Sub-Plenary 2-2

Organization Studies at the Crossroads:
How Will We Build a Diverse and Inclusive Field?


Friday, July 5, 2024, 16:00–17:30 CEST

U6 Building – “AGORÀ” | Room: U6-P-1-05 | Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1 | 20126 Milano

Pedro Monteiro, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Samantha Ortiz Casillas, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica, Mexico
Charlotte Cloutier, HEC Montréal, Canada
Ruthanne Huising, emlyon business school, France
Catrina Johnson, Kent State University, USA
Sarah Kaplan, Rotman School of Management, Canada
Shubha Patvardhan, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India

This sub-plenary examines concrete ways to make our field more diverse and inclusive. Academia – despite the ideals of rationalism and universalism at its roots – is also profoundly unequal. These inequalities are continuously reproduced, and minorities face particular challenges given the organization of academia, its lack of support and accountability structures, and an elitist and resistant culture.

The 40th anniversary of our Colloquium signals a time for reflection. As with most social challenges, change depends on more or less coordinated distributed action. These efforts are usually placed under the umbrella of “service” and rarely receive the attention, recognition, and support given to research activities. However, this labor to make our field more inclusive and diverse is not only ethically desirable but also necessary to increase our research’s quality, reach, and relevance.
In this sub-plenary, we bring together scholars who have organized, contributed, and examined initiatives aimed at making the distribution of resources and attention, the norms and assumptions, and forms of engagement in academia more diverse and inclusive. Together, they will help us reimagine what it means to be a scholar and work in a more open scholarly community.
Societies are reckoning with historical inequalities and exclusions, posing the challenge for organizations to become more inclusive. Thus, a crucial crossroads is harmoniously connecting people from multiple backgrounds, including those historically marginalized. Academia is a particularly challenging context for inclusivity and diversity, given its distributed structure and elitist culture. Hence, it offers an important setting to examine collective ways to address such challenges and showcases the need to imagine and implement community-based solutions.
The sub-plenary features panelists involved in five different initiatives to expand and diversify participation in academia. These include the PhD Project, the Institute for Gender and the Economy, the Ethnography Atelier, the Montreal Organizations Writing Workshop, and the OMT Global Consortium. These initiatives work to increase diversity and inclusiveness in different facets of scholars’ work and careers.

  • The PhD Project focuses on entry into the field, demystifying the career and access to it, and providing resources to those who do not have family or friends in the field.

  • The Ethnography Atelier provides training and support for qualitative researchers globally by providing opportunities for researchers to discuss and develop each other’s work and share resources to foster engagement with a variety of qualitative methods.

  • Montreal Organizations Writing Workshop is a sustained, local effort to provide regular interactive support for researchers to improve their work and engagement in the review process.

  • The Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) is a diverse and inclusive research institute that focuses on mentoring early career researchers and conducting research and policy analyses on diversity and inclusiveness.

  • The OMT Global Research Consortium is a workshop at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting to provide scholars with support for conducting high-quality organizational research in under-represented, non-western settings.

Each initiative's history, scale, and organizing model vary. As such, they provide a range of models for – and experiment with – how to change the status quo in the field of organization studies. By proactively redistributing resources and attention, reforming the norms and assumptions, and establishing new forms of engagement, these efforts work in various ways to challenge current ideas about who can become a scholar and what it means to work in a scholarly community. In featuring these initiatives, we want to inspire others to think about how, at various scales and with different organizing models, they might build their own initiatives that challenge the dominant model of academia.
The sub-plenary will start with a short overview of the topic and the panelists’ work. Then, panelists will present each initiative’s history and characteristics for 7 minutes each. A moderated discussion will follow. Finally, the session will conclude with a Q&A with the audience.

Charlotte Cloutier is an Associate Professor of Strategy at HEC Montréal, Canada- Her research focuses on practices and processes of strategy-making in pluralistic and inter-organizational settings. Charlotte is the founder of the Montreal Organizations Writing Workshop and co-founder of Project Scrib, which features interviews and resources about the craft of writing in academic research.
Ruthanne Huising is Professor and Director of the Work, Technology, and Organization Research Center at emlyon business school, France. Her work examines professions and expertise in the context of regulatory and technological change. Ruthanne is the founder of the Ethnography Atelier.
Catrina Johnson is an Assistant Professor at Kent State University, USA. Her research focuses on how gender and racial disparity affect mentorship relationships in the academy and the effects of criminal history on individuals’ ability to acquire meaningful work. Catroma is an alum of the PhD Project.
Sarah Kaplan is Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Canada. Her current research focuses on applying an innovation lens to social challenges such as gender inequality. Sarah is the funding director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE).
Pedro Monteiro is an Assistant Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark His research focuses on the organization of collaboration across knowledge domains, the management of expertise, and the functioning and dilemmas of bureaucracy. Pedro is the co-founder of the Talking about Organizations Podcast.
Samantha Ortiz Casillas is an Assistant Professor at the Public Administration Division of the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City, Mexico. She is a social scientist interested in studying work and organization in the contexts of public administration and political collective action. Samantha volunteers at the Ethnography Atelier and the Talking About Organizations Podcast.
Shubha Patvardhan is an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India Her research interests are in strategy-making and managerial and organizational cognition (identity, image, sensemaking, and future-oriented thought and action). Shubha is a rep-at-large at OMT and has recently co-organized the OMT Global Research Consortium.