SI on Historical Research on Institutional Change

Our special issue on Historical Research on Institutional is out digitally and will be fully published shortly as Volume 60, issue 5 of 2018. In advance, here is a link to free offprints of our special issue introduction:



PDW: Organizational and institutional change




Sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies

Additional support from the Organization Development & Change and Organization & Management Theory Divisions of the Academy of Management, and the Centre for Strategic Leadership at the University of Edinburgh Business School

To be held at University of Edinburgh Business School,

March 5, 2018

Following previous successful events held in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, we are very pleased to be able to announce that the fifth annual paper development workshop on organisational and institutional change will take place on March 5, 2018. This workshop has been generously sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies. As previously, this workshop offers an opportunity for scholars to develop their ongoing work related to organisational and/or institutional change. The workshop will be developmental with each paper having as a discussant a senior scholar with a track record of multiple publications in, and editorial/editorial board experience with, our leading journals.

Confirmed discussants include Shaz Ansari (University of Cambridge), Royston Greenwood (University of Alberta and University of Edinburgh), Jennifer Howard-Grenville (University of Cambridge), Candace Jones (University of Edinburgh), Tom Lawrence (University of Oxford), Nelson Phillips (Imperial College), Juliane Reinecke (King’s College London) and John Amis (University of Edinburgh).

Authors will also receive feedback from peers with similar research interests. It should be of special interest for colleagues recently graduated with a Ph.D., and doctoral students with quite well developed manuscripts; scholars more advanced in their careers are also welcome to attend. Selection of papers will be based on an abstract of 500 words.  The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 11, 2018. Full papers will be required by February 23, 2018.


The generous support of the ODC Division of the Academy of Management will allow us to provide a small number of $500 scholarships to help defray expenses for some doctoral students. Successful applicants to the workshop will automatically be considered for a scholarship: no separate application is required.

Logistics and Support to Participants

The Centre for Strategic Leadership at the University of Edinburgh Business School is pleased to host and jointly organize this workshop. The conference will consist of around 50 young faculty, student participants and senior colleagues who will discuss papers and offer developmental advice.

The atmosphere is expected to be collegial and informal, but centred on progressing working papers with the objective of getting them published in leading journals. There will also be a panel at which our discussants will provide insight into the publication process drawing on their experience as authors, editorial board members, and editors.

There is no conference fee, and no charge for lunch, coffee breaks and closing reception. Participants must make their own travel arrangements and pay for accommodation – we will provide recommendations of where to stay and hotels with a negotiated preferential rate. Participants are expected to attend for the whole day. If participants wish to extend their trip to enjoy Edinburgh and the surrounding area, we can help with advice and arrangements.

Key Dates

Submission of abstract: January 11, 2018

Notification of acceptance: January 15, 2018

Full paper due: February 23, 2018

Workshop: March 5, 2018

CfP: OS summer workshop 2018

Only a day09 left to submit to the

2018 Organization Studies Summer Workshop

Call for Papers

 Responding to Displacement, Disruption, and Division:

Organizing for Social and Institutional Change 

24-26 May 2018

Doryssa Seaside Resort, Samos, Greece




 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



The world today is experiencing jarring manifestations of displacement, disruption, and division, making for a troika of societal and institutional upheaval. Clearly we are facing growing social inequality 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). The rise in religious and national identity conflicts has spurred a substantial increase in global migration. 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, 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 displacement, disruption, and division will likely rock global society for the foreseeable future – and call for robust organizational and/or institutional responses.

For this 2018 Organization Studies Summer Workshop, 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 displacement, disruption, and division from varied perspectives and levels of analysis. We see that organizational scholars have much to contribute in these domains and we believe that our workshop 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 other research traditions. Our key goal is to bring together interested scholars who may be able to shed new light on organizing for social and institutional change in response to these forms of upheaval.

We see strong 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 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 displacement, disruption, and division 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 where 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 is important and encouraged.

With this call for papers, we hope to foster academic attention to this broad topical area by creating a workshop environment that is generative and developmental. 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 refugeeism, 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 displacement and disruption? 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?



The 13th Organization Studies Workshop will take place on 24-26 May 2017, in Samos, Greece. Interested participants must submit an abstract by December 5th , 2017, through the conference’s website: . Abstracts should be of no more than 1,000 words.

Authors will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by January 15th, 2018. Full papers must be submitted by April 30th, 2018.

The venue of the workshop is Doryssa Seaside Resort ( ), in the south east part of Samos island, close to the historic site of Pythagorion. Samos is connected with frequent air services with Athens, the biggest Greek cities and during the tourist season with all Europe. The workshop venue, comfortable, beautiful, and situated by the sea, will provide an ideal setting for participants to relax and engage in authentic and creative dialogues. Further details on the logistics of the workshop will be published through the OS Workshop website (

Following the workshop, a Special Issue will be announced in Organization Studies. To be considered for publication, 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. Please note that participation in the workshop is highly recommended (but not a prerequisite) if you intend to submit a paper to the Special Issue.



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, W.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.

Extended deadline for BH SI on History & Institutional Change

As we received several requests for extensions last week, the special issue editorial team decided to extend the submission deadline by three weeks to allow those authors who contacted us and any additional authors who may have missed the deadline because the of the Easter break to submit. Already submitted papers will be processed now, so you will hear from us shortly.

For the full call, see below:


 Business History Special Issue:

Historical Research on Institutional Change

Stephanie Decker, Aston University, UK,
Lars Engwall, Uppsala University, Sweden,
Michael Rowlinson, Queen Mary University, London,
Behlül Üsdiken, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey,

The important role that institutions play for all forms of organizations has been recognized in a wide variety of disciplines. Douglass North’s (1990) book on the nature of institutional change in economic history was influential in both economics and history. Likewise has among others the article by DiMaggio and Powell’s (1983) been significant in sociology and organization studies. Nevertheless, the nature of institutional change has remained a heavily contested subject that has not seen the same degree of theoretical and empirical development.

Institutional change is by its very definition a process that unfolds over long time periods with fundamentally unpredictable outcomes that can only be properly evaluated with hindsight. Because institutional change is a fundamental feature in historical research, many historians do not necessarily define or reflect on this as a research phenomenon in its own right. On the other hand many research debates in organization studies have remained curiously a-historical when developing the antecedents, outcomes and mediating factors for processes of institutionalization, institutional maintenance, and deinstitutionalization (Dacin, Munir and Tracey, 2010).

Nevertheless, between these two extremes there are many processes of institutional change in organizations that develop over time periods that are too long to research with the standard methods of qualitative social science such as interviews or participant observations. Here some historical approaches based on archival research may create more interesting research designs (Wright and Zammuto, 2013). Historical theory also has different insights to offer organization studies (Rowlinson, Hassard et al. 2014). It is in these areas that management and organizational history could contribute by investigating phenomena from a more long-term perspective. Suddaby, Foster et al. (2014) have similarly argued for a more historical institutionalism to address unresolved issues in institutional theory, such as the paradox of embedded agency.

Within business and organizational history, there is an increasing interest in questions of theory and methodology. Alternative approaches, not just those drawn from the social sciences, but also from historiography, such as oral history or microhistory, offer new ways of approaching research. Historians interpret institutional theory in different ways from organization scholars (Rowlinson and Hassard 2013), which offers new avenues for interdisciplinary dialogue.

Submissions may address the following issues and questions, although this list is not exclusive:

  • The five C’s of historical thinking (change over time, context, contingency, causality and complexity) and the possibilities of institutional theory (Andrews and Burke, 2007)
  • New institutional theory in organizational sociology has lost the focus of old institutionalism on issues of politics and power. Would historical institutionalism offer a useful corrective?
  • Alternative methodologies for historical institutionalism: oral history, microhistory, ANTi-history
  • Institutional transplants beyond legal and economic history
  • Institutional entrepreneurs and institutional work – the return of historical actors and contingent decision-making
  • Institutional logics or politically-motivated ideologies: old wine in new bottles?
  • Routines, practices and process vs. the eventful temporality of history
  • Beyond path dependency in explaining long-term structural change in historical perspective

We hope to attract papers with a long-term perspective focusing on institutions, organizations as well as on organizational fields. We envisage that papers will be empirically rich but also they are linked to current institutional theories. In addition we shall also consider theoretically or methodologically oriented contributions provided they address both historical and institutional theory concerns.

Background of this proposal

This year the Standing Working Group 8 on Historical Perspectives in Organization Studies received over 50 submissions to its call on “History, Institutions and Institutional Change” for the European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS) conference in Athens, Greece. Short paper submission from both historians and organization scholars were of very high quality and offered some exciting new approaches to both historical research and novel interpretations of institutional theory. As we are looking forward to the submission of long papers and the meeting in July 2015, we considered a special issue on this subject as timely and potentially significant for the further development of this interdisciplinary research. Considering the unusually large number of submissions, we feel confident that we will receive a significant number of high quality submissions for a special issue at Business History. We intend to have an open call for this special issue and use the EGOs track solely as a platform to advertise this call. The team of guest editors is international in composition, has different disciplinary backgrounds, and extensive editorial experience. Submission will be managed through Scholar One, and authors will be advised to submit their manuscripts directly to


Publish call for special issue: 1 July 2015 (to coincide with EGOS 2015)

Extended call for special issue: Monday 25 April 2016

Final decisions: 1 August 2017

Publication: Spring 2018

About the guest editors

Stephanie Decker is Professor of Organization Studies and History at Aston Business School, UK. As a historian working at a business school, most of her work is concerned with the relation between organization theory and history. She is co-editor of ‘Business History’ and is the recipient of the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2014-15, as well as the principal organizer of a seminar series on organizational history funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (UK). She co-authored “Research Strategies for Organizational History” (Academy of Management Review, 2014) with Michael Rowlinson and John Hassard.

Lars Engwall is Professor of Business Administration at Uppsala University since 1981. His research has been directed towards the development of industries and organizations as well as the creation and diffusion of management knowledge. Among his publications related to the sub-theme can be mentioned Mercury Meets Minerva (2009/1992), Management Consulting (2002, ed. with Matthias Kipping), The Expansion of Management Knowledge (2002, ed. with Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson), and Reconfiguring Knowledge Production (2010 with Richard Whitley and Jochen Gläser).

Michael Rowlinson is Professor of Management and Organizational History in the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London.  He has published widely on the relationship between history and organization theory in journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Business History, Human Relations, Organization, and Organization Studies. His research on corporate history concerns the representation of history by organizations, especially the dark side of their involvement in war, slavery, and racism. This has been published in journals such as Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Journal of Organizational Change Management, and Labour History Review. His current interests include the methodology of interpretive historical research in organization studies. He edited the journal Management & Organizational History from 2008 to 2013 and he is now a Senior Editor for Organization Studies and a co-editor for the Special Topic Forum of the Academy of Management Review on ‘History and Organization Studies: Toward a Creative Synthesis.’

Behlül Üsdiken is Professor of Management and Organization at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. Previously, he was a professor at Bogazici University. He has contributed to numerous journals as well as a variety of edited collections. He has served as a Co-editor of Organization Studies in 1996–2001 and a Section Editor of the Journal of Management Inquiry in 2007–2012. His current research focuses upon family business groups, management education and universities.


Dacin, MT., Munir K. and Tracey P. (2010) Formal Dining at Cambridge colleges: Linking ritual performance and institutional maintenance. Academy of Management Journal 53, 6: 1393-1418.

DiMaggio PJ. and Powell W. W. (1983) The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review 48,2: 147-160.

North DC. (1990) Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rowlinson, M. and J. Hassard (2013). “Historical neo-institutionalism or neo-institutionalist history? Historical research in management and organization studies.” Management & Organizational History 8, 2: 111-126.

Rowlinson, M., J. Hassard and S. Decker (2014). “Research Strategies for Organizational History: A Dialogue between Historical Theory and Organization Theory.” Academy of Management Review 39,3: 205-274.

Suddaby, R., W. M. Foster and A. J. Mills (2014). Historical Institutionalism. Organizations in Time: History, Theory, Methods. M. Bucheli and R. D. Wadhwani. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 100-123.

Wright, A. L. and Zammuto, R. F. (2013). Wielding the willow: Processes of institutional change in Englısh county cricket. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), 308–330