007; Marens, 2008; Singleton, 2018) and the literature on ‘social movements’, the forerunners of contemporary concerns, is especially rich and diverse. For example, cooperatives (eg, Wilson, Webster and Vorberg-Rugh, 2013), credit unions (Ward and McKillop, 2005), mutuality (Batiz-Lazo and Billings, 2012), social entrepreneurship (eg, Murphy, et al., 2018), and religiously-grounded movements such as the Quakers (Prior and Kirby, 2006, Robertson, Korczynski and Pickering, 2007), to name a few. Though this wide range of work focuses largely on historical events and chronologies, what contemporary scholars of socially responsible management can learn from this rich and varied history has received much less attention. This special issue seeks to redress this balance.
This special issue represents the beginning of a deeper conversation about the contours of the relationship between responsible business, business ethics, and management history. Thus, we invite contributions from a broad range of management and organization disciplines on the following topics, but not limited to:
• Is there a connection between movements of the past and contemporary ‘responsibility’ movements (such as UN Global Compact, B-corporations, etc)?
• How has responsible management changed over time? How are the practices or processes shaped by their particular social, historical or religious/spiritual contexts?
• What role, if any, does religion or spirituality play in the histories of movements of the past?
• What, if any, is the relationship between endogenous and exogenous factors in the change or decline of historical movements?
• How have historical movements influenced the evolution of particular industries?
• What, if any, is the possible relationship between the organization’s corporate or legal form and responsible business and ethics?
• To what extent does Government policy, regulation and the law promote or inhibit responsible business?
• Is corporate or legal form associated with more or less responsible approaches to human resource management, supply chain management, marketing and distribution, production, decision-making or other strategic processes?
• What role, if any, do changes (strengthening/weakening) to corporate governance play in responsible business over time? What factors led to changes in corporate governance?
• What role, if any, does leadership play in the creation, renewal and/or decline of historical movements?
• What, if any, effect does significant organization change events have on its approach to responsible business (e.g., acquisition, mergers, divestment, changes in leadership, etc.)?
• Is an ‘ethical capitalism’ possible?
To present, please send an extended abstract (500 words) to Kevin at
Kevin Tennent, University of York
Nicholas Burton, Northumbria University

CFP: Histories of Business Knowledge

PDW – Histories of Business Knowledge

Thursday, March 14, 2019, 1 to 4pm
Hilton Cartagena de Indias, Avenida Almirante Brion, El Laguito,
Cartagena de Indias, 130001, Colombia

Organizers: Christina Lubinski ( & Bill Foster (; Organized under the auspice of the BHC workshop committee; supported by the Copenhagen Business School “Rethinking History at Business Schools”-Initiative

Deadline for submissions: Friday, February 8, 2019

Knowledge is a central asset in business. Companies and organizations accumulate a pool of knowledge, whether it is knowledge about their customers’ needs and wants, their business environment, or the skills and experience of their employees. They also engage with a variety of different kinds of knowledge, such as explicit, formalized, or tacit knowledge and knowledge embedded in skills and bodies. The different ways in which businesspeople gather, share and capitalize on knowledge is a crucial competitive advantage (or disadvantage) in all market endeavors. Knowledge is also a product. Knowledge-focused industries—such as consulting, academia and education, accounting, IT or legal services—sell innovative intellectual and educational products and services on a market for knowledge.

In this paper development workshop, we discuss work-in-progress papers addressing business knowledge from a historical perspective. We welcome contributions about the development of business knowledge over time, be that in the context of commercial enterprises, non-for-profit organizations, or educational institutions broadly construed. We specifically encourage historians who are interested in the development of curricula of business knowledge, their pedagogy, research endeavors; or in knowledge stakeholders, their politics, goals, relationships and work processes.

Also, we welcome and encourage interested contributors to submit papers that fit with the Academy of Management Learning and Education (AMLE) special issue “New Histories of Business Schools and How They May Inspire New Futures”. The workshop will provide a setting where authors can discuss paper ideas and/or draft papers for this issue. Christina Lubinski, special issue Guest Editor, and Bill Foster, Editor of AMLE, will provide feedback and answer questions related to the special issue. Deadline for submissions to the special issue is March 2020. For details, see the official call for papers:

We believe that historical research on business knowledge makes valuable contributions to research in business history, management, and education. It will also generate valuable insights for policy makers, managers and academics. Examining how our historical understanding of business knowledge foregrounds some aspects of these complex phenomena while downplaying others encourages discussions about these choices, critical and revisionist histories and new lines of thinking. This workshop is an opportunity to “test-drive” innovative critical arguments and taken-for-granted barriers to change within the complex and intertwined environment of universities, the business community, government, and civil society. We are also keen to engage with how these discussions may stimulate innovations in the way we configure education and, consequently, how we teach, conduct research, view our academic profession, and relate to our stakeholders.

We welcome work-in-progress at all stages of development. Interested scholars may submit two types of submissions for discussion: full draft papers (of up to 8,000 words) or extended abstracts/paper ideas (of 1,000 to 3,000 words). The workshop will take place immediately before the BHC meeting and at the same location, the Hilton Cartagena de Indias. Paper selection and registration is separate from the annual meeting. Participation in both BHC meeting and workshop is possible and encouraged. The PDW is part of the “Rethinking History at Business Schools”-Initiative by Copenhagen Business School.

If you are interested in participating, please submit your paper draft (of up to 8,000 words) or paper idea (1,000 to 3,000 words) and a one-page CV to Christina Lubinski ( by Friday, February 8, 2019. Feel free to contact the organizers with your paper ideas if you are interested in early feedback or want to inquire about the fit of your idea with this PDW.

ABH 2019 submissions opened!

Association of Business Historians Annual Conference
‘Business Transformation in an Uncertain World‘
Sheffield Hallam University, 4-6 July 2019

The Submissions Platform for papers and sessions to be uploaded is now open.  You can upload your paper or session via this link:  The link is also in the attached Call for Papers and on the ABH website at:

You should receive an email confirming receipt of your paper.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact

OS SI CfP: Power & Performativity

Organization Studies

Call for Papers

Special Issue on Power and performativity as interweaving dynamics of organizing

Guest Editors for the Special Issue

Barbara Simpson, University of Strathclyde

Nancy Harding, University of Bath

Peter Fleming, City University of London

Viviane Sergi, UQAM

Anthony Hussenot, Université Côte d’Azur

 Deadline for Submissions: 31 March 2019

Power and performativity are recurrent but distinct themes in contemporary organization studies. Each has been theorized in multiple ways, but what still remains largely unexamined is the interplay between them in the ongoing flow of organizing. It is the dynamic and co-productive potential of this confluence that provides the focus for this Special Issue. In particular we propose that by re-visioning both power and performativity through a processual lens, new possibilities for understanding their entwinements will emerge.

 Power has traditionally been understood as a property or a possession that may be seized and wielded, either overtly or in hidden ways, in order to exert ‘power over’ others (Clegg, Courpasson, & Phillips, 2006). In this context it is often conceived in dualistic terms as some ‘thing’ that is available to the few for controlling the many. By contrast, process approaches endeavour to transcend this dualistic formulation, focussing instead on how power produces movement and change in our worlds. For instance, Foucault (1979) saw power as fundamentally relational and generative, and Follett (1924) argued for a ‘power with’ perspective that continuously emerges out of the actions of people working together.

A similar scenario can be drawn for performativity (Gond, Cabantous, Harding, & Learmonth, 2016), which may refer to managerial efforts to produce outcomes (Fournier & Grey, 2000), or to tactics to help managers change the status quo (Alvesson & Spicer, 2012). From a more processual perspective though, performativity offers a theory of how language constitutes experienced ‘realities’ (Austin, 1962), how organizations are made in communication (Taylor, Cooren, Giroux, & Robichaud, 1996), and how that which appears given and unchangeable is constituted moment by moment (Butler, 1997) through intra-acting material agencies (Barad, 2003).

In this Special Issue, we want to draw attention to the possibilities that arise if both power and performativity are conceived as dynamic processes that, through their continuous swirling together and apart offer novel opportunities to engage differently with organizing. Recent developments in philosophical and theoretical thinking about organizing have clarified the distinction between ontologically oriented assumptions of emergence, continuity and becoming, and more epistemologically oriented accounts of how organizational outcomes are produced (Helin, Hernes, Hjorth, & Holt, 2014; Langley & Tsoukas, 2017). However, the uptake of process as an ontological mode of inquiry has been hampered by the paucity of conceptual and methodological devices to support empirical studies. We need new tools that allow us to unravel the alternative logics of process-as-it-happens, to engage with the evolving nature of the categories we use to define (and redefine) the phenomena of working and living, and to re-configure the boundaries of more processual understandings of organizing. Developing such tools will not only contribute new ways of studying power and performativity together, but also new ways of carrying out research into organizing more generally. As an added bonus, it may further serve to address the immediate concerns of organizational practitioners, who are so often let down by the inadequacies of conventional theory when it comes to examining their own lived experiences of work.

This Special Issue seeks to advance process studies of organizing by re-imagining power and performativity as mutually constituting dynamics. Broadly we are interested in questions such as how might we better understand the performativity of power and the power of performativity, and how, in their interweaving, do power and performativity constitute the emergent becoming of organizing. We especially welcome empirical contributions that, in offering partial, localized or ephemeral accounts of power and performativity, open up new ways of engaging with these dynamic processes by entering into the emergent flow of organizing. Our specific aim is to focus more on the ‘doing of’ rather than the ‘thinking about’ process research.

Potential topics for submissions include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Research methods that engage with the processual logics of power and performativity
  • Ways of writing from/as/about material aspects of power and performativity
  • The engagement of power with performativity in the communicative constitution of organizing
  • Reflexivity, surprise and playfulness in the experience of power and performativity
  • The role of body and language in the performative accomplishment of power
  • Temporality in the entwinement of power and performativity in organizing
  • The power of performance in new collaborative practices such as freelancing and co-working
  • The performance of power in new organizational forms such as those introduced through the gig economy and democracy-based organization
  • The power of non-human agencies in the performative accomplishment of organizing
  • The performative power of contemporary research methods


Please submit papers through the journal’s online submission system, SAGE track at, create your user account (if you have not done so already), and for “Manuscript Type” please choose the corresponding Special Issue. All papers that enter the reviewing process will be double-blind reviewed following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. You will be able to submit your paper for this Special Issue between the 15th and 31st of March 2019.

Administrative support and general queries

Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor, Organization Studies:

For further information please contact any of the Guest Editors for this Special Issue:

Barbara Simpson:

Nancy Harding:

Peter Fleming:

Viviane Sergi:

Anthony Hussenot: anthony.hussenot


Alvesson, M., & Spicer, A. (2012). Critical leadership studies: The case for critical performativity. Human Relations, 65(3), 367-390.

Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(3), 801-831.

Butler, J. (1997). Excitable speech: A politics of the performative. New York: Routledge.

Clegg, S. R., Courpasson, D., & Phillips, N. (2006). Power and organizations. London: SAGE.

Follett, M. P. (1924). Creative experience. New York: Longmans, Green.

Foucault, M. (1979). Discipline and Punish (A. Sheridan, Trans.). New York Vintage.

Fournier, V., & Grey, C. (2000). ‘At the critical moment’: Conditions and prospects for Critical Management Studies. Human Relations, 53(1), 7-32.

Gond, J.-P., Cabantous, L., Harding, N., & Learmonth, M. (2016). What Do We Mean by Performativity in Organizational and Management Theory? The Uses and Abuses of Performativity. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(4), 440-463.

Helin, J., Hernes, T., Hjorth, D., & Holt, R. (Eds.). (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Langley, A., & Tsoukas, H. (Eds.). (2017). The SAGE Handbook of Process Organization Studies. London: Sage.

Taylor, J., Cooren, F., Giroux, N., & Robichaud, D. (1996). The communicational basis of organization: Between conversation and the text. Communication Theory, 6, 1-39.

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


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 by October 31, 2018. There you can also find guidelines for submission and information on the review procedures.


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