Call for Papers: Organization Science Winter Conference

Call for Papers: Organization Science Winter Conference 2019

“The Disciplines and Organization Science”

Feb. 28 – March 2, 2019

Phoenix, Arizona


  • Anne Bowers, University of Toronto
  • Hillary Anger Elfenbein, Washington University
  • Brayden King, Northwestern University
  • Francisco Polidoro, University of Texas at Austin
  • Filippo Carlo Wezel, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI Lugano)

Organization science is an interdisciplinary endeavor, bringing together scholars who do “fundamental research about organizations, including their processes, structures, technologies, identities, capabilities, forms, and performance.” The history of the journal (and the broader field of organizational research) has strong links to other academic disciplines, including psychology and sociology. Psychology’s emphasis on individual behavior has informed research on the behavioral microfoundations of organizations, whereas sociological perspectives on society and institutions inform theories about the social context in which organizations operate.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together scholars who contribute to organization science and simultaneously engage the disciplines of psychology and sociology. Engagement is a two-way street. In some cases, organizational scholars borrow insights from the disciplines to enrich our theories of organizations, but at the same time empirical research on organizations shapes the disciplines in significant ways. The conference encourages submissions of original research of both types: scholarship that both draws from and extends theories in psychology and sociology.

Illustrative but not exhaustive topics of research to be included in the conference are:

Culture and Politics

  • Political turmoil and cultural changes alter the environments of organizations and create unique challenges for organizational leaders. How does political polarization affect organizations, including their employee culture and strategic actions? How has the nonmarket environment of organizations given rise to new strategies and tactics?
  • To what extent do the moral foundations of psychology explain differences in employee cultures? In what ways does racial, political and cultural conflict seep into organizational life?  How do different cultural mindsets shape market differentiation?
  • Which theories in political and cultural sociology and moral and political psychology are relevant to better understanding contemporary organizations?

Intraorganizational and Interorganizational Networks

  • The structure of social interactions within an organization and among organizations shapes the behavior and the performance outcomes of both individuals and organizations. How do intraorganizational networks and interorganizational networks relate to each other? How are they distinct?
  • To what extent do personal characteristics account for the roles assigned to employees and, accordingly, the positions they occupy in intraorganizational networks? How do employee retention and employee turnover affect the stability of those networks? What are the motivational antecedents of network transformation?
  • What are the microfoundations of interorganizational network structures? To which extent are these structures sensitive to the individuals that span organizational boundaries? Under which situations do they become robust to the departure of boundary spanners? How does the configuration of networks affect the (a)symmetry of rewards and opportunities captured by organizations and their employees?

Organizational Learning and Organizational Capabilities

  • Learning occurs both at the level of individuals and at the level of organizations. Organizations also constitute a relevant context in which individuals learn. How can recent advances in the psychological antecedents of learning further knowledge about organizational learning? How can research on organizational learning inform theories about learning by individuals?
  • Which mechanisms underlying individual cognition can help us understand differences across organizations in their abilities to adapt, learn, and innovate? How can research in psychology inform the design of organizational structures, practices and cultures that are conducive to dynamic capabilities? What are the social consequences of disparities across organizations in their abilities to learn?

Emotion and Relationships in the Workplace

  • Organizations are emotional arenas. Not surprisingly, emotion has become a very popular–and popularized–topic within organizational research. This is a topic where organizational researchers have particularly looked to the disciplines, notably psychology, for foundational theories and research insights. How can topics within management be informed by an emotion-infused perspective? How do these fundamental evolutionary processes influence our daily work lives?
  • Relationships feature prominently in organizational life.  We need to work productively with others in interdependent contexts, and it is worth drawing from psychological theories on close relationships, friendship, and the acquaintance process.  Why are some workplace relationships closer than others?  As just one example, how do interpersonal skills influence job performance and other important outcomes?

Organizational Identities and Organizational Status

  • Recent societal and technological trends expose organizations to heightened competition and to the public assessments of audience members. Identities and status have emerged as valuable intangible assets to navigate this complex and evolving landscape. Because identities and status lie in the eyes of the beholder, theorizing around organizations increasingly requires a well-informed demand-perspective. Sociology and psychology are natural allies to improve our understanding of the individual, social, and institutional basis of evaluation.
  • Notwithstanding the progress made on this topic, several questions beg for further attention. For instance, what is the relationship between organizational identity and organizational status? Which contextual and institutional conditions channel the attention of audience members towards one or the other? How do audience expectations and organizational identities evolve in face of recent societal trends, such as digitalization and globalization? What is the role of organizational status and identities in labor markets?

Inequality in Organizations and Careers

  • The study of inequality encompasses a wide range of concerns for organizations and careers, including disadvantages related to gender but also racial, religious, and economic diversity, questions of status, including occupational prestige, individual status, and the interactions around them.  Inequality in organizations can be conscious or the result of unconscious biases.  It comes from multiple sources, including beliefs of individuals, processes in organizations, and choices at organizational foundings.  Organizations attempt to deal with inequality, but yet it often persists.  While much has been done to establish the pervasive issue of inequality in careers, more is needed, and we know less about what to do to lessen it.  What solutions could there be, and where do organizations and individuals find them?   When and why do these processes fail?  What are the consequences of efforts to address inequality, both intended and unintended?
  • Additionally, for a given individual, group, or organization, there may be multiple sources of inequality (for example, a woman with a prestigious educational background, or a manager from a low education background; or with organizations, status in one domain, but lower status in another).  Often the multiplex nature of inequality is relegated to the background, but what knowledge can be gained from considering it explicitly?  How do these complex but common considerations impact careers or organizational performance? How does the current proliferation of new job titles affect the inequality perceived within and around organizations?

Submission and/or Participation Application

We invite 3- to 5-page proposals for paper submissions or interactive poster sessions on the theme of the conference. Important: We can guarantee only one participant per paper/poster given the size of the venue. Requests for a second participant will be considered after the program is final.

If you are interested in attending the Organization Science Winter Conference, but not as a participant on the program, please submit a one-paragraph statement expressing your desire to participate and describing your interest in the topics addressed above.

Please submit your proposals to December 30, 2018 is the deadline for proposals or individual applications to attend.

As has been the case in the past, much of the plenary program is created from proposals and suggestions received from scholars wishing to participate in OSWC. Most authors will be invited to join another highly acclaimed OSWC tradition—the open-ended, evening-long (7–10pm) Interactive Poster Sessions. 50% of the OSWC participation slots are reserved for participants new to the conference (have not attended in the previous three years). Invitations to attend will be extended by the program committee for OSWC24 by January 14, 2019.


Further details on registration and hotels will be coming soon to the Organization Science Website:

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