Sub-Plenary 2-4

Organizational Studies through the Lens of
Civic Wealth Creation: Organizations as
Key Actors in Social Change Coalitions


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

U6 Building – “AGORÀ” | Room: U6-P0-06 | Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1 | 20126 Milano

Organizers & Panelists:
Sophie Bacq, IMD Lausanne, Switzerland
Tom Lumpkin, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Johanna Mair, Hertie School, Berlin, Germany
      Giulio Pasi, Loyola University of Seville, Spain
Alessandro Sancino, The Open University, United Kingdom

The purpose of this sub-plenary is to advance the agenda of Civic Wealth Creation (CWC), including empowering local citizens and moving away from a narrow conception of wealth, and to promote a dialogue among scholars approaching the topic from different organizational perspectives in different research fields, including organizational theory, entrepreneurship, strategic management, public administration, non-profit management, and urban studies, among others.

At a time of burning and pressing societal challenges, we believe that pushing forward the debate and the agenda of CWC research will generate fresh insights that enrich our comprehension of collective endeavors by diverse actors working towards positive social change. Aligned with the overarching theme of EGOS Colloquium 2024 – “Crossroads for Organizations: Time, Space, and People” –, the goal is for participants to leave EGOS 2024 invigorated, prioritizing the civic level of analysis as a distinct focal point for organizational efforts. Focusing on a civic level of analysis is proving to be crucial for unraveling and better understanding the material and organizational implications of societal challenges.
Thus, the purpose of the sub-plenary is ensuring that the perspective of citizens and communities is not only considered but also deemed essential in organizational decisions, design and innovation. The sub-plenary will discuss CWC as a unique approach for interpreting organization theory, and as a distinct context for examining organization theory’s underlying assumptions. It will be relevant for scholars working on numerous transversal topics of interest for the EGOS community, including managing competing interests and diverse power structures, challenges to existing organizational structures, democratic organizing and collaborative partnerships, and more.
This will be an interactive sub-plenary discussing Civic Wealth Creation (CWC) as a unique approach for interpreting organization theory, and as a distinct context for examining organization theory’s underlying assumptions. Specifically, the sub-plenary will focus on three central issues, each casting a spotlight on the dynamic interplay between challenging what is organized and envisioning what could be organized, thus centering the discussion on foundational issues for EGOS around “organizations, organizing, and the organized, and the societal relevance of that understanding”:
1) Organizations and the Organized: What is currently organized for CWC?
We will promote debate on existing frameworks and structures dedicated to CWC and try to dissect prevalent models, initiatives, and collaborative efforts that are impairing/actively contributing to the betterment of communities with a focus on organizations as key actors in social change coalitions.
2) Between Organizing and Re-Organizing: What could be (re)organized for CWC?
The second focal point of our discussion will revolve around envisioning novel and imaginative approaches to CWC research. Through this exploration, we aim to inspire creative thinking and generate actionable insights that can shape future research endeavors.
3) Bridging Voices and Power: Organizations, Organizing and the Organized – between the “haves” and the “have nots”
We will foster a conversation on the pressing need, but also the difficulties, to bridge the voices and power dynamics between visible and invisible communities. Our focus will extend beyond mere acknowledgment of disparities, aiming to explore tangible organizational solutions for bridging voices and power.
The sub-plenary will navigate through these interconnected issues, fostering a space for dynamic discussion and encouraging the participants to leave the session with energy and inspiration to collectively envision, design and lead refreshed presents and desirable futures: a world where CWC and social prosperity can be both the driver for challenging what is (power structures, social injustice, and other impediments to CWC) and for organizing what could be.

Sophie Bacq is Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at IMD, Switzerland. Her research program centers on social entrepreneurship, societal impact, and civic wealth. A globally recognized thought leader in social entrepreneurship, she has taught and conducted empirical research on social entrepreneurship in Europe, the United States, and South Africa. Sophie has published over 40 articles in top-tier academic journals such as Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, and Journal of Management Studies. She currently serves as a Field Editor at the Journal of Business Venturing and is a member of several editorial review boards.
Tom Lumpkin is Visiting Senior Research Associate in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, and Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma, USA. His primary research interests include entrepreneurial orientation, civic wealth creation, social entrepreneurship, and family business. Tom is a globally recognized scholar whose award-winning research is considered seminal and has been published in leading entrepreneurship and management journals. He served as Co-Editor of Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal for six years (2012–2017).
Johanna Mair is an Organization, Strategy, and Leadership Professor at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany. She is a leading authority in social innovation, with research published in top academic journals. As the academic editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review and co-director of the Global Innovation for Impact Lab, Johanna plays a pivotal role in shaping the discourse and practice around social innovation. She advises organizations and governments on social innovation and has been recognized with numerous awards, including being named a “Faculty Pioneer” by the Aspen Institute.
Giulio Pasi is Policy Officer at the European Commission and Professor of Global Economics at the Loyola University of Seville, Spain, and teaches in the Public Affairs program at SciencesPo Paris, France. Previously, he served as Scientific Officer at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. His research focuses on social investment, social innovation, financial engineering, and institutional consequences of digital transformation. Giulio has extensive experience in policy evaluation, measurement techniques, impact assessment and management, strategic foresight, and future studies. Together with Gorgi Krlev, Dominika Wruk, and Marika Bernhard, he recently co-edited “Social Economy Science. Transforming the Economy and Making Society More Resilient” (Oxford University Press, 2023) and has published in several leading journals.
Alessandro Sancino is Associate Professor at The Open University, United Kingdom, and at the University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy. He has published in top-tier academic journals across the fields of public administration, management and organization studies, urban and regional studies. Alessandro has governance roles in several academic societies and has held public leadership roles in Italy at both national and local levels. In 2021, he was awarded by Poets & Quants as one of the Best 40 Professors under 40 years old in the world teaching in a Business School.