Call for Abstracts: Hybrid ISA World Congress of Sociology

Organizational Sociology for the hybrid ISA World Congress of Sociology
2023, Melbourne, Australia, June 25-July 1, 2023.

Deadline for submission of abstracts (max. 300 words) is September 30, 2022.

We are delighted to invite you to submit your abstracts for the ISA World Congress of Sociology 2023. The ISA World Congress of Sociology of the International Sociological Association offers a unique forum to discuss current developments with a global scholarship.

The Research Committee on Sociology of Organizations (RC17) calls for submissions related to the following 13 topics. All sessions accept submissions in English, many also in French and Spanish. The conference will take place in a hybrid format, meaning that you can choose to either participate in person on site or digitally.

More information under:

Call for Submissions: Employability, Research in the Sociology of Work


Call for Papers to be Published in Research in the Sociology of Work
Rick Delbridge, Markus Helfen, Andi Pekarek, and Gretchen Purser, editors

Employability has become an increasingly widespread concept both in management and policy,
reflecting significant transformations in the world of work. Employability refers to a broad and
amorphous collection of personal characteristics that purportedly make someone more able to
gain and maintain employment. It points beyond hard skills to things like attitude, flexibility,
emotional intelligence, resilience, initiative, and character. Framed as an attribute of a person,
individuals are thus lauded as “employable” or dismissed as “unemployable.” This rhetoric of
employability is intensely individualizing, shifting attention away from labor market structures
and dynamics and towards one’s self and personal capabilities and shortcomings. Rarely asking
the question of what “employability” may mean for employing organizations, employability
works hand in hand with the neoliberal doctrine on individual responsibility and
commodification, legitimating unemployment and labor market marginalization. Thus
responsibility – for skills development and employment opportunities – falls to individuals not
employers and the state.
Yet, for the individual worker, employability itself appears as a moving target and a never secure
status. Employability is therefore deemed to be something one must constantly pursue,
particularly given the precarious character of work and the erosion of long-term employment
relationships. For those in employment, the aggressive promotion and unending pursuit of
employability have exacerbated all those unremunerated but time-consuming activities that do
not count as work but are required to sell oneself to an employer and/or keep a toehold in the
labor market: networking, training, resume writing, character building, skill acquiring.
For those out of employment, employability animates a labor market policy in which all kinds of
state and nonprofit programs and street-level bureaucrats focus on helping individuals navigate

and maximize their chances in the labor market including “reprogramming” those deemed “hard-
to-employ”. The individualizing discourse of employability extends to coping with job loss and

the encouragement to be resilient and resourceful. Employability has similarly come to shape
schooling, vocational training, and higher education policy, with universities and schools
increasingly offering “career readiness” certification and subordinating academic aspirations to
hypothetical employer demands for ever-more “employable” job candidates.

This special issue of Research in the Sociology of Work invites papers that explore all aspects of
employability. We welcome both empirical and conceptual papers. Articles may address any of a
wide range of topics and themes, including but not limited to the following:
! Employability programs
! Employability and labor market policy
! The politics of employability
! Employability and educational practices and policies
! The cultural rhetoric of employability
! The “unemployable”
! Employability and disability
! Employability, inclusivity and inequality
! Gender, race, and employability
! Employability and identity
! Institutions of employability
! Unions and employability
! Employability in operation: HRM policy and practice
! Employment management work
! Employers and employability: Regulation and responsibilities
! Working time and employability investments

Submissions may be made at any time up until November 30, 2022. Please submit your
manuscript to and include “Employability” in the subject line.

Call for Submissions: Essentiality of Work, Research in the Sociology of Work

Essentiality of Work

Call for Papers to be Published in Research in the Sociology of Work

Rick Delbridge, Markus Helfen, Andi Pekarek and Gretchen Purser, editors

The Covid pandemic has had a variety of significant consequences for work, workers and
workplaces, the lasting effects of which are still to be determined. One of the more interesting
and complex of these has been the invocation of notions of essentiality. For example,
policymakers and the media have made wide reference to ‘essential work’ and ‘essential
workers’, shaping the ways in which governments have sought to respond to the crisis. Whether
work is essential or not has been (re-)discovered as an important question in public and
academic debate during periods of societal disruption, in this case caused by Covid, but also
important during earlier periods of crisis.

Such questions reveal the social character of work – and the socially constructed discourses that
shape and inform the nature of work, the experiences of workers and the wider perceptions of
these – in consequential ways. This rediscovery of essentiality alludes to the diverging societal
relevance attached to various types of work, but also reminds us of the questions of valuation
and valorization of different activities as work. What has been exposed is the jarring disconnect
between those whose roles have central significance to the functioning of society and everyday
life and the ‘value’ that society places upon their work. While essential work is often invisible
and forgotten in normal times, deemed to be subject to replacement and automation in polarized
labour markets and taking place in locations and sites distant from sanitized office spaces,
during periods of crisis those activities come to the fore. Unfortunately, the pay, status and
working conditions of many of those delivering essential work – including care work – are
inferior compared to other jobs and occupations. Indeed, much of this essential work is
undertaken by those suffering the greatest societal and economic disadvantages, including
women and immigrants.

There are deeper considerations that are also brought to the surface when contemplating the
meaning of essential work and workers, and the dimensions of the essentiality of work. These
discussions raise considerations about the centrality of the work experience in modern life for
those working and raise new questions about the essence of work and its place in contemporary

This issue of Research in the Sociology of Work seeks to shed new light on both the enduring
and newly emerging questions concerning the essentiality (or non-essentiality) of work by
publishing papers engaging with theoretical and empirical aspects of these questions. For
example, we are interested in understanding the perceptions and experiences of those labelled
‘essential workers’ during and after the Covid-19 crisis, and in comparative explorations in
the experiences of essential workers during other periods (e.g. the global financial crisis of
2007-2008) and across different geographies. We also encourage submissions that examine whether and how workers and their allies (e.g. unions) can mobilize positive public sentiment
towards essential work in campaigns for better pay and working conditions. Further, we are
interested in reflections on how government policies respond to the need for essential work to
be maintained and any legacies there may be in the future. We also welcome papers that
explore the methodological issues in how to research the essentiality of work and deeper
philosophical considerations of the meanings and consequences of ‘essential work’. In
exploring the concept of essentiality in its varieties, we invite contributions that seek to
expand the analytical potential of studying work from the bottom-up.

Articles can address any of a wide range of topics and themes, including but not limited to the
• Essential work in various sectors and industries such as care work, hospitals, transport,
and retail
• “Non-essential” work and workers
• Precarity, inequality, and essentiality
• Reproductive and care work
• Institutions and the boundaries of (non)essential work
• Valuation and valorization of essentiality of work and workers
• Discourses of essential work and essential workers
• Media portrayals of essential work
• Futures of essential work, pay, automation and skills
• Essential work in the context of the climate crisis
• Spaces and places of essentiality, including remote work
Submissions may be made at any time up until the extended deadline of August 31, 2022. Please
submit your manuscript to and include Essentiality in the subject line.

Call for Submissions: Organization Studies, Special issue: Trust in Uncertain Times

Organization Studies Call for Papers – Special Issue on “Trust in Uncertain Times”

Organization Studies is soliciting submissions to its upcoming Special Issue on “Trust in
Uncertain Times.” The Special Issue is guest edited by CTS Director Oliver Schilke, CTS Board
Member Reinhard Bachmann, Kirsimarja Blomqvist, Rekha Krishnan, and Jörg Sydow. The
objective of the Special Issue is to serve as a focal point for theory development on and
empirical insights into the various ways in which trust and uncertainty intersect, with a special
emphasis on the role of institutions in explaining the interface between the two. The deadline
for submissions is June 30, 2023.

For more details, see the Call for Papers.

MORE information:

Trust has become one of the most widely researched topics in organization studies (de Jong, et
al., 2017). Often broadly understood as the willingness to make oneself vulnerable to the actions
of another party (Mayer, et al., 1995; Rousseau, et al., 1998), trust plays a central role in virtually
all intra- and inter-organizational interactions. Prior research suggests that trust can alleviate
concerns of opportunism, which reduces inter-partner conflict and transaction costs (Anderson,
et al., 2017; Zaheer, et al., 1998).
Although the study of trust represents a long-standing area of inquiry in organization studies,
several recent technological advancements and geopolitical developments have dramatically
changed the landscape in which trust is embedded, pointing to the need for a re-examination and
extension of earlier accounts. Perhaps most notably, the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution
(Schwab, 2017) is fundamentally altering both economic transactions and social exchange
(Meyer & Quattrone, 2021). Supported by unprecedented degrees of connectivity and processing
of vast amounts of data (Hanelt, et al., 2021), digital technologies provide significant
opportunities to re-design work and develop more open, flexible, and scalable organizing;
however, their fast development and complexity also create considerable uncertainty for
organizations. Digital technologies are transforming the nature of human interactions (Iansiti &
Lakhani, 2020), with profound impacts on organizations, organizing, and the organized (Alaimo,
forthcoming). Specifically, there are reasons to believe that digital technologies may cause trust
to become more institution-based (Lumineau, et al., 2020), with formal mechanisms substituting
for a history of interpersonal exchange as the source of trust. For instance, digital platforms
facilitate trust between strangers (Abrahao, et al., 2017; Kuwabara, 2015; Mikołajewska-Zając,
et al., forthcoming), blockchains can automate agreements with unknown partners (Hsieh, et al.,
2018; Lumineau, et al., 2021), and artificial intelligence (AI) helps in assessing partners’
trustworthiness (Liu, et al., 2014). As a result, trust may become comparatively less personal
(Seidel, 2018; Vanhala, et al., 2011) and more embedded in the institutional environment
(Bachmann & Inkpen, 2011).

These technological developments come amidst unprecedented levels of geopolitical uncertainty
and an accelerated decline of trust in institutions (Citrin & Stoker, 2018). Thought of as a relic
from the past, a new cold war seems to be possible again. The Russian invasion of Ukraine
exemplifies how key tenets of the economic world order—such as globalisation, free trade, and
democracy—are more fragile than many assumed. What is more, China has emerged as a new
superpower that is increasingly demanding its share of the global system of power and influence,
leading to tensions and new challenges. The world has been massively shaken by a pandemic
that has demonstrated the instability of trust in the absence of strong institutions (Fancourt, et al.,
2020) while highlighting the critical need for various forms of trust in times of distress (Schilke,
et al., 2021). In parallel, climate change will force humanity to completely rethink our energy
sourcing, with a substantial impact on almost every industry, transportation, and private

consumption, and trust in reliable institutions may represent a critical mechanism supporting pro-
environmental behaviour that could address this challenge (Smith & Mayer, 2018).

Our theories of trust in organizations and processes of organizing need to reflect these
transformative changes. Against this background, we believe it is both important and timely to
reassess the role of trust in intra- and inter-organizational settings to better understand how
relevant contemporary developments affect and are affected by trust. The ongoing disruptive
technological, political, and societal changes that are affecting organizations call for revisiting
the very concept of trust, along with its consequences and the processes that underly its
development, maintenance, and repair.
The objective of this Special Issue is to serve as a focal point for theory development on and
empirical insights into the various ways in which trust and uncertainty intersect, with a special
emphasis on the role of institutions in explaining the interface between the two.
The Special Issue invites submissions that make substantial contributions to our understanding of
trust in organized settings.
We embrace a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. The range of

theoretical orientations may include institutional, structurationist, ethnomethodological, socio-
material, phenomenological, and beyond. Diverse methodological approaches are welcome,

including case studies, experiments, secondary data analyses, and surveys. Purely conceptual
papers, empirical investigations, and combinations of theoretical and empirical research will also
be considered.

Our interest is directed toward trust at various analytical levels (i.e., micro, meso, and macro-
levels), as long as organizations or organizing have a central place in the analysis. At the micro

level, for instance, we find it worthwhile to revisit the role of ‘facework’ (Giddens, 1990),
boundary work (Weber, et al., forthcoming), and rituals (Collins, 2004; Krishnan, et al., 2021) in

organizational settings, as such analyses will be clearly geared toward a better understanding of
the relationship between trust and institutional arrangements in uncertain contexts.
Below, we list a total of nine exemplary research topics that we believe will provide useful
springboards for contributions that fit the scope of the special issue. However, submissions do
not have to be limited to these themes.
Potential Research Topics

  • Uncertainty and trust. Uncertainty, in its various forms, is inseparably linked to the
    concept of trust. Uncertainty is often thought of as a precondition for trust, in that trust
    tends to be more relevant when uncertainty is high (Deutsch, 1958; Yamagishi, et al.,
    1998). Yet, it is precisely under conditions of high uncertainty when trust is particularly
    difficult to produce, given the trustor’s difficulty to reliably predict the trustee’s level of
    trustworthiness. Thus, many forms of trust production, and in particular institution-based
    trust production mechanisms, are fundamentally aimed at reducing uncertainty
    (Bachmann, 2001; Zucker, 1986). Taken together, these two positions result in an
    intriguing paradox (Krishnan, et al., 2006; Yamagishi, 2011): trust is more important
    when uncertainty is high but its presence reduces this very uncertainty. Given their
    complex interplay, we need greater insight into how different forms of uncertainty and
    trust coevolve and are reciprocally intertwined.
  • A broader understanding of institution-based trust. Institutions are central to
    prominent accounts of trust production (Bachmann & Inkpen, 2011; Fuglsang & Jagd,
    2015; Möllering, 2006; Nooteboom, 2007; Owen & Currie, forthcoming; Schilke, et al.,
    2017; Zucker, 1986), but most of these discussions have focused on a rather limited set of

institutions, such as reputation systems and intermediaries. Broadly understood as taken-
for-granted, normatively sanctioned role structures and interaction orders (Ocasio, et al.,

2017), institutions are everywhere (albeit certainly not everything, Ocasio & Gai, 2020).
They exist at several levels of analysis—ranging from dyadic relationships to
organizations, inter-organizational networks, organizational fields, societies, and the
world system. Armed with this insight, we need to expand our repertoire of institutions
that shape the production of trust in a wide variety of contexts. Embracing the contingent
nature of trust production, we need to address the following question: What types of
institutions effectively support or restrict which types of trust in what settings? How is
trust in one institution intertwined with trust in another institution?

  • Platform-enabled institutions and trust. It is also important to explore the ways
    institutions may serve as substitutes (rather than bases) for trust by eliminating the
    vulnerability of actors that is often seen as a defining feature of trust (Cook, 2015). One
    case in point are platform-enabled peer-to-peer reputation systems, which have emerged
    as important online institutions shaping exchanges through mechanisms such as peer
    feedback (Bauman & Bachmann, 2017; Kuwabara, 2015). Do such institutional
    arrangements indeed foster trust, or do they safeguard exchange partners against
    opportunism by enforcing cooperation? Under what conditions can platform-based
    institutions give rise to trusting communities?


  • Micro-level mechanisms of the trust and institutions nexus. Institutions are a key
    source of trust production, but the precise mechanisms through which they create trust are
    largely unknown (Zucker & Schilke, 2020). Why do people trust individuals and
    organizations that are institutionally endorsed? In particular, what role does legitimacy—
    as a key institutional process—play in institution-based trust production? Conversely,
    what are the mechanisms through which trust affects actors’ engagement with
  • Trust of meso-level institutions. The notion that institutions can be a target of trust is
    largely uncontroversial; however, the questions of whether and in what ways formal
    institutions—including organizations—have the capacity to place trust in other actors
    have often been ignored (but see Sydow, 2006). We need a better theoretical account for
    elaborating organizations’ capacity to trust that avoids merely anthropomorphizing
    collective entities. In what ways is trust placed by collective actors similar to and
    different from trust placed by individuals? Are the drivers of individuals’ trust
    generalizable to those of organizations’ trust?
  • Macro-level institutions and trust. There are substantial differences among institutions
    embedded in distinct national environments (Henisz & Swaminathan, 2008; North,
    1990); similarly, trust is known to differ markedly across nations (Lane & Bachmann,
    1996; Yamagishi & Yamagishi, 1994). Nonetheless, a systematic account of how
    country-level institutions shape trust at the individual and organizational levels is largely
    lacking. Thus, we ask these questions: Which types of regulatory, normative, and
    cognitive institutions at the country level can explain generalized trust? Moreover, is
    there a reciprocal effect of generalized trust on the emergence of country-level
  • Institutionalisation of trust. In some cases, the amount of trust placed is the result of a
    deliberate and reflective cognitive process that systematically weighs the pros and cons
    (Hardin, 1992); however, in many other cases, trust represents a rather automatic and
    highly institutionalised process (Kroeger, 2011, 2013; Schilke, et al., 2013). We need to
    know more about this institutionalised side of trust—under what circumstances it is likely
    to dominate and what (positive and negative) consequences it may entail. Particularly
    useful would be a process-oriented approach (e.g., Brattström, et al., 2019; Weber, et al.,
    forthcoming) that identifies relevant stages in the institutionalisation of trust—for
    instance, ranging from habitualisation to objectification to sedimentation (Berger &
    Luckmann, 1966; Tolbert & Zucker, 1996) and deinstitutionalisation (Clemente &
    Roulet, 2015). What are the mechanisms explaining the shift from one stage to another,
    and what conditions affect the pace at which the institutionalisation process may unfold
    in organizations and society as a whole?
  • Erosion of trust in institutions. Institutions that enjoy public trust are a bedrock of
    society as we know it, yet trust in institutions is in stark decline, raising concerns about
    the rise of populism and conspiracy theories (Hosking, 2019). The reasons for this
    downward trend have remained largely elusive and require greater elaboration. Going

beyond interactions between citizens and the state, trust in public institutions has
important trickle-down effects on trust in private and public organizations. Examining the
nested nature of these trust relations—that is, how trust in institutions is related to trust in
organizations and individuals—provides much potential for approaching trust from a
systems perspective that allows for appreciating the relational complexity in trust
dynamics in society.

  • Digital technologies and trust. The decline of trust in institutions has coincided with the
    advent of digital technologies. Several aspects of digital technologies—including
    blockchains, big data, and AI—may have critical implications for trust in organizational
    o An increasing number of organizations consider the adoption of blockchains for
    structuring a wide variety of transactions (Lumineau, et al., 2021). In what ways
    and under which conditions do blockchains complement and/or substitute for
    trust? And how do blockchains alter the nature of trust if economic actors are no
    longer directly connected and may not even know each other (Hsieh, et al., 2018)?
    o Big data may come with huge benefits for society but also significant potential for
    misuse (Symons & Alvarado, 2016), and overreliance on big data analytics may
    transform organizations into near total institutions where conformity is enforced
    via constant surveillance (Anteby & Chan, 2018; Newlands, 2021). How may
    trusting communities emerge despite digital surveillance, and how can digital
    surveillance systems be used in a trustworthy fashion?
    o As AI is increasingly taking over decision making within and between
    organizations (Glikson & Woolley, 2020; Kaur, et al., 2022), the trustworthiness
    of this technology becomes an important issue (Shrestha, et al., 2019; Srinivasan
    & Chander, 2021). As a result, we need to reassess the age-old question of when
    opaque technological systems can be (dis)trusted.

Submitting your paper
Please submit your manuscript through the journal’s online submission system
( ). You will need to create a user account if you do not
already have one, and you must select the appropriate Special Issue at the “Manuscript Type”
option. The Special Issue Editors handle all manuscripts in accordance with the journal’s policies
and procedures; they expect authors to follow the journal’s submission guidelines You can submit your manuscript for this
Special Issue between June 8 and June 30 2023. For administrative support and general queries,
you may contact Sophia Tzagaraki, Managing Editor of Organization Studies, at


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Call for Submissions: Special Issue on Sustainable Work and Employment in Social Care, Human Resource Management

Call for Papers


Guest Editors:

Ian Kessler (King’s College London, UK,
Aoife McDermott (Cardiff University, UK,
Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven, Belgium,
Lander Vermeerbergen (Radboud University, The Netherlands,

Brian Harney (Dublin City University,

Rationale and objectives:
The social care workforce supports the most vulnerable members of society through the
provision of personal support and practical assistance, typically in a community, residential or
domestic setting. Yet this is a workforce itself vulnerable to low pay, precarious employment,
and limited career development opportunities (Harley et al., 2010; Rubery et al., 2015). Despite
these challenges, and indeed the significant and growing scale of the social care workforce in
most developed countries (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022), social care work and
employment have received limited attention in the HRM literature, particularly relative to the
healthcare sector (Cooke & Bartram, 2015). While the health and social care sectors are
interdependent, often dealing with the same vulnerable groups at different stages of their care
journey, they remain structurally and organizationally distinct. Social care is a fragmented
sector, comprising many small and medium-sized care providers, limiting their capacity to
develop a supportive HRM infrastructure, in turn contributing to endemic problems of
recruiting and retaining staff in the sector. Most recently liberalization has introduced new
market forces into the sector placing downward pressures on workforce terms and conditions
as employers seek to compete on the basis of cost (Hermann & Flecker, 2012).
The workforce challenges in social care have become even more pressing in the wake of
COVID-19. Often treated by policy makers as the ‘poor relation’ to healthcare in fighting the
pandemic, social care has been inadequately prepared and resourced to deal with the crisis,
placing inordinate and intense job demands on employees (Barnett & Grabowski, 2020).
Indeed, COVID has generated new workforce concerns for the sector, relating to: employee
well-being; the balance between risk and reward; and the effective articulation of employee
voice (Butterick & Charlwood, 2020; Johnson & Pulignano, 2021). In focusing on social care,
this Special Issue aims to deepen understanding of workforce management in a much neglected
but growing sector, emerging from a crisis with challenges to traditional assumptions about the
low value and poor treatment of its workforce. The Special Issue is keen to bring together
international, comparative, and critical perspectives on the nature, causes and consequences of
employment systems in social care. It seeks to shape the future research agenda on HRM in the
social care sector, and to contribute to the development of policy and practice as a means of
improving care and the quality of life for those giving and receiving it.

Potential theoretical advancement and practical significance:
Social care work and employment raise myriad theoretical issues. First, multi-level analysis
allows for contributions examining cross national, national, organizational, and individual

employee approaches to and experiences of work and employment in social care. However, the
Special Issue provides a chance to consider how these different levels interact with one another,
shaping developments and experiences. Thus, there is an opportunity to draw upon and
contribute to institutional theory, for instance, by examining how the form assumed by national
welfare states influences the architecture of employment systems in the social care sector, in
turn influencing choices available to and constraints on social care employers as they manage
their workforces and with implications for how employees experience work.
Second, with the social care workforce heavily feminized and often ethnically diverse,
theoretical issues on or relating to the value (or lack of) attached to the care work performed
by these employees move ‘center stage’. The intersection between gender and ethnicity,
perhaps overlapping with migrant status, assumes particular importance in explaining the
often-precarious working lives of social care workers (Burns et al., 2016; Rubery et al., 2015).
Closely related there is scope to advance theory on segmented labor markets, especially the
creation of secondary labor markets for social care workers, generating low paid, low status
jobs. Employers are often “the architects of inequalities in labor markets’ (Grimshaw et al.,
2017) encouraging an interest in whether, why and how social care providers, perhaps along
with other actors such as the State, contribute to the degraded work and employment terms and
conditions of their workforce.
Third, the Special Issue is keen to theorize on the relationship between workforce management
and organizational outcomes in social care. The strategic HRM literature (SHRM) centers on
the connection between HRM practices and organizational performance, principally viewed in
terms of financial outcomes (profit, shareholder value) (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). In social care,
organizational performance assumes a very different form, for example, as public value
(Brewer, 2013), along with the well-being of vulnerable community members. This prompts
interest in whether and how the management of the social care workforce impacts these
outcomes. The mainstream SHRM literature focuses on a positive link between organizational
performance and ‘soft’ workforce management practices, typically characterized as ‘high
commitment’ or ‘high involvement’ (Guest, 2017). This would appear to be at odds with the
‘harder’ cost minimization practices often associated with the social care sector.
Finally, the Special Issue can advance theory on interest aggregation and articulation,
particularly given the various actors involved in HRM in social care, with shared, but often
conflicting interests. Stakeholder interaction has been studied through various perspectives
within the HRM literature (Heery, 2017), with pluralists and radical approaches focusing on
traditional HRM actors – employers, workers, and the State – typically seeking to manage
tensions through the collective regulation of employment. In social care, other potential HRM
actors come to the fore (Vermeerbergen et al., 2021), for example: the generic user of social
care services, their family, and friends; civil society organizations, representing these user
interests; and individuals with lived experience of conditions – homelessness, substance abuse,
mental illness – increasingly employed in the social care sector workforce (Kessler & Bach,
2011). Whether, and how these new stakeholders combine with more traditional actors to
address shared workforce issues, and with what consequences, becomes a central issue, not
least given the generally disorganized nature of employment regulation in social care.
Contributions might use and contribute to mobilization or advocacy coalition (Tattersall, 2010)
theory, with paradox theory helping to examine how different and competing interests of
groups might be balanced and pursued (Jarzabkowski et al., 2013).

Key themes/scope of focus:
Broadly aligned with the four theoretical streams outlined above, this Special Issue invites
papers to discuss themes and issues including but not limited to the following:
Theme 1: Antecedents of sustainable work and employment systems in social care:
• How do national models of the welfare state, and approaches to the delivery and funding
of social care impact the sector’s employment system?
• How resilient has this employment system been? Has it been subject to change, for
example in the context of austerity or financialization bringing forth new types of social
care provider, and with what implications for the social care workforce, HRM and its
• How and to what extent are key challenges like recruiting and retaining staff in the
social care sector effectively addressed by national and organizational policies?
Theme 2: Workforce diversity and precarious employment in social care
• Why and how do secondary labor markets founded on low pay, low status, insecure
employment, and poor career development opportunities emerge in social care?
• How do gender, ethnicity, and migrant status intersect to shape the work and
employment treatment and experience of social care workers?
• To what extent and how will the workforce challenges exposed by Covid be addressed
by the State, employers, labor unions and other actors, not least in securing a fairer
balance between the high societal value displayed by a largely feminized social care
workforce and the rewards received?
Theme 3: Strategic HRM in social care
• Are there examples of ‘best practice’ in the management of the social care workforce,
whether in terms of pay, career development, work design, workforce planning or skill
mix, and is the adoption of such practice related to organizational outcomes?
• How developed is the specialist HR function in social care, especially given the small
and medium sized nature of many social care providers, and what role do line managers
play in dealing with the social care workforce?
• With care delivered to different user groups in a variety of settings – care homes for the
elderly and children at risk, sheltered accommodation for those with disabilities and
personal residences for those with less severe chronic conditions, does the treatment of
the workforce vary according to these market segments and if so how and why?
Theme 4: New HRM actors in social care
• Are new HRM actors, such as civil society organizations, services users, volunteers,
and personal assistants playing a role in shaping the workforce management agenda in
social care, and if so, what forms does it take?
• Are coalitions in social care being developed between traditional HRM actors, for
example trade unions, and newer actors to pursue shared and complementary goals?
• In wake of Covid are employees and perhaps employers seeking a stronger employee
voice in social care, and the development of collective institutions to regulate work and
employment relations?

Submission Process:
Authors can submit their paper between March 1st – 31st 2023 to HRM for review. Details on
the manuscript submission process will be made available nearer to the submission period.

Papers should be prepared and submitted according to the journal’s
All papers will be subject to the same double-blind peer review process as regular issues of
The management of social care work and employment can be studied through various
disciplinary lenses, with this Special Issue providing scope for collaborations between scholars
from, for example, public management, public policy, and finance as well as HRM. The papers
do, however, need to relate and contribute to debates in the field of HRM, advancing theory
and practice.
If you have questions about a potential submission, we encourage you to make email contact:

Submission Window: March 1st – 31st 2023

Call for Abstracts: Expertise In and Around Organizations

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,
and institutions.

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
and perspectives.

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,
Ruthanne Huising, Emlyon Business School,
Elina Mäkinen, Tampere University,

Call for Abstracts: Organizations in a Plural Society

International Conference on Organizational Sociology

Trondheim, December 8/9, 2022

Deadline for submission of abstracts is June 15, 2022

Joint conference by

Nadine Arnold (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Cristina Besio (HSU Hamburg, Germany)
Michael Grothe-Hammer (NTNU Trondheim, Norway)
Uli Meyer (JKU Linz, Austria)
Kurt Rachlitz (NTNU Trondheim, Norway)

Our society is characterized by an ever-expanding number of organizations and organizational forms – a “hyper-organization” so to say (Bromley & Meyer 2015). Without doubt, organizations have a significant impact on the development of society. They have conquered nearly all areas of social life and new organizational forms nowadays diffuse even into areas which traditionally were coordinated in an informal and community-based manner (e.g., childcare, housekeeping, personal assessments and career advice, hunting, weddings, and funerals). This conference aims at disentangling the relation and mutual influence between the manifold forms of organization and a plural society. In particular, we focus on the entanglement of organizations with heterogeneous expectations.

Organizations are usually faced with a myriad of expectations by numerous groups, individuals, and systems. Such expectations stem from a plurality of societal areas ranging from micro to macro and from local to global. They include moral, ethical, political, and environmental concerns (Hoffman 2001; Roth & Valentinov 2020) as well as macro-level values and norms attributable to differing “value spheres” (Weber 2009), “institutional logics” (Friedland & Alford 1991), “orders of worth” (Boltanski & Thévenot 1999), “function systems” (Luhmann 1994), and more.

Many of these expectations tend to be competing or contradictory and, accordingly, scholars have observed that heterogeneous requests often lead to conflicts (e.g. Battilana & Dorado 2010; Kraatz & Block 2010; Ocasio & Radoynovska 2016; Pache & Santos 2010, 2013). Nevertheless, organizations are usually quite successful in coping with these demands on a day-to-day basis (Besio & Meyer 2014; Binder 2007; McPherson & Sauder 2013). Moreover, organizations are not only coping with such societal demands; they are also crucial in shaping and enacting these as well (Will et al. 2018). However, we still know surprisingly little about the impact of their internal solutions on broader societal contexts and co-shaping societal trends (Apelt et al. 2017). 

In the handling of heterogeneous expectations, new organizational forms play a central role (Brès et al., 2018). These are often constitutional hybrids (Alexius & Furusten 2019) which are capable of orchestrating different societal requests and respond to broader societal developments such as digitalization, global health crises or climate change. In the past, Max Weber (1976) identified bureaucracies as crucial for the emergence and maintenance of rational-legal authority, which is a core characteristic of modern society. But how is society affected by the current decline of large bureaucratic organizations (Davis 2015) and the rise of new and unconventional organizational forms? And what role do the remaining conventional forms of organization still play in context of these developments (du Gay & Vikkelsø 2016)?

Considering that on the one hand organizations actively shape specific meanings of combined expectations (e.g., through advisory and lobbying activities), while on the other hand they mediate different requests in their everyday activities, formal structures and projects, we might ask:

  • How do organizations combine different domains and rationalities (e.g., moral missions and economic demands) and what are the societal implications?
  • How can organizations innovate and become drivers of new expectations in organizational fields and broader social contexts? 
  • In which ways do organizations shape new grand challenges such as digitalization, global health crises, large-scale disasters, or climate change and vice versa? 
  • How do macro-societal pluralities spawn new organizational forms, structures, and processes, and what impact do these new aspects of organization have in turn on society? 

We invite papers that address these or similar questions revolving around the role and relevance of organizations in and for our plural society. The conference will take place at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, December 8-9, 2022. Please submit an abstract of 2-3 pages to by June 15, 2022. Decisions on acceptance will be made until the end of July.

This conference is a joint conference of the “Organization & Society” Research Group of the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Section on Organizational Sociology of the German Sociological Association (DGS) and the Research Committee on Sociology of Organization (RC17) of the International Sociological Association (ISA). Participation at the conference is free including food and beverages during the sessions and breaks. We will also offer a range of social activities including a visit of Trondheim’s magical Christmas Market.

We greatly appreciate you being or becoming a member of either the ISA Research Committee “Sociology of Organization” and/or the German Section on Organizational Sociology. Without our members we would not be able to organize conferences such as this.

Call for Submissions: Special Issue on Global Health in Studies in Comparative International Development

Special Issue on Global Health in Studies in Comparative International Development:

Call for Papers (Deadline: August 25, 2022)

While the coronavirus has focused public attention on the problems of global health as never before, the study of global health has frequently taken place on the margins of the disciplines of sociology and political science. Yet, disciplinary social sciences bring theoretical lenses, methodological concerns, and references to literature that often make these contributions quite distinct from traditional public health approaches. What do disciplinary social sciences have to contribute to the study of politics, power, and inequality in global health? How does the inclusion of voices and findings from the Global South unsettle foundational theory that social science disciplines in the Global North take for granted? What can the disciplines gain by moving comparative study of health problems, particularly those in the Global South, from the periphery to the fore?

This special issue on global health seeks to critically challenge the absence of race and racism in mainstream international relations theory (Dionne and Turkmen 2020) and the “epistemic parochialism” of major social science disciplines (Farber and Harris 2022) by highlighting important new work in the emergent sociologies and political sciences of global health (Noy 2019; Harris and White 2019; McInnes, Lee, and Youde 2019).

Submissions to the special issue need not focus on COVID-19 and may consider the politics, power relations, and inequality of other important (or neglected) public health issues, including but not limited to global health governance, intellectual property issues, comparative healthcare access and/or health disparities, non-communicable disease, and misinformation and the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Interesting paper topics might examine, for example, international organizations through race and/or gender lenses; could demonstrate how the domain of global health offers new ways for thinking about foundational concepts like the developmental state; might explore how new technologies, institutions, and actors are shifting power equilibria in global health; could critically explore the role of powerful actors, such as pharmaceutical companies and private foundations, that have frequently been ignored by social scientists studying global health politics; or could provide evidence that challenges our understanding of major theories from policy diffusion to the fundamental cause theory.  

The review process will prioritize (1) submissions that have wide-ranging impact on and/or force rethinking of major theories the disciplines take for granted; (2) submissions with novel findings and/or methodological approaches that are ideally comparative in focus; (3) submissions from researchers in the Global South; and (4) submissions which draw on cases that have not historically received a great deal of attention in the sociology and political science canons. Submissions from outside sociology and political science are welcome, including from researchers who have interdisciplinary training and/or work in interdisciplinary spaces, but should clearly articulate how they speak to the above themes.  

Word count for all submissions should not exceed 10,000 words including notes, references, tables and figures. The abstract is not included in the word count. Longer submissions will not be considered. Authors may include further material in an online appendix.

The deadline for submission is August 25, 2022.  Submissions should be made through the submissions portal at should indicate that their submission is for the Special Issue on Global Health in the “Notes to Editor” section of the submission site.

Further questions about the submission process may be directed to SCID.journal@gmail.comSubstantive questions about the special issue for may be directed to the co-editors Kim Yi Dionne ( and Joseph Harris (

Introducing: The Journal of Professions and Organization, Interview with Editor Brooke Harrington

Hi OOW Members! Today we have a brief interview with Professor Brooke Harrington, an editor from the journal Journal of Professions and Organization published through Oxford University Press. Professor Harrington is here to tell us a little more about the journal and to invite OOW members to submit relevant articles for consideration to this journal. You can also see Professor Harrington’s comments from the recent Meet the Editors event. (Interview by Diana Enriquez, OOW Blog Managing Editor)

Q&A for OOW Blog

Diana Enriquez, editor: Could you highlight some of the articles this journal has published recently that you’ve enjoyed reading?

Professor Harrington: Here are some personal favorites. The third and fourth papers on this list both won our annual “Best Paper” competition in recent years—an award that comes with a $500 prize for the winner and $250 for each of the runners up. 

  • Bévort, Frans & Suddaby, Roy (2016). Scripting professional identities: How individuals make sense of contradictory institutional logics, Journal of Professions and Organization, 3(1): 17–38. doi:
  • Dezalay, Yves & Garth, Bryant (2016). ‘Lords of the dance’ as double agents: Elite actors in and around the legal field, Journal of Professions and Organization, 3(2): 188–206. doi:
  • Ahuja, Sumati, Nikolova, Natalia, & Clegg, Stewart (2017). Paradoxical identity: The changing nature of architectural work and its relation to architects’ identity. Journal of Professions and Organization, 4(1): 2-19. doi: 10.1093/jpo/jow013
  • Armour, John & Sako, Mari. 2020. AI-enabled business models in legal services: From traditional law firms to next-generation law companies? Journal of Professions and Organization, 7(1): 27–46. doi:

Diana: Are there any special issues or thematic areas you’re hoping to address in the next year?

Professor Harrington: As the journal’s title suggests, the articles we publish center on the themes of professional work and organizations such as professional service firms. Within those categories, there is a lot of diversity, encompassing work from many different kinds of professions, organizations and countries. Before I became editor of JPO, I published my own work there on an emergent profession almost no one had ever heard of before—wealth management—which involved work and employment patterns that were broadly transnational, involving almost every country in the world. I found the reviewers and editors at the journal very receptive to this work, because of their own wide-ranging perspective and openness to novel, off-the-beaten path work. I’m very keen to continue that tradition. 

So we’re looking for innovative work that is rigorous theoretically and methodologically, more so than we are looking for any particular themes within the realms of professions and professional organizations. That means, we seek papers that add something new to ongoing scholarly conversations about professions and organizations: either pointing out things that previous work has missed, or perhaps resolving conflicts and other gaps in the literature. The world of work is changing so quickly, due to technology, the pandemic and global trade, that there are always new insights to be had. The key task for authors is to show us how their unique data or analysis contributes to, expands or even explodes existing scholarly models. As editors and reviewers, we’re eager to help authors develop their ideas in those directions, so that their work can generalize and be cited as widely as possible. That’s what publishing with JPO years ago did for me as an author; now as editor, I want to pass along that gift of encouragement and rigorous, engaged dialogue.

Diana: Is there anything else you’d like the OOW community to know about this journal?

Professor Harrington: Given the questions we received at the OOW “Meet the Editors” panel session on Friday, February 25, I’d like to let everyone reading this know that JPO is very welcoming of papers using non-US data, as well as of qualitative work. Of course we welcome US-based and quantitative work, as well as multi-method and cross-national comparative papers, too! Because the journal was founded by scholars working in the Middle East and Europe, we can also readily call upon networks of reviewers who are familiar with a wide variety of research settings and methods.

Each paper is assigned three reviewers based on subject matter expertise, and then undergoes what we think is one of the quickest and most constructive review processes among the top journals. Since we are all authors, as well as editors, it has been extremely important to us to ensure the constructiveness of expert feedback in the review process, and to avoid wasting authors’ time; our average time from first submission to first editorial decision letter (e.g., reject, revise and resubmit, or rarely, accept) is 25 days. 

Diana: Thank you for time, Professor Harrington! And for OOW members: please consider submitting to the Journal of Professions and Organization! 

Call for Abstracts: Globalization and Global Governance Before, During and After the Pandemic

Call for Abstracts: Globalization and Global Governance Before, During and After the Pandemic 

Preconference Proposal to the 2022 ASA Annual Meeting: “Bureaucracies of Displacement” August 5, 2022

Pre-conference Theme: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the nature and structure of globalization in multiple, potentially conflicting ways. International organizations were often shown to be unable to respond to the scale of the crisis, yet—lacking viable alternatives—they remain the focal points for transnational rule- and norm-making. Pre-existing trends of overt politicization of globalization rapidly accelerated, with domestic policymakers turning international cooperation into a salient issue in electoral politics with follow-on implications for the functioning and financing of global governance. Challenges in global value chains prompted a rethink on the merits of geographically dispersed production, even though restructuring the organization of production across borders will take years to fully materialize—if at all. All this is taking place against a backdrop of intensifying socio-economic and environmental crises that will present ever-greater challenges for international organization. 
Given the scale of crises that require collective solutions, this pre-conference aims to leverage sociological theories and research to better understand the current conjuncture, including by examining the power and pathologies of the international institutions with a mandate to develop such solutions. Sociologists in diverse sub-fields—like global and transnational sociology, political economy and economic sociology, political sociology, sociologies of law and culture, and organization studies—have developed distinctive tools to understand the construction of globalization and the bureaucratic infrastructures underpinning it. The preconference hopes to showcase this diverse work and its potential for identifying possible futures of globalization. 

This year’s Annual Meeting theme “Bureaucracies of Displacement” offers opportunities to expand the sociology of globalization and global governance in new directions. Globalization rests on institutional and bureaucratic foundations at different levels of analysis that contribute to the stability of the international order, even in a de-stabilizing world. Unpacking these dynamics can illuminate the power asymmetries inherent in globalization and transnational organizing but can also reveal the pathways through which seemingly less powerful actors can be drivers of change. These power asymmetries point to an institutional environment where exclusion is the norm: exclusion of citizens from input on the nature of international cooperation; exclusion of communities affected by globalization from having a say in the development of policies affecting them; exclusion of lower-income countries from the clubs where richer countries set global norms and rules; and exclusion of some types of knowledge and expertise from influencing dominant policy models. This pre-conference seeks to examine these exclusions, as well as attempts to redress them. 

Contributions are welcome from scholars working on any aspect of globalization and global governance. Depending on submissions, we hope to organize panels around four key themes:

(1) Changes in the organizational dynamics and bureaucratic infrastructures of global institutions  

(2) Power asymmetries in global governance

(3) Interactions between the domestic and the global(

4) Transnational social and political movements 

Call for submissionsAbstracts for papers should be linked to the broad themes that this pre-conference is intended to explore and can pursue any theoretical and methodological approaches. Papers addressing a range of topics (including global health, climate change, socio-economic development, and human rights) are welcome as long as they engage the broad problematic of globalization and global governance in the current conjuncture. Proposals that directly relate to “bureaucracies of displacement” in globalization—per the Annual Meeting’s theme—are strongly encouraged.
Submissions should have the following form:

Title: Preferred theme: (select one or more of the themes noted above)

Contact details: (author/s, affiliation, and e-mail address)

Abstract: (no more than 400 words)

All abstracts should be sent to with “ASA preconference” in the email subject. The deadline for sending abstracts is Friday, January 28, 2022. The preconference committee will inform successful applicants by Monday, February 7.

Note: The preconference proposal with all confirmed participants will be submitted for ASA Program Committee approval by February 9 (submission system closing date), and a final decision will be made by ASA after that deadline. This means that it is possible that our preconference will not be selected by ASA.

Pre-conference organizing committee

Jennifer Bair, University of Virginia

Alexander Kentikelenis, Bocconi University 

Christy Thornton, Johns Hopkins University