SCOS Update September 2017

Dear Scossers,

oh dearie dreary me! A very belated update that should have hit your inboxes last week if not before. I guess that like me, you too have been scribbling away on all sorts of projects. If you would like to share some projects or news items of your own, of course get in touch! We are also really happy to welcome contributions to the new and shiny website. You can now find your regular SCOS updates published on the website, should you ever misplace them in your email inbox, so keep an eye out at


Laura 

Item 1 Special Issues CfPs – Culture & Organization

Tropes, Genres, Fiction: Literature and Organization
Guest edited by Albert J. Mills, Sobey School of Business, St Mary’s University
Ajnesh Prasad, EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey
Deadline: 15 December 2017

Carne – Flesh and Organization
Guest edited by Ilaria Boncori, University of Essex
Luigi Maria Sicca, University of Naples
Charlie Smith, University of Leicester
Deadline: 31 May 2018

Contested Realities of the Circular Economy
Guest edited by Hervé Corvellec, Lund University
Steffen B öhm, University of Exeter
Alison Stowell, Lancaster University
Francisco Valenzuela, Nottingham Trent University
Deadline: 15 November 2018

Item 2
Subverting Corruption

Subtheme 10 of Latin American and European Meeting on Organization Studies, LAEMOS2016, Viña del Mar, Chile, 6-9 April 2016

Corruption has been defined by Transparency International (2009, p. 14) as ‘the abuse of entrusted power for private gain’. It can take many forms – petty or grand, covert or open, limited or extensive, black, grey, or white, individual or systemic. Scholars in organization studies have increasingly paid attention to the phenomenon of corruption (for example, Ashforth and Anand 2003, Fleming & Zyglidopoulos 2008, Lennerfors 2010, Breit 2010). They have eschewed the oversimplification in principal-agent understandings of the topic demonstrated in the Transparency International definition quoted above. Critical scholars unmask veiled interests such as neocolonialism and class, but in addition aim to construct alternative conceptualizations of corruption to promote creative engagement (Breit et al. 2015). In critical studies, theoretical inspiration has been drawn from psychoanalytic theories, for example by Roberts (2015), who explored the psychoanalysis of corruption and argued that corruption makes a person as a subject feel omnipotent. Also inspired by psychoanalysis, Lennerfors (2010) argued that jouissance, or stolen enjoyment, is a central component in accusations of corruption. One should stress, in contrast to the principal-agent model, the very social nature of processes of corruption (Ashforth and Anand 2003, Ashforth et al. 2008). Corruption can be acceptable, harmful or simply routine (Graycar and Prenzler, 2013). Corruption is imbricated in social relations of association and obligation – and while some practices are labelled as corrupt, condemned and fought, very similar activities in the forming of strong social relations are actively encouraged by organization leaders amongst their employees to build communities and share ideas. The ‘minga’, or informal organization is an interesting Latin American concept which can be used as an alternative to the contemporary economic organization form, but it also could be adapted to describe both the mafia and FIFA in its way of supporting reciprocal obligatory relations, often associated with practices of corruption.

The boundary between what is corrupt and what is not is difficult to draw, yet there are many studies of corruption which are based on clear cut measures. Do these measures have any real meaning in organizations? Many organization practices contain localized euphemisms for corruption, which questionnaires and indices will never capture – or can they?

In this subtheme, we aim to continue to destabilize, critique, and subvert the predominant knowledge about corruption, by stimulating a debate between participants with different theoretical and empirical perspectives. Corruption is in itself “in the interstices” and we hereby encourage theoretical engagement between different fields of thought. We also encourage a wide range of empirical and geographical loci for studying corruption, especially empirical studies from Latin America, to subvert the Western-centric dominance of the subject.

We would welcome papers which:

  • Theorize the meanings of corruption as a way of corroding organisation practices and viability
  • Discuss the power relations corrupt practices are located within- the interplay of global and local social shaping of corruption
  • Explore the subjectivities of participating in corruption
  • Analyse the private/ public boundaries
  • Explore the use of euphemisms in corruption
  • Describe the joy and elation of corruption
  • Identify spaces of corruption, the liminality of corrupt practices
  • See multiple perspectives on collaborating for corruption
  • Discuss corruption as a misrecognition of colonialism
  • Above all, develop perspectives on corruption as seen from Latin America


Abstract submission: November 10, 2015

Notification of acceptance: December 10, 2015

Submission of full paper (6.000 words): March 10, 2016

Abstracts of about 1000 words should be submitted through the website form at

The abstracts should be in English, including the name and email address of the author(s)


Ashforth, B. E., & Anand, V. (2003). THE NORMALIZATION OF CORRUPTION IN ORGANIZATIONS. Research in Organizational Behavior, 25, 1–52.

Ashforth, B. E., Gioia, D. A., Robinson, S. L., & Trevino, L. K. (2008). Re-viewing organizational corruption. Academy of Management Review. Academy of Management, 33(3), 670–684.

Breit, E. (2010) ‘On the (re)construction of corruption in the media: A critical discursive approach’, Journal of Business Ethics, 92(4): 619-635.

Breit, E., Lennerfors, T.T., & Olaison, L. (2015). Critiquing Corruption – a turn to theory, ephemera, vol 15, iss. 2, pp. 319-336.

Fleming, P., & Zyglidopoulos, S. C. (2008). The Escalation of Deception in Organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 81(4), 837–850.

Graycar, A and Prenzler, T. (2013) Understanding and Preventing Corruption, London: Palgrave.

Lennerfors, T.T. (2010) ‘The sublime object of corruption: Exploring the relevance of a psychoanalytical two bodies doctrine for understanding corruption’, in S.L. Muhr, B.M. Sørensen and S. Vallentin (eds.) Ethics and organizational practice: Questioning the moral foundations of management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Roberts, J. (2015). The “subject” of corruption. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 28(0), 82–88.

Transparency International (2009) The Anti-Corruption Plain Language Guide, Berlin: Transparency International.


David Arellano-Gault / CIDE – Mexico /

Lynne Baxter / University of York – UK /

Thomas Taro Lennerfors / Uppsala University – Sweden /

Toru Kiyomiya / Seinan Gakuin University – Japan /

Item 3
Gendering Recognition
Gender, Work and Organization

10th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference

14-16 June, 2018, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Stream convenors:

Leanne Cutcher, School of Business, University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Karen Dale, Organisation, Work & Technology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, ENGLAND

Philip Hancock, Business School, University of Essex, ENGLAND

Kat Riach, Monash Business School, Monash University, AUSTRALIA

Melissa Tyler, Business School, University of Essex, ENGLAND

The ‘Gendering Recognition’ stream seeks to open up a critical, reflexive discussion of recognition as both an organizational aspiration and as a contested object of ethical and political critique. Organisational life is an important setting within which struggles over recognition are played out; it is also a powerful mechanism through which the desire for recognition becomes gendered.

Recognition theorists such as Butler (2015, Butler and Athanasiou, 2013) have drawn on a long line of critical theorists and feminist thinkers to argue that recognition of our mutual inter-dependency has the potential to affirm the basis of a politics of solidarity, as a medium through which collective ways to address oppression might be devised and developed. Yet, as much as recognition might be thought of as the precondition of a ‘liveable life’ (Butler, 2015: 65), as the basis of freedoms, rights and responsibilities, it can also be a process of exploitation and exclusion, since it depends on who or what confers recognition, as well as the conditions attached to it. Arguably, gender and work are currently organized in such a way that we rarely seek recognition on our own terms, either collectively or individually, opening the way for organizations to capitalize on the vulnerability that our desire to be recognized engenders. Taken together, this means that recognition, no matter how much we might need it, is not in itself an unambiguous ‘good’. For feminist researchers, practitioners and activists, this raises the question of how we can make room for ways of living and working together that challenge prevailing gendered conditions of recognition, including those that demand that we embody and enact gender according to binary, hierarchical norms.

The stream has three inter-related aims: (i) to consider the importance of feminist writing on recognition for work and organization studies, developing some of the theoretical and conceptual inroads that have been made in recent years, particularly in contributions toGender, Work and Organization; (ii) to connect the critical analysis of recognition to contemporary organizational practices by considering some of the many ways in which recognition might be understood and enacted within organizational life, and (iii) to explore the possibility of a critical reconsideration of recognition given, on the one hand, its positioning as an organizational virtue or aspiration and on the other, feminist critiques of the conditions and consequences attached to it. With these aims in mind, papers that are theoretically, conceptually, methodologically or empirically orientated are very welcome. We particularly welcome contributions to the stream from cross or trans-disciplinary perspectives.

Papers may wish to explore the:

  • Gendered organization of recognition. Some may focus on the ways in which the organization of infrastructures is inescapably connected to the desire for recognition, and therefore to the organization of social relations. Others might consider the seductive capacities of organizational recognition, or what Povinelli (2002: 17) calls ‘the cunning of recognition’, to entrap us into uncritical, unreflexive ways of being and working together. Others might examine the relationship between individual and more collective forms of recognition, exploring how recognition is currently organized but might done differently in future.
  • Connections between recognition, ethics, reflexivity and methodology. Methodologically, reflexivity arises from a recognition of the distinction (perhaps dislocation) between lived experiences and compelled subjectivities. Contributions could consider the consequences of conforming to the conditions of recognition, and of the impact on those who cannot, or choose not to, conform. Other contributions might consider ways in which a recognition-based ethics calls into question the discreetness and self-sufficiency of the human condition and of recognition systems. They might explore how organizational misrecognition occurs not simply through identity politics but also status subordination whereby ‘institutions structure interaction according to cultural norms that impede parity of participation’ (Fraser, 2001: 24).
  • Gendering of recognition and identity. Given the setting of the GWO 2018 conference, papers exploring gendering recognition through a historical, political or (post)colonial lens are also welcome. Citing a 1958 essay, ‘Continuity and Change’ by anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner’s reflections on whether indigenous people in Australia should assimilate into mainstream settler society, Povinelli (2002) notes a poignant line: ‘Suppose they do not know how to cease to be themselves’ (cited in Povinelli, 2002: 1). Povinelli (2002: 29) responds to Stanner by asking: ‘Suppose they do not know how to be themselves. Suppose your life depends on being able to perform this ontological trick’. We cite this response as a way in to thinking about themes that are central to this stream, namely that being called upon to perform the kind of ‘ontological trick’ to which Povinelli refers, puts the subject at risk, when we can neither be, or cease to be, ourselves.

Abstracts of approximately 500 words (ONE page, Word document NOT PDF, single spaced, excluding references, no header, footers or track changes) are invited by 1st November 2017 with decisions on acceptance to be made by stream leaders within one month. All abstracts will be peer reviewed. New and young scholars with ‘work in progress’ papers are welcomed. Papers can be theoretical or theoretically informed empirical work. In the case of co-authored papers, ONE person should be identified as the corresponding author. Due to restrictions of space on the conference schedule, multiple submissions by the same author will not be timetabled. Please submit abstracts through the conference abstract portal at


Butler, J. (2015) Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Butler, J. and Athanasiou, A. (2013) Dispossession: The Performative in the Political.Cambridge: Polity.

Fraser, N. (2001) ‘Recognition without ethics?’, Theory, Culture & Society. 18(2-3): 21-42.

Povinelli, E. (2002) The Cunning of Recognition. London: Duke University Press.

Stanner, W.E.H. (1958) White Man Got No Dreaming. Canberra: Australian National University Press

Item 4
Organizing childhood
Gender, Work and Organization
10th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference
13-16 June, 2018, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Carolyn Hunter, University of York, York, UK
Nina Kivinen, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
Deborah Brewis, Kingston University, London, UK
While the study of ‘childhood’ is a developed field in sociology, media studies, the humanities and even marketing, it is with, a few recent exceptions, relatively underexplored in organisation studies (see exceptions: Russell and Tyler, 2002; Kavanagh, Keohane and Kuhling, 2011; Kavanagh, 2013; Griffin, Harding and Learmonth, 2016; Kenny, 2016; Hunter and Kivinen, 2016). While significant theoretical contributions have been made, more could be done to develop empirical studies where the complexities of childhood play out. Gender has been a central theme in the study of childhood in other fields, and we propose that it provides a key lens through which to expand discussions to how childhood is ‘organised’ both as a set of discourses and the variety of occupations and industries associated with products and services for children. This call for abstracts aims to engage with thinking on the intersections between organisations, childhood and gender, through exploring the way in which childhood features:
  1. in industries that centre around products and services for children,
  2. in relations where childhood is produced, consumed and assembled
  3. or as ideas, discourses and ideologies that relate to our adult selves.
The organising of childhood may be considered in relation to gender, through the production and consumption of products and services aimed at the children, including pre-school, middle and young adult or ‘tweens’ categories (Siegel, Coffey, & Livingston, 2004; Steinberg, & Kincheloe, 1997). Russell and Tyler (2002) and Griffin, Harding and Learmonth (2016) explore dimensions of gendered children’s products, while Hunter and Kivinen (2016) note the link between these gendered products and services and the gendered identities of the workers involved in delivering them. Representing a wide array of products and services, the children’s industries are characterised by significant variety in types of labour and the quality of working lives. Some of these industries represent particularly precarious or low paid work, in which women are overrepresented. We already know that in industries like nurseries and childcare, women far outnumber male employees in the UK, with the number of men averaging only 2% of the workforce (Department for Education, 2013). Further research could explore whether gender segregation in the workforce is a symptom of, and/or reinforcement to, notions of women’s reproductive role in the economy, the marginalisation of women’s labour, and whether this intersects with other social markers such as race, age and disability.
We might also consider how labour in these industries target children by engaging in aesthetic or emotional labour that may be characterised as ‘feminised’ work. For example, Russell and Tyler (2002) explored how a teenage retail store became an aesthetic space, a ‘retail theatre’, of feminine ‘tweenie’ dreams. Working on products or services for children may provide insights into the experiences of emotional and aesthetic labour, where nostalgia, development and fantasy come together (Langer, 2004). How are concepts of childhood entangled into expectations of emotional management by employees, as well as the organisation of employees’ and children’s bodies within these space? Are assumptions made that working in these spaces is less skilled or meaningful than working for products for adults? We might consider, in turn, how such assumptions influence employees’ identities, motivations and sense of purpose. Equally, authors may consider whether work within the children’s industries offers insights into alternative ways of organising, for example through collaboration and working in home environments. These industries frequently breakdown the divide between the public and the private, for example if the work is undertaken within the private space of the home alongside other (unpaid) work such as childcare and domestic activities. Similarly children may come into the public spaces of organisations, such workplace crèches and ‘babies at work’ policies. In addition children can work legally (age restrictions varying by state in Australia and set at 13 in the UK for example), and younger in the industries of television, theatre and modelling, providing an alternative ‘productive’ narrative to childhood. The call aims to engage with these different dimensions of childhood, including the potential oppression and alienation in these experiences.
Finally, we invite explorations of how childhood becomes organised as a set of ideas (Cook, 2004). On one hand, one might consider the relations of production and consumption from the perspective of children themselves (Martens et al, 2004), through their experiences of the emotions and affect that become attached to the commodities of childhood; and through the framing of children’s desires, and responsibilities via traditional broadcast media and new social forms of media. Children also learn to consume management and business concepts early on (Rehn, 2009) although more could be done to assess if this learning is gendered. On the other hand, we might consider how adults, too, consume childhood, fables and fairy tales, developing narratives of self through their careers, authenticity, and identities; or through memory (Ingersoll & Adams, G. B, 1992). The worlds of management and childhood cross: for example management guru Marshall Goldsmith turned his bestseller business book into a comic book with the help of a children’s illustrator. Other management gurus have directly drawn on childhood to discuss creativity, innovation and ‘child-like’ play.
This call asks for abstracts which explore either childhood as an organisational phenomena or as empirical setting, in particular making connections between childhood and gender including femininities and masculinities. We welcome papers from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, including feminist, postcolonial, and queer critiques of the gendered nature of work in relation to childhood.
  • Nostalgia and historical discussions of workers in the children’s industries
  • Emotions, affect and emotional labour related to childhood
  • Theorisation of the production and consumption of childhood
  • Associations of childhood with femininities and masculinities, as well as other theorisation of gender around queer theory, identity theory, critical race theory and post-colonialism
  • Feminist critiques of childhood
  • Gendering of products or services for children
  • Childhood in the narratives and metaphors of management and business
  • Childhood in concepts of career and authenticity
  • Children becoming part of organisational space
For stream enquiries please contact Nina Kivinen:
Papers from the stream will be selected for a special issue proposal of the Gender, Work and Organization journal.
How to submit:
Abstracts of approximately 500 words (ONE page, Word document NOT PDF, single spaced, excluding references, no header, footers or track changes) are invited by 1st November 2017 with decisions on acceptance to be made by stream leaders within one month. All abstracts will be peer reviewed. New and young scholars with ‘work in progress’ papers are welcomed. Papers can be theoretical or theoretically informed empirical work. In the case of co-authored papers, ONE person should be identified as the corresponding author. Due to restrictions of space on the conference schedule, multiple submissions by the same author will not be timetabled. Please submit abstracts through the conference abstract portal at
Cook, D. (2004) The commodification of childhood. The children’s clothing industry and the rise  of the child consumer. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Hunter, C. and Kivinen, N., (2016) Constructing Girlhood: Abject Labour in Magazine Offices.  Gender, Work & Organization, 23(6), pp.551-565.
Ingersoll, V. H., & Adams, G. B. (1992) The child is ‘father’ to the manager: Images of organizations in U.S. children’s literature. Organization Studies. 13, 4, 497–519
Kavanagh, D., (2013) Children: Their place in organization studies. Organization Studies, 34(10),  pp.1487-1503.
Kavanagh, D., Keohane, K. and Kuhling, C. (2011) “Organization in play.”
Kenny, K. (2016). Organizations and Violence: The Child as Abject-Boundary in Ireland’s Industrial Schools. Organization Studies, 37(7), pp.939-961.
Griffin, M., Harding, N. and Learmonth, M., (2016) Whistle While You Work? Disney Animation, Organizational Readiness and Gendered Subjugation. Organization Studies
Langer, B. (2004) The business of branded enchantment: ambivalence and disjuncture in the global children’s culture industry. Journal of Consumer Culture. 4, 2, 251–77.
Martens, L., Southerton, D. & Scott, S. (2004) Bringing children (and parents) into the sociology of consumption: towards a theoretical and empirical agenda. Journal of Consumer Culture. 4, 2, 155-82.
Rehn, A. (2009) From ‘my first business day’ to ‘the secret millionaire’s club’: Learning to manage from early on. In P. Hancock & M. Tyler (Eds.), The management of everyday life. London: Palgrave.
Russell, R. and Tyler, M. (2002) Thank Heaven for Little Girls:Girl Heaven’ and the Commercial Context of Feminine Childhood. Sociology 36.3: 619-637.
Siegel, D., Coffey, T. & Livingston, G. (2004) The great tween buying machine: capturing your share of the multi-billion-dollar tween market. Chicago: Kaplan Publishing.
Steinberg, S. R. & Kincheloe, J. L. (1997) Kinderculture: The corporate construction of childhood. Boulder: Westview Press.

Item  5
7th Doctoral workshop (French-speaking) on CMS, Grenoble March 13-14, 2018

Dear all,

Please find  the Call for abstracts for the 2018 Doctoral workshop for the French-speaking CMS network at this link. The Workshop will take place in Grenoble in the French Alps (and specifically at the Grenoble Graduate School of Business, GEM) on March 13-14.

This year’s theme will be “On the field: conditions, value(s) and issues of empirical research for critical perspectives”.

We are happy to announce that Silvia Gherardi (University of Trento) will be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary conference. We will also have two roundtable conferences on each day: the first will open a dialog between in-depth investigative journalism and social science research, with journalist Geoffrey Le Guilcher (author of an immersion in a French slaughterhouse, “Steak Machine, published in 2017) and Olivier Germain (UQAM); the second one will be a roundtable discussion between three ethnographers: Carine Farias (ISTEC Paris / CBS), Fabien Hildwein (University of Paris XIII) and Marie-Astrid Le Theule (tbc, CNAM).

Key information:
–        Abstracts (and full papers) can be submitted in English or French, but all presentations will have to be given in French during the conference.
–        The theme is not restrictive; PhD candidates are welcome to submit abstracts either related to the workshop theme (empirical and/or methodological papers welcome) as well as to any issue relevant to Critical Management Studies in general.
–        Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2017; à Workshop dates: March 13-14, 2018.

Please find the complete call here for more information; you are most welcome to circulate & share it in your own networks !

Looking forward to greeting you in Grenoble next Spring!

Hélène Picard & Stéphane Jaumier for the organization committee

Item 6  On Creative-Relational Enquiry

Very excited to let you know that next week we’re launching our new Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry (CCRI) at the University of Edinburgh:


For now, it would be fantastic if you could please spread the word through your networks that we’ve been accepted to host a panel at the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2018 Conference (11-13 April 2018 in Edinburgh) on ‘New directions in research methods: creative-relational inquiry in public service management and policy’.

Its purpose is to challenge traditional paradigms in (health) management, policy and practice, and explore the use of creative techniques to understand what public services or other social interventions do. It is a way to explore the ‘unmeasurable’ aspects of the impact of social interventions in people’s lives (full panel description and further details below).

If you have questions about submitting a paper, please contact the panel chair Dr Marisa de Andrade ( – blue-sky thinking encouraged, anything is possible!

You can submit an abstract via this link:

Please note, the submission of abstracts closes mid-October, so please register your interest in submitting a paper or performance soon!

Panel description:

This panel introduces ‘creative-relational inquiry’ as a dynamic conceptual frame for vibrant, incisive research and practice in public services, management and policy. Acknowledging the policy landscape focused on outputs, outcomes, targets and measures at a time of increasing resource restraints and personal strain, it pauses to consider what is not ‘captured’; reflects on the fluidity of creativity as process, relating as process. It considers human connection in creating and co-creating value in public service delivery, and the influence of authentic leadership from without and from within.

Creative-relational inquiry is inquiry that works its hyphen. The hyphen as connection and link. The hyphen as dynamic, as catalytic, as engaged. The hyphen as push and pull, as tension, as force. Always ensuring inquiry, and mindful of the processes of power within and beyond it.

Driving our inquiries, may be the desire to understand the creative-relational effect of public service processes on their users and employees – both at the frontline and in the boardroom. Or the personalisation of public service processes and activities so service user experiences are tailored to an individual’s or communities’ needs and assets; creative-relational in the sense that they are co-produced by users in innovative ways.

Creative-relational inquiry might also embrace participatory and collaborative approaches to produce meaningful public services reform and encourage innovation. Or it could challenge structural determinants of inequity through the collision of art and data science.

Cutting-edge papers or performances, poems, music, dance, creative writing or inquiries in other mediums are invited that engage scholars, practitioners and the wider public – creatively, relationally – in and with research that:

  • is situated, positioned, context-sensitive, personal, experience-near, and embodied;
  • embraces the performative and the aesthetic;
  • engages with the political, the social, and the ethical;
  • problematizes agency, autonomy, and representation;
  • cherishes its relationship with theory, creating concepts as it goes;
  • is dialogical and collaborative;
  • is explicit and curious about the inquiry process itself;
  • provides detailed, close-up explorations of, for example, management and pedagogic relationships;
  • use the arts and performance as a methodological approach;
  • put public services, management and policy concepts and theories to work.

These possibilities are illustrative, not exhaustive. We look forward to a stimulating, energising and inspiring session.