SCOS Update: June-July

1) A call for papers for an ephemera Special Issue on "Re-thinking the Politics of Consumption". See for further details.
2) A day conference at the British Library in London on 6 September 2011 on "Body Work in Health and Social Care".  For details please click on the following link

Also, see below for:

(3) Details of the "2nd Annual Writing Retreat" (venue: Hawkwood, Painswick Valley)
(4) A call for papers for a special issue of Equality, Diversity And Inclusion – An International Journal, on ‘Diversity, Difference and Inclusion in Monstrous Organizations’.
(5) A call for papers for a symposium on "Practical Wisdom: Leadership, Organization and Integral Business Practice" at the Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.

We are writing to invite you to participate in the  second of our annual 'Writing Retreats', which we are in the process of organising.  After the success of last year's retreat we can confidently say that working in this way helped everyone who came to move forwards with the writing that they brought with them - one person even managed to progress her new publishing venture as a result! Most of our participants last time were academics needing to get a paper finished or revised, but others came for the sheer joy of having dedicated time to write and a supportive atmosphere to write in.

What we envisaged is the following: a small group (of, say, 8-10 of us) coming together to give each other support, encouragement, and critical friendship over a three-day period in which we would each work intensively on a piece of writing, either individually or in small groups of co-authors, as appropriate.  We envisage working on our writing during the day, followed by relaxed evening conversations on writing processes more generally, and/or some celebratory down-time, with the possibility of an evening workshop on book-making (led by Ann) thrown in.  The point is to work productively during the days, supporting each other as appropriate, and to revel in the beautiful surroundings and each other's company during the evenings.

For those of you who don't know Hawkwood, it is a lovely old house in the beautiful Painswick Valley.  The food is always wholesome, delicious, and plentiful, and the fee includes three nights of accommodation, and all food/refreshment (barring the alcoholic kind) throughout.  The surrounding countryside is beautiful, and there are some great walks to enjoy.  In our minds, it is the ideal place for this kind of retreat, and in fact is often used in this way by visiting groups.  A link to Hawkwood's website is below:

We think that the fee would be in the region of £300 for a single room (less for shared, and even less for non-residential), but we can confirm exact figures when we know what kind of interest there is in this.  If you would like to bring along your partner (or anyone else for that matter), this is also catered for by Hawkwood, and we can look into what the fees for this would be.

Our plan would be to arrive for lunch on Tuesday the 6th of September, and stay through to after lunch on Friday the 9th.

We would need to make a pretty quick decision on whether there is sufficient interest to proceed with this idea, given the venue's popularity.  With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate a response to this email by the 30th of June at the latest.   Of course, don't worry if you can't join us - but it would be great to see you if this takes your fancy!  Please feel free to pass this flyer on to others you think may be interested Any questions, please let us know.



Guest Editors:

Torkild Thanem, Stockholm University School of Business
Alison Pullen, Swansea University School of Business & Economics

"Monster”, “monstrosity” and “monstrous” have traditionally been used as pejorative terms, suggesting an ‘imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening’, ‘an inhumanly cruel or wicked person’, ‘a person, typically a child, who is rude or badly behaved’, ‘a thing or animal that is excessively or dauntingly large’ or ‘a congenitally malformed or mutant animal or plant’ (see The New Oxford Dictionary of English) – whether a person with sexually ambiguous genitals, a person with growth disorders, or a hybrid animal. Monsters, monstrosities and the monstrous are therefore seen to disrupt the normal boundaries of size, shape or morality.

Historically, the dynamic meaning of the monstrous is ambiguous. In medieval and renaissance times monsters emerged from immoral acts, signs of God’s wrath against human sin, and whilst standing against nature they lived amongst ordinary beings. In early modern times, monsters were part of the natural order but excluded from participation in mainstream society, often incarcerated in hospitals and asylums or cast as freak show performers. In contemporary modern times, the monstrous occupies the margins of both nature and society, receiving limited attention in mainstream science whilst being frequently mobilized as a rhetorical device in branding, advertising and the news media and as a core theme in the production of popular culture by the entertainment industry. Headlines invoke excessive acts and opportunities such as Enron’s ‘Monster Mess’ (Fortune, 2001) and job seekers upload their CVs on Moviegoers flock to watch the superhuman strengths of Spiderman or X-Men, and reality television peeks into the unruly fits of ‘Bridezillas’, the ‘Monster Quest’ for ‘giant squids’, and the everyday troubles of conjoined twins and transsexuals. The term “monster”, then, presents opportunities for spectacle and discrimination, yet the monstrous is politically important to surface, challenge and undo difference and its abjection. To bring about an ethical engagement with organization and the management of difference and diversity requires us to embody the monstrous rather than to voyeurize monstrosity, to physically and viscerally feel and experience the ‘uncertainty of strange encounters’ (Shildrick, 2002: 7).

During the past couple of decades, research in the humanities and social sciences have problematized the pejorative connotations of monsters, monstrosities and the monstrous (Thanem, 2011). Such approaches have rethought what has long been considered grotesque into a body politic that troubles norms and provokes difference and abjection to subvert. Kristeva’s writing on horror (1982) reminds us that it is through extremity and abjection that transgression becomes possible and that the monstrous is conventionally cast in opposition to orderliness, organization and organizing. Female monsters (Braidotti, 1994) such as vampires, Medusa and succubi evoke horror, abjection and extremity through the exaggerated transgression of the feminine – often with female beauty and seductiveness being seen as the source of monstrosity. The excessive maternal body heterogeneously couples mother and child (e.g. Halberstam, 1995; Russell, 2000; Shildrick, 2002; Ussher, 2006) and disrupts organizational spaces (Longhurst, 2001).

While feminist writings reveal the female body as leaky, vulnerable and grotesque, science and technology studies have proposed a sociology of monsters pre-occupied with the multiple memberships of individuals and the heterogeneous couplings between humans and machines (Law, 1991). Further, organization studies have cast “hopeful monsters” as a counterpoint to bureaucracy (Du Gay, 1994) and viewed rational calculation as a monstrous discipline (Clegg, 2005), the possibility of research as monstrous knowledge (Rhodes, 2001), and the monstrous as a matter of distortion, subversion and undecidability (Bloomfield and Vurdubakis, 1999).

There is little doubt, then, that the monstrous remains a powerful metaphor for difference, deviance, boundary disruption and heterogeneity in natural, social and organizational life – and one that can be employed both oppressively and affirmatively. In this call, we invite papers that interrogate how the monstrous relates to issues of equality, difference, diversity, inclusion and exclusion. Although the monstrous may be associated with immoral practices that reduce or exclude the prospects for equality, diversity and inclusion in organizations, we are also concerned with the prospects for a positively monstrous understanding of organizations – how organizations may become positively monstrous by becoming increasingly diverse and inclusive.

This special issue therefore seeks to publish papers that address issues including (but not limited to):

-       Monstrous aspects of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, (dis)ability and other diversity factors in organizational life; monstrous, abject, freak and excess bodies and identities and their alienation, exclusion and inclusion in organizations.
-       Monstrously im/moral business practices, monstrous ethics in organizations; diversity management practices as negatively and positively monstrous.
-       Monstrosity, resistance, liberation and the debasing of cultural norms in organizations; mutants and mutant organizational cultures.
-       Monstrous couplings between humans, machines, animals and microorganisms in organizations.
-       The representation of monsters in small and big business entertainment industries; the grotesque and the carnivalesque, vulgarity, spectacles and fetishization in organizations.
-       Monstrous ontology, theory, knowledge and politics of organizational life.

Complete papers should be sent to both guest editors by 28 February 2012. Please contact the guest editors if you wish to discuss an idea or proposal for a paper. Email Alison on or Torkild on

Submission guidelines are available on:


4TH  – 6TH  DECEMBER 2011

Increasingly, the concept of practical wisdom is been recognised as providing an innovative, interpretative framework within which to address the further development and integration of many important and critical issues of organization and management/leadership studies and practice.
In addition to interpreting practical wisdom as phronesis, which points to soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends and corresponding action measured by day-today effectiveness, wisdom can serve as a mediating form for more integral ways of organising and leading. By exploring practical wisdom as a model for integration, we would like this symposium to question and advance the state-of-the-art within leadership and organization research and practice. We are particularly keen on discussing challenges and opportunities for teaching practical wisdom in post-graduate management and business education as well as private and public sector management training programs.

David Rooney, University of Queensland  will be a keynote speaker for this symposium.

Outcomes of this symposium:

•       Publication of a book. Gower Publishing (UK) will be publishing a’ Handbook of Practical Wisdom: Leadership, Organization and Integral Business Practice’ edited by Wendelin Kupers and David Pauleen (co-conveners of this symposium). Selected papers from this symposium will be included in this book.  (For the call for chapters, please contact us directly).
•       Selected papers will also be considered for publication at ‘Prometheus: Critical studies in innovation’.
•       Symposium proceedings will be documented on Web-Page and published (with ISBN)
•       Creation of a multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary virtual  and practical research network that enables workshop participants to remain in contact, engage in further discussion, and develop future research collaborations;
•       Development of interdisciplinary and multi-lateral collaborative research projects involving the various research labs and institutes from the different countries represented at the symposium.
•       Continuation of a follow-up symposium in 2012

Call for papers
We seek in particular papers in the following three main areas, although all kinds of papers which relate to wisdom and organisation and/or leadership will be considered.
1.      Papers defining and conceptualising in detail practical wisdom and its role in today's society and organizational and leadership contexts from a multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary perspective drawn from education, sociology, cognitive psychology, management science, etc., are sought; for example:
•       What are the ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions that ground a theory of wisdom in organizations?
•       Which of the philosophical and psychological conceptualizations of wisdom (i.e., traits, dispositions, capabilities, competences, processes of creative enactment) are most appropriate for organizational research, and why? How can a more holistic, integrative and balanced understanding of wisdom be developed?
•       What kinds of social science perspectives and approaches seem most suited to inquiry about wisdom? Are there particular art-based approaches or integral and process philosophies that seem likely to help further explore these issues?

2.      Papers having to do with enactment, fields of application and empirical cases on situating and relating practical wisdom into organisational and managerial contexts; for example:
•       Does wisdom necessarily have embodied and institutionalised power relations or does it preclude them? What are the political issues involved?
•       To what extent can wisdom be associated with ‘positive’ phenomena such as appreciation, happiness, eudaimonia and/or well-being in organizations?
•       Is wisdom fundamental to organizational sustainability?
•       Can wisdom be created? Can it be “managed”?  Can management and leadership be wise? What would it mean for the organizations, employees and society if management and leadership were to become wise?
•       How might storytelling, implicit knowing, and intuition be related to wisdom?
•       Are there specific domains of organizational practice that particularly require wisdom?  Alternatively, are there any that would seem to preclude wisdom as negative, counter-productive and irrelevant?
•       What management education and organizational learning processes enable the development of wisdom? Which organisational interventions facilitate the practice of wisdom in which way? How can they be evaluated?
3.      Papers concerned with exploration, experimentation and innovation addressing such issues as:
•       How might the status of wisdom in organizations be transformed e.g., by the trends toward increased globalisation, uncertainty, complexity and dynamic change?
•       Can the exercise of wisdom make organizations more prepared to deal with unexpected events? In which way does wisdom facilitate a more prudent and proactive orientation and contributes for a sustainable way of organising?
•       What can be learned about wisdom from non-Western and spiritual traditions, philosophies and related practices? (Maori, Buddhism)
•       How may the role of wisdom in organizations and for its members change in light of the contemporary demographic shift toward an aging workforce?
As a rule, at least one author of an accepted paper should attend the symposium in person.

Important Dates
30th  June -2011        Expressions of Interest
15th  August 2011       Paper Submissions
30th  October 2011      Revised papers due

We invited all correspondences directly to us the editors
Looking forward to hearing from you

Dr. Wendelin Küpers
School of Management, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

Associate Professor David Pauleen
School of Management, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

We have not set costs for the symposium yet, but we will endeavor to keep registrations costs low. This is not a money making venture and we realize the cost of travel to New Zealand can be high.
The Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies (ASPROS) will be held in Auckland on 29 November – 1 December 12. 2011, EBEN 2-3.12 and the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. takes place in Wellington 7 - 9 December 2011. Combining these conference programs may suit some of you.