Call for Papers - Diverse organizing/organizational diversity – Methodological questions and activist practices

In continuation of previous years’ successful workshops on leadership, diversity and inclusion, we now turn to the question of how to study organizational diversity. How do we study different organizations/organizational differences and why do we do it? This issue is both one of methodology and activism. Read more and submit your abstract by March 1, 2017.


Call for Papers 

In collaboration with Diversity in Teams and AlterEcos: Exploring Alternatives to Currently Dominant Forms of Economic Organizing, Diversity&Difference @CBS invites contributions to: 

Diverse organizing/organizational diversity – Methodological questions and activist practices 

Copenhagen Business School, 2-3 May 2017

In continuation of previous years’ successful workshops on leadership, diversity and inclusion, we now turn to the question of how to study organizational diversity. How do we study different organizations/organizational differences and why do we do it? This issue is both one of methodology and activism. In terms of methodology, the study of organizational diversity and diverse organizing challenges academic orthodoxies of specialization, standardization and incrementalism (Alvesson & Gabriel, 2013). The search for different organizations/difference in organizations demands that we unsettle our ways and reconsider the ins and outs of what we have been, are and will be doing. In terms of activism, a commitment to diversity and difference challenges social and organizational norms of meritocracy, inclusion, recognition, etc. (Fraser, 2000; Castilla & Benard, 2010; Zanoni et al., 2010). Encounters with difference require that we not only consider new sites of investigation, but also new means of intervention; above all, it implores reconsideration of the very purpose of inquiry: How may studies of diverse organizing and diversity in organizations move beyond either passive description or mere critique and, instead, provide practicable redefinitions of organizational realities? 

As we engage with alternatives to currently dominant organizational realities, we must turn to new arenas of investigation. What are the sites of encounters with, for instance, feminist bureaucracy (Ashcraft, 2001) or unfit managers (Cederström & Spicer, 2015)? Such sites should not be entered uncritically; instead, we must, at each instance, ask what is to be gained. What are the merits of studying, say, the circus or the mafia (Parker, 2011 & 2012)? Further, we must reflect upon the ethics of our own research practices. As we explore life at the margins of organizational intelligibility, how do we avoid the methodological fallacies of succumbing others to our gaze (Mohanty, 1988; Ashcraft, 2003) ? How can we avoid condescension and normalization when imploring the subaltern to speak (Spivak, 2010)?. 

Similarly we should contemplate the available sources of data. For instance, a wide variety of popular cultural products have become respectable materials for the organizational researcher (Smith et al., 2001; Czarniawska, 2006; Rehn, 2008; Rhodes & Westwood, 2008; Boltanski, 2014); but what roles can such data play? Are there no limits to the relevance of sources for academic insight? And what are we to make of the research sites, data sources and methodological apparatuses made available to us by way of (new) technologies (Grint & Woolgar, 1997; Blackman, 2012; Marres, 2016)? 

Finally, diversity in methods for gathering and analysing data raise questions of reporting and validity. If mainstream norms of academic rigour are not applicable, then how are we to validate the results? What are the standards by which our research may be held accountable? And what are the proper forms of accounting? May we include accounts of ourselves (Pullen, 2006; see also Butler, 2005)? Are alternative norms and forms of presentation called for (Czarniawska,1997; Rhodes & Brown, 2005)? 

Paper topics

While diverse organizing and organizational diversity may be studied in conjunction, we welcome papers that explore any particular methodological or practical aspect of either. For example, papers may explore topics and themes such as (but not limited to): 

* Interventionist research methods and activist research 

* Alternative ways of studying diversity and the Other 

* Alternative organizing and alternative organization studies 

* Different voices/voicing difference 

* The relationship between research practice and practical research 

* Adapting methods to alternative settings 

* ‘Other’ takes on mainstream organizing 

* The study of (alternatives to) mainstream diversity management 

* New sources of data 

* Alternative uses of existing data 

* The epistemology and ontology of alterity 

* Validity criteria for alternative methods 

* New forms of research communication 



Confirmed keynote speakers 

  • Karen Ashcraft 

Confirmed panellists 

  • Alison Pullen 
  • Christian de Cock 
  • Damian O’Doherty 
  • Patrizia Zanoni 


Submission details 

Abstracts of approximately 1500 words (Times New Roman 12, single spaced, no header, footers or track changes) are invited by 1 March 2017. All abstracts will be peer reviewed and decisions on acceptance will be made by the workshop organizers within a month. 

Contributors may choose to draw on material from a wide range of empirical spheres, theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. Papers should include methodological considerations, but can be theoretically or empirically driven. We welcome papers from all national and cross-national contexts. New and young scholars with 'work in progress' are particularly welcome. In the case of co-authored papers, one person should be identified as the corresponding author. 

Abstracts should be emailed to: Sine N. Just ( and Lotte Holck ( 

The document should include contact information (author names, institutional affiliation and e-mail address). 

This workshop is exploratory in nature, but we acknowledge the importance of publication. We therefore encourage authors to submit a full(er) version of their paper by 15 April. This is, however, not a prerequisite for taking part in the workshop. 

In line with the theme of the workshop, we welcome alternatives to powerpoint presentations. You will be able to indicate your preferred form of presentation at the time of submitting your developed manuscript and are welcome to contact the workshop organizers for any questions. 


Important dates 

Abstract submission: 1 March 

Notification of decision: 15 March 

Full-paper submission (optional): 15 April 

Registration closes: 20 April 

Workshop: 2-3 May, 2017 



Alvesson, M. & Y. Gabriel (2013): “Beyond Formulaic Research: In Praise of Greater Diversity in Organizational Research and Publication.” Learning & Education, 12(2): 245-263.
Aschraft, K. L. (2001): “Organized Dissonance: Feminist Bureaucracy as Hybrid Form.” Academy of Management Journal, 44(6): 1301-1322.
Ashcraft, K. L. (2003): “The Racial Foundation of Organizational Communication.” Communication Theory, 13(1): 5-38.
Blackman, L. (2012): Immaterial Bodies. Affect, Embodiment, Mediation. London: Sage Publications.
Boltanski, L. (2014): Mysteries and Conspiracies. Detective Stories, Spy Novels and the Making of Modern Societies. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Butler, J. (2005): Giving an Account of Oneself. New York: Fordham University Press.
Castilla, E. J. & S. Benard (2010): “The Paradox of Meritocracy in Organizations.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(4): 543-676.
Cederström, C. & A. Spicer (2015): The Wellness Syndrome. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Czarniawska, B. (1997): “A Four Times Told Tale: Combining Narrative and Scientific Knowledge in Organization Studies. Organization, 4(1): 7-30.
Czarniawska, B. (2006): “Doing Gender unto the Other: Fiction as a Mode of Studying Gender Discrimination in Organizations.” Gender, Work & Organization, 13(3): 234-253.
Fraser, N. (2000): “Rethinking Recognition.” New Left Review, 3: 107-120.
Grint, K. & S. Woolgar (1997): The Machine at Work. Technology, Work and Organization. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Marres, N. (2016): Material Participation. Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mohanty, C. T. (1988): “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses.” Feminist Review, 30: 61-88.
Parker, M. (2011): “Organizing the Circus: The Engineering of Miracles.” Organization Studies, 32(4): 555-569.
Parker, M. (2012): Alternative Business. Outlaws, Crime and Culture. Oxon: Routledge.
Pullen, A. (2006): “Gendering the Research Self: Social Practice and Corporeal Multiplicity in the Writing of Organizational Research.” Gender, Work & Organization, 13(3): 277-298.
Rehn, A. (2008): “Pop (Culture) Goes the Organization: On Highbrow, Lowbrow and Hybrids in Studying Popular Culture Within Organization Studies.” Organization, 15(5), 765-783.
Rhodes, C. & A. D. Brown (2005): “Writing Responsibly: Narrative Fiction and Organization Studies.” Organization, 12(4): 467-491.
Rhodes, C. & Westwood, R. (2008): Critical Representations of Work and Organization in Popular Culture. Oxon: Routledge.
Smith, W. et al. (eds.) (2001): Science Fiction and Organization. London: Routledge.
Spivak, G. C. (2010): “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Morris. R. C. (ed.), Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the History of an Idea. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 21-78.
Zanoni, P. et al. (2010): “Unpacking Diversity, Grasping Inequality: Rethinking Difference Through Critical Perspectives.” Organization, 17(1): 9-29.

Sidst opdateret: Public-Private Platform // 13/06/2018