Marxist Organization Studies: Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations
EGOS 2019, Edinburgh
In 2019, we aim to build on the success of the eight previous EGOS Marxist studies sub-themes in bringing together people who share an interest in drawing on Marx’s ideas to advance management and organization studies. The organizers of the EGOS 2019 Colloquium have called for papers on the theme “Enlightening the future” and Marxism, being one of more important children of the Enlightenment, has much to contribute to this theme. With its aspiration to bring human reason to bear on the organization of production—displacing the “anarchy” of the market and “despotism” of capital—Marxist work is particularly well placed to contribute to the examination of challenge to organizations posed by the Enlightenment and its current impasse.
At the core of research in organization studies lays the premise that organizations play a key role in generating and sustaining inequality in the workplace. For example, many studies show that women and racial minorities occupy lower quality jobs, through processes of screening, hiring, promotion, and termination. Recent empirical work has found that gender and racial disparities in the workplace remain even after the adoption of diversity programs, problem-solving team and job-training arrangements, merit-based pay practices, and other work policies. Other studies have also examined how structural factors internal to organizations, such as organizational size and tenure, hierarchical structure, and the use of job categories, affect ascriptive inequality. Ultimately, the distribution of resources, power and opportunities in society cannot be fully understood without paying attention to the impact of organizations and their practices on individual work outcomes.
The purpose of this sub-theme is to bring together a group of researchers who share a concern for advancing our knowledge about the impact of organizational practices on workplace inequality and diversity. In particular, our goal is to discuss innovative research that sheds new light on surprising theoretical mechanisms that explain how organizational practices affect key employment outcomes – such as assignment to jobs, wages, promotions, career advancement, training opportunities, etc. Because the nature of organizations and their boundaries are changing so rapidly, talking about “organizational practices” may not be the ideal way of thinking about these issues any more. Thus we also would like to explore the blurring of organizational boundaries, values, and procedures, the recent patterns of employee mobility, the increasing use of “market-driven” employment practices and the use of technology in the employment domain. We aim to examine how these developments shape new forms of economic and social inequality. This topic is not only relevant for the advancement of organizational theory and research, but it also has practical implications for employees, managers, communities, and society as a whole.
EGOS 2018 – Tallinn, Estonia
Sub-theme 50: Inclusive Organizations and Knowledge Workers’ Mobility
We would like to announce the sub-theme on Inclusive Organizations and Knowledge Workers’ Mobility that we convene with my colleagues from the Netherlands and Lithuania at the European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS) in Tallinn. The conference takes place in Estonian capital on 5-7 July, 2018.
EGOS 2018 – Tallinn, Estonia
Subtheme 23: “The Impact of Organizational Practices on Career Outcomes”
We would like to bring to your attention the colloquium on “The Impact of Organizational Practices on Career Outcomes,” which we are convening as part of the European Group of Organization Studies’ (EGOS) 34th annual conference in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference will take place on July 5-7, 2018.
EGOS 2017 Copenhagen: Pre-Conference Professional Development Workshop on Marxism and organization studies
Wednesday July 5, 2017; 09:00 to 13:00
Note: This announcement was updated on March 29th to incorporate adjustments made to the application requirements. These adjustments are meant to make the workshop more accessible to both graduate students and faculty.
University of Helsinki
This PDW aims to offer interested faculty and doctoral students an opportunity to explore how Marxist ideas can enrich organization studies and the associated empirical research.
Marxist theory has a long history of engagement with the field of organization studies (see Adler 2009 for an overview) and EGOS has hosted a Marxist organization studies sub-theme in each of the previous five years (leading to the publication of several papers in a forum in Organization Studies April 2015). But there are not many opportunities available to faculty and students who want to learn more about this approach and discuss with others how it might help them in their own research. This PDW aims to fill that gap.
EGOS 2017 Conference – Copenhagen, Denmark
Subtheme 32: “Organizations as Open Polities – Struggles in the ‘Good Organization’”
We invite you to submit a paper abstract to the sub-theme on “Organizations as Open Polities – Struggles in the ‘Good Organization’” at the European Group of Organization Studies’ (EGOS) 33rd annual colloquium in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference will take place on July 6-8, 2017.
From OOW Member, Dr Andi Pekarek in Australia:
Our stream for the EGOS conference in Denmark next year, ‘Organization Studies and Industrial Relations: Overlapping Concerns and New Possibilities,’ seeks to promote the dialogue between labour relations and wider scholarship in organisation studies. We are looking for a broad range of contributions and it would be great to have some more submissions from US colleagues.
Further details about the stream and the paper submission process can be found here:
Organization studies and industrial relations: Overlapping concerns and new possibilities
Sub-theme for EGOS 2017, 33rd EGOS Colloquium, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
Markus Helfen, Freie Universität Berlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Andreas Pekarek, The University of Melbourne Andreas.email@example.com
Rick Delbridge, Cardiff University DelbridgeR@cardiff.ac.uk
Today’s relationship between organization studies and industrial relations research is marked by a strange absence of dialogue. In contrast to earlier periods (Child et al., 1973; Maurice et al., 1980; Streeck, 1981) and in spite of a common theoretical heritage (e.g. Jackson & Müllenborn, 2012), much of the present theorizing in organization studies ignores or obscures the fact that the bulk of organizational activity is undertaken by employees working under formal contracts of employment; hence, labour and employment relations are an important area for theorizing organizations (e.g. Vidal, Adler & Delbridge, 2015). Yet insights from industrial relations research are largely absent from organization studies, and vice versa. In the aftermath of the 2008/2009 crisis, organization scholars have realized anew that organizational practices influence and produce inequality between workers within firms as well as within society, and are themselves affected by societal inequalities (Lawrence et al. 2013; Gray & Kish-Gephart, 2013; Stainback et al., 2010). However, there remains an almost complete neglect of the idea that labour’s voice through unions, collective bargaining, and workplace representation is a mechanism for reducing inequality that has been undermined by recent trends in corporate strategizing and restructuring.
Equally disturbing, in the field of industrial relations, organization studies’ contributions to understanding organizations and organizing are rarely taken into account explicitly, despite considerable interest in related themes such as organizing the unorganized (e.g. Heery, 2009), changes in the organizational forms of unions and employers (e.g. Behrens & Pekarek, 2012), and how industrial relations shape and are shaped by corporate restructuring (e.g. Helfen & Fichter, 2013). It is our contention that both fields of study are ill-served by this absence of mutual engagement and dialogue.
The subtheme aims to break this silence by reviving the interdisciplinary exchange between the fields of organization studies and industrial relations. By exploring common theoretical ground as well as divergent insights, we invite contributions that reveal how industrial relations helps in understanding how organizations operate in practice, and to uncover how organisation theory assists in resolving puzzles in contemporary industrial relations. Such a dialogue promises insights in at least three important ways:
The following call for papers for an EGOS sub-theme focused on “organizational studies and industrial relations” may be of interest to members. Short paper submission begins on September 15 and ends January 9 (2017).