Conference: EPIC 2016 “Organizations & Change”

EPIC, an international network of scholars and practitioners advancing ethnographic & social science approaches to industry & organizations, extends a call for participation to its annual conference, EPIC2016.  OOW members may be particularly interested in the paper track “Organizations & Change”.

EPIC2016 Call for Participation:

Organizations & Change Paper Track:

About the Organizations & Change Paper Track

 From and city police departments, to Volkswagon and Gravity Payments, the past year saw dramatic headlines about organizational cultures (and their consequences for employees and our wider society). The stories inevitably included a call for change to something different, something better. Yet the flurry of commentary offered little in the way of serious reflection on organizations as cultures. Nor did it address how organizations shape (and are shaped by) the wider societal dynamics within which they exist, or how and why cultures change. As the discipline which specializes in the nuanced and contextual understanding of culture, ethnography offers a much-needed voice in these discussions.

This track invites contributors to take up the challenge of how our work can inform the public discussion around organizational culture and change. We are soliciting papers that will deeply engage with the wide ethnographic literature on cultural dynamics; combining it with Business School and applied management research on organizations and change management. Contributors are strongly encouraged to promote a healthy collision of these disciplines to ask new questions, and reframe the conversation around what is happening in organizations (as well as how to best address conflicts and seize opportunities).

For example, how is our understanding of police violence expanded if we re-frame officer training as ritual, and police departments as kin networks, or pull backwards to see conflicts as a struggle over available resources? What can we learn about broader societal conflicts by studying contrasting institutions, such as and Gravity Payments? How can applying classical social theory concerning the nature of ‘charisma’ and ‘authority’ provide new insights into how leaders pull entire organizations in new directions? Submissions are urged to employ core topics from the social sciences and use them to advance our understanding of business and institutions (suggesting innovative solutions based on ways organizations and cultures across the globe have addressed parallel challenges).

We request papers that take on the following topics (as applied to any field–businesses, non-profits, policy, academia, military, etc.):

  • How and why organizational cultures change?
  • How have such cultures across time and history faced specific challenges?
  • What is the relationship between any specific organization and the wider culture within which it exists?
  • What determines the directional change of an organization?
  • What roles do narrative, behavior, material goods, and space play in the dynamics of organizational change?
  • What do we need to understand in order to create change?
  • How can we intervene in or control organizational dynamics?
  • What ethical considerations should guide our involvement in organizational change?
  • What are the consequences of creating change? Who else is impacted?

We welcome your submissions! Please read the full Call for Participation for submission details. Questions?

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