Research in the Sociology of Organizations
Expertise In and Around Organizations
Call for Abstracts
There is ample evidence that expertise is in crisis due to increasing distrust in and the diminished
authority of experts. We have witnessed – in relation to climate change and the pandemic – the
public, visible struggles among expert groups in which knowledge claims are revealed as
incommensurable and related courses of action are contested, further diminishing the authority of
expertise. Expertise also faces renewed challenges from intelligent technologies and efforts to
codify and institutionalize expertise in ways that increase managerial and organizational control
over experts. Despite these and other challenges, society continues to rely on expertise.
Organizations routinely turn to and depend on experts to address some of our most pressing and
important problems, including public health, issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity, the
management of the economy, and the reduction of CO2 emissions. We also observe the
emergence of new forms of expertise in and around organizations and changes in how expertise
is organized. Expertise – specialized knowledge and techniques about a class of social problems
and related solutions or responses to these problems – continues to be important.
Scholars from different fields of research (e.g., Organization Theory, Sociology, Science and
Technology Studies, and Policy Studies) have grappled with the topic of expertise through
various related concepts such as knowledge work, professions, specialization, and institutional
elites. These theoretical conversations create overlapping, complementary, and – at times –
incommensurate understandings of the constitution and production of expertise, its role and
mobilization in and around organizations, and its consequences for employees, organizations,
The goal of this volume is to bring these various ways of conceptualizing expertise into
conversation to understand the dynamics of expertise in and around organizations. We welcome
submissions that examine expertise empirically or conceptually. This includes, but is not limited
to, submissions that examine 1) new forms of expertise and new ways of organizing expertise, 2)
expertise in the context of work and professions, 3) expertise in various policymaking arenas,
and 4) expertise in relation to old and new technologies. We welcome a range of methodologies
Those interested in contributing to this volume should submit an extended abstract that
articulates the main argument of the paper as well as the setting, methods, preliminary findings,
and contributions by October 17th 2022. Abstracts should not exceed 3000 words excluding
references and tables. Abstracts for the volume should be submitted via EasyChair.
Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to participate in a paper development workshop in the spring of 2023. Final papers will be due by autumn of 2023.
If you have any questions about the volume, please contact a member of the editorial team.
Kasper Elmholdt, Aalborg University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruthanne Huising, Emlyon Business School, email@example.com
Elina Mäkinen, Tampere University, firstname.lastname@example.org