Department of Organization

Conversation series calendar

Institution and War (2018)

This seminar will explore the interface between institutional theory and war. More specifically, we will discuss research on the recent refugee crises from an institutional theory perspective.

The discussion will revolve around two studies (one ethnography and one social media analysis) to be presented and discussed at this event (attached please find abstracts and brief bios of the speakers).

The first study “The Long Walk to Aleppo: Institutional Myths, Inhabited Institutions, and Ideals in the Real World” will be presented by Mark de Rond (Professor of Organizational Ethnography at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge) and give insights into an ethnographic study on the civil march from Berlin to Aleppo.

The second study “New forms of organizing in a logistical crisis– implications for institutional theory” will be presented by Noomi Weinryb (Associate Senior Lecturer at Södertörn University, Sweden) and show how new norms of organizing and accountability emerge in initiatives trying to help refugees.

Organizers: Eva Boxenbaum, Renate Meyer and Silviya Svejenova

Time: May 3, 2019. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Place: Copenhagen Business School, Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg, room K4.74

Institutional Interfaces: Aesthetics (2018)

 Speakers’ abstracts and bios

(1) Micki Eisenman, Pilar Opazo, Michal Frenkel, & Varda Wasserman, “Micro-Zoning: Material Work in the Molecular Gastronomy Movement”

Organization theorists have been studying the physical properties of organizational artifacts, those objects that encode social meanings, and the ways in which they construct and constrain behavior in and around organizations (e.g., Bechky, 2008; DeMaron, Le, and LeBaron, 2015; Jones, Boxenbaum, and Anthony, 2013; Jones and Massa, 2013; Norman, 2004; Pratt and Rafaeli, 2006). A key question in much of this research pertains to understanding the intersection between the ways in which physical materials are merely textual manifestations which can be understood in a semiotic context, that is, as signs in a system of signification, and aspects of the material itself, as a substantive physical entity that both enables and constrains social interaction and interpretation (Fayard and Weeks, 2014; Leonardi and Barley, 2010; Orlikowski and Scott, 2008; Phillips and Oswick, 2012). In this paper, we advance these efforts in several ways. First, we study the production of materiality as a meeting point between a tangible, physical entity that can elicit sensory reactions as well as semiotic interpretations. These intersections, we suggest, are linked to the unique affordances embedded in the materials—the set of actions the materials shape, invite, or constrain (c.f., Fayard and Weeks, 2014). Second, we attend to calls for work that is multisensory in its reach (e.g., Islam et al., 2016; Pratt and Rafaeli, 2001). Therefore, we account for the presence of all five senses rather than prioritizing the visual. This allows us to highlight how different sensory affordances are distinct. Furthermore, it allows us to explore how materials embed and evoke senses and how the interactions among these embedded senses affect their affordances and affect the ways in which they are subject to semiotic interpretation as well as how affordances and signification work together to create a more holistic meaning or experience. Third, we highlight that, for the most part, extant work on materiality has viewed artifacts as holistic and has not yet moved towards dissecting artifacts into their various components. We suggest that material objects are in fact a compilation of multiple material components that producers link together in various ways. That is, some of the components evoke semiotic referents while others evoke various sensory reactions and other still offer various constraining affordances. And, these aspects of the material artifact interact. Applying an approach that focuses on such linkages allows us to understand the relationship between materiality and producers’ abilities to plan the evocation of emotional and affective reactions as well as to manipulate the affordances of materials and their effects on the senses.

We address our goals by studying production in the context of the molecular gastronomy movement. We use a broad range of interview, observational data, and archival data to analyze dishes as examples of complex material artifacts. Dishes are material constructions that are able to evoke both sensory reactions along all five senses as well as semiotic interpretations. Further, their composition lends itself to interactions between the sensory evocations and the semiotic interpretations. It is through these interactions and the affordances they elicit that chefs creating them are able to do a form of material work we term “micro-zoning”. That is, chefs are able to manipulate the interactions and behaviors of diners, in the course of a 3 to 4-hour meal, through their manipulations of the materials comprising a dish. Most interestingly, we find that chefs are able to enforce temporal dimensions on behaviors and interactions by linking materials in ways that predetermine a sequence that constrains behaviors and interpretations.

Dr. Micki Eisenman is a senior lecturer in the Organizational Behavior and Strategy groups at The Hebrew University’s Jerusalem School of Business and the Director of the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She received her undergraduate degree in English and Communications from The Hebrew University, her M.B.A. from Tulane University, and her Ph.D. in Management from Columbia University. Dr. Eisenman’s research applies a constructivist perspective that examines how new meanings emerge in the context of firms’ innovation efforts. Recent projects work to understand the intersection between the ways in which physical materials are merely textual manifestations which can be understood in a semiotic context, that is, as signs in a system of signification, and aspects of the material itself, as a substantive physical entity that both enables and constrains social interaction and interpretation. She studies these questions in the context of haute cuisine and workspace design. In other work, she examined how organizations communicate by using aesthetic design—the visible design attributes of a product, such as its shape, color, texture, or ornamentation—as well as the sensory, emotional, and cognitive responses these attributes elicit. These ideas are tested in the context of innovative architectural and industrial design using field observations, interviews, and archival data. In yet another series of projects, she examines the concept of generative appropriability, that is, how firms maximize the future potential value of their current innovations. She examines this question using patent citation data from firms in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. Before joining the faculty at The Hebrew University, Dr. Eisenman served as an assistant professor at the City University of New York’s Baruch College. Her work has appeared in the AMR, ASQ, JMS, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Human Relations, and the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship. She was awarded the first place in the 2004 INFORMS Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition and her work was nominated for the AMR’s Best Paper of 2013, Academy of Management’s William H. Newman Award for outstanding dissertation-based research and the Managerial and Organization Cognition Division’s Best Student Paper award. Additionally, Dr. Eisenman is a regular reviewer for leading management journals and serves on the board of AMR.

(2) Timon Beyes, “Flat, intense and shiny: the colour chart’s aesthetics of organizing”

Colour has agency. It helps creating and shaping social relations. Yet social theory and the study of organization are largely immune to the ubiquity and efficacy of colour understood as a genuine, if unstable and treacherous medium of organizing. My talk will focus on the colour chart as aesthetic object or technology and its organizational efficacy. A disposable arrangement of readymade colours, the colour chart, writes David Batchelor, offers three types of autonomy: “that of each colour from every other colour, that of colour from the dictates of colour theory, and that of colour from the register of representation”. These autonomies have ushered in a proliferation of ‘industrial’ (and now digital) colours. They have made colours endlessly commodifiable and now digitally available at our fingertips. They shape the colours of things and surfaces, images and forms. The colour chart, once an inconspicuous piece of paper, now a digital palette for everyday clicking and choosing, is arguably at the heart of the aestheticization of organized life.

Timon Beyes is Professor of Sociology of Organisation and Culture at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg and at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, CBS. He is also director of the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) at Leuphana University.

Timon has a background in Sociology and Management Studies and has done his doctoral and post-doctoral research at the Institute of Sociology and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. In 2008, Timon was a Leverhulme Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Theory, Swansea University, UK; more recently, he has held visiting positions at University of St. Gallen and Université Paris-Dauphine. From 2010 to 2012 he has been a research professor at the Institute for the Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media at Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany, where he directed a large-scale EU-funded research and development project on digital cultures. Informed by recent developments in cultural and social theory, his research and teaching focuses on the processes, spaces and aesthetics of organization in the fields of media culture, art, cities as well as higher education.

Related publications include ‘Colour and Organization Studies’ (Organization Studies, 38(10): 1467-1482, 2017), ‘Adorno’s grey, Taussig’s blue: Colour, organization and critical affect’ (with Christian De Cock, Organization, 24(1): 59-78, 2017), ‘Art, Aesthetics and Organization’ (in B. Czarniawska (ed.), A Research Agenda for Management and Organization Studies, 2016), ‘Strangely familiar: The uncanny and unsiting organizational analysis’ (Organization Studies, 34(10): 1445-1465, 2013)

Ethnography and Institutions (2018)
11th January 2018 at 1-4 pm.
Organizers: Susanne Boch Waldorff, Lærke Højgaard Christensen and Roddy Walker
In this seminar we wish to explore the understanding and analysis of situated activities and interactions, in relation to wider institutional conditions. We bring together two vibrant perspectives, which place institutional language and meanings at the center. The first is ‘Institutional Ethnography’ (Dorothy Smith, 2005) focusing on how social realities are brought into being within the always shifting and changing relations of ruling that are specific to a time and place. For the institutional ethnographer, ordinary daily activity becomes the site for an investigation of social organization. The second perspective is the well-established ‘Institutional theory’ (Scott, 1995), which is a theory of the deeper and more resilient aspects of social structure and the processes by which structures, including schemes, rules, norms, and routines, become established as guidelines for social behaviour. Within this perspective, recent developments have evoked a growing interest in ethnographic methods for exploring the micro-foundations of institutions. The aim of the seminar is to open up new research avenues and approaches for those interested.
“Institutional ethnography” by Rebecca W.B. Lund, Post. Doc., Gender studies,
Faculty of Social Science, University of Tampere, Finland. In her presentation, Rebecca will explain the general methodological implications of Institutional Ethnography, and her experiences in using the approach within her own work. Exploring what people do and how they do it involves the uncovering of institutional language, that is, objectifying concepts that are often treated as descriptive and neutral in everyday talk and action, but do in fact practice a particular form of power, and contain a concealed standpoint (Lund, 2012).
“Institutional theory and ethnography” by Tammar B. Zilber, Associate Professor of Organization Theory at Jerusalem School of Business, The Hebrew University, Israel.  Tammar will present the ways in which ethnographic methods may be applied to explore the micro-foundations of institutions. In her own work Tammar has explored the dynamics of meanings in institutional processes and suggests scholars go beyond meanings as embodied in verbal texts, to include the interfaces of meaning with material, visual and emotional aspects of institutions (Zilber, 2017). 
Open discussion. The talks will be followed by a more general discussion on if, and how, institutional ethnography may be coupled with institutional theory.
Institutional Interfaces: City Identity (2017)
December 15th, 10 am-12pm, K 4.74
Organizers: Eva Boxenbaum, Renate Meyer and Silviya Svejenova 
This seminar will explore the interface between institutional theory and city identity. More specifically, we will discuss opportunities for cross-fertilization between institutional theory and the literature on identity for empirical inquiry into how cities pursue and acquire a stronger or more visible identity. The discussion will revolve around two empirical papers to be presented and discussed at this event.
The first paper examines how multi-centenary family firms in the area of Kyoto - collectively known as shinise - help the city of Kyoto maintain its identity. This paper will be presented by Professor Davide Ravasi (Cass Business School) based on a paper that he has co-authored with Innan Sasaki and Evelyn Micelotta. 
The second paper investigates how the City of Sydney shapes collective understandings of the city through its strategy Sustainable Sydney 2030. Professor Markus Höllerer (WU Vienna) will present this paper, which is co-authored with Martin Kornberger and Renate Meyer. 
The event is open to all and pre-registration is not required. Please contact Eva Boxenbaum ( for full papers.
Future of organization studies: vibrant or withering? (2013)
Invited external academic speakers:
Michael Lounsbury, Associate Dean (Research), Professor and Thornton A. Graham Chair, University of Alberta, editor-in-chief of Research in the Sociology of Organizations and co-editor of Organization Studies
Frank den Hond, Professor of Management and Organisation, Hanken Business School and University Lecturer, Department of Organization Science, VU University Amsterdam, upcoming editor-in-chief of Organization Studies.
Lærke Højgaard Christiansen, PhD candidate, Department of Organization, CBS
Martin Kornberger, Professor m.s.o., Department of Organization, CBS
Position papers:
TWO REFLECTIONS Position paper for the CBS/IOA Conversation Series, 23 April 2013 Frank den Hond
In Defense of Organization and Management Theory (OMT): Challenges and Opportunities for Organization Studies, Conversation Series 2013, Michael Lounsbury
Tid: 23.04 kl.13.30-16.00
Sted: Copenhagen Business School, Kilen, Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg K4.74
The role of images (verbal and visual) in organization research (2012)

Invited external academic speakers:

Roy Suddaby, Eldon Foote Chair in Law and Society, Eric Geddes Professor of Business, Director of Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility; Department of Strategy and Organization, University of Alberta and Australian School of Business, Editor-in-Chief of the Academy of Management Review
Joep Cornelissen, Professor of Communication and Organisation, VU University Amsterdam, General Editor of the Journal of Management Studies


Majken Schultz, Renate Meyer and Eva Boxenbaum, professors at the Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School

Position papers:

Paper from Roy Suddaby

Paper from Joep Cornelissen

Tid: 17.09 kl. 9.00 -11.30
Sted: Copenhagen Business School, Kilen, Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg, K.4.74
Future of organization studies (2012)

Invited external academic speakers:
David Courpasson, GDF-Suez professor of strategy and Chair of the Strategy & Business Policy department, HEC Paris, Editor-in-Chief of Organization Studies
Rodolphe Durand, Professor of sociology, Strategy and Organization department, EM Lyon 

Kristian Kreiner, Professor at Department of Organization
Susanne Ekman, Assistant Professor at Department of Organization

Position papers:

Courpasson discussion paper

Tid: 26.04 kl. 14.00-17.00
Sted: Kilen, Kilevej 14A, 4., 2000 Frederiksberg, K4.74
Conversations on Relevance and Engagement with Practice (2010)

Invited external academic speakers:

Andrew Van de Ven, Professor, Strategic Management and Organization, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota , USA.
Chris Grey, Professor, Industrial Relations & Organisational Behaviour, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Morten Thanning Vendelø, Associate Professor, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School
Rikke Stampe Skov, Director, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, DK

Position papers:

Article by Majken Schultz for inspiration: Reconciling Pragmatism and Scientific Rigor

Tid: 08.10 kl. 9.00-12.00
Sted: Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, SPs13 Velux Aud.
The first seminar on Conversations about the future of organization studies (2010)

Invited external academic speakers:

Mary Jo Hatch, Professor Emeritus at University of Virginia and Adjunct Professor at CBS
Eero Vaara, Chairman of European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS), Professor at Hanken School of Economics, Management and Organization, Helsinki and Adjunct Professor at CBS

Eva Zeuthen, Director, Gentofte hospital
Signe Vikkelsø, Associate Professor, IOA

Position papers:

Mary Jo Hatch - Future of OT Blurb

Eero Vaara Organization theory is not a problem but a solution

Tid: 15.03 kl. 9.00-12.00
Sted: Copenhagen Business School, Kilen, Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg, K150


The page was last edited by: Department of Organization // 02/28/2019


Department of Organization
Copenhagen Business School
Kilevej 14A
DK-2000 Frederiksberg

Phone: +45 3815 3815
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