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CfP for new EGOS SWG on "Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: System change, not climate change!"

  • 1.  CfP for new EGOS SWG on "Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: System change, not climate change!"

    Posted 24 days ago

    We are delighted to announce that the EGOS Board has authorized the creation of a new Standing Working Group on Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: System change, not climate change!

    The first meeting of our SWG will be as Sub-theme 15 of the 2021 EGOS Colloquium, taking place virtually in Amsterdam July 7-10. The Sub-theme will open with an invited keynote speaker, Prof Carlota Perez, whose work focuses on  the social and economic impact of technological change and who has written recently about the need for a Green New Deal. We are now inviting submissions with the Call for Papers below.

    As part of the EGOS 2021 meeting, we will also be organizing a PhD Workshop on July 7, 2021. Here, PhD students can bring working papers and project ideas for discussion with some of the leading thinkers in our field. Details will be announced in January.

    Call for papers

    Sub-theme convenors:

    Paul S. Adler (University of Southern California, USA,
    John M. Jermier (University of South Florida, USA:
    Daniel Nyberg (Newcastle Business School, Australia:

    The Theme of this year's EGOS Colloquium is "Organizing for an inclusive society," and this Sub-theme - the first in our four-year cycle as a new EGOS Standing Working Group - takes as its starting point the observation that any hope for an inclusive society depends on our ability to resolve the climate emergency (Dunlop & Spratt, 2019). Recent research results tell us we have only a decade until self-reinforcing feedback loops and cumulative effects bring us to various tipping points in planetary systems and to the eventual collapse of civilizations as we know them (Aengenheyster, Feng, Van Der Ploeg, & Dijkstra, 2018; Masson-Delmotte et al., 2018; Steffen et al., 2018). Moreover, the climate emergency is part of a wider environmental emergency associated with (among other risky and accelerating changes) significant disruption of the nitrogen cycle and massive loss of biodiversity (Steffen, Hughes, & Pearce, 2015).

    To date, the bulk of organization and management scholarship on environmental issues has been focused on changes in firm-level and individual-level behavior. Climate change and the other threats to environmental sustainability that we see today certainly pose challenges for individual organizations, and addressing these threats will certainly require changes to individual behavior; but these threats cannot plausibly be overcome by the action of individual organizations and individual actors alone (see similar critiques offered by Banerjee, 2011, 2012; Jermier, Forbes, Benn, & Orsato, 2006; Wittneben, Okereke, Banerjee, & Levy, 2012). These threats require action by governments and supra-national inter-government agencies. Our Sub-theme aims to stimulate scholarship on the challenges and opportunities at that system level.

    The environmental crisis is, in this sense, similar to other "grand challenges" whose scale and urgency have pushed numerous thought-leaders in our field to urge us to broaden our focus (Eisenhardt, Graebner, & Sonenshein, 2016). To understand and respond to the climate emergency, we need to focus on the political-economic-cultural system within which firms and individuals operate, and on how this system can be mobilized to respond to the environmental challenge. Such research will require a broadening of our intellectual resources. Where our field has in the past benefitted from engagement with contiguous disciplines like Psychology, Economics, and Sociology, the environmental crisis demands that we further broaden our vision and engage with Environmental Philosophy, Environmental Science, Political Science, Political Ecology, Public Policy, as well as various heterodox schools of Political Economy.

    Our Standing Working Group aims over its four-year mandate to build a community of scholars who work on these issues-and encourage scholars in related subfields to join us. In this first year of the SWG's efforts, our goal is to analyze the systemic nature of the climate emergency more comprehensively and explore various frameworks that can help us understand this system level. There are several theoretical perspectives that might help us in this endeavor, such as neo-Institutionalism (e.g. Ansari, Wijen, & Gray, 2013; Bothello & Salles-Djelic, 2018), political economy (e.g. Wright & Nyberg, 2015), Marxism (e.g. Adler, 2015; Böhm, Misoczky, & Moog, 2012; Vidal, Adler, & Delbridge, 2015), post-colonialism (e.g. Banerjee, 2003), ecofeminism and radical ecology (e.g. Merchant, 2005), and neo-Schumpeterian approaches (e.g. Mazzucato, 2015; Perez, 2015). We encourage submissions that will allow us to assess the potential contribution of these and other perspectives to our understanding of the system-level challenges posed by climate change and the other features of the Anthropocene. (Full references available here.)

    Per EGOS overall policy, papers are selected for inclusion based on a "short papers" (synopsis, or extended abstract, or draft). These must be submitted (via the EGOS website) by Tuesday, January 12, 2021. The convenors will let you know by the end of February 2021 whether your short paper is accepted or rejected. If it is accepted, you are expected to submit a full paper by June 15, 2021-which you will then personally (and virtually) present in the Sub-theme at the EGOS Colloquium 2021 in Amsterdam.

    Paul Adler
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles CA