Sub-theme 44: Marxist Studies on Organization

Paul S. Adler
University of Southern California, USA
Rick Delbridge
Cardiff University, UK

Call for Papers

The goal of this sub-theme is to build on the success of the first EGOS Marxist studies sub-theme in 2010 in bringing together people who share an interest in building on Marx's ideas to move organization studies forward.

The 2011 Colloquium organizers have highlighted several topics under the broad theme of "reassembling organizations", and we encourage submissions to our sub-theme that offer a Marxist approach to any of them:

  • Fashionable classics. Marx and other writers in the tradition he inspired offer valuable resources for current theorizing. We encourage papers that test the fruitfulness of the key concepts in these classics, explore how can these concepts be enriched, and identify features of our contemporary world that these concepts can help us understand.
  • Shifting assemblies. Marxist theory offers a powerful set of arguments about the dynamics of structural change at the societal and organizational levels. We encourage empirical papers that aim to assess the pertinence of these arguments and theoretical papers that aim to develop the arguments further.
  • Assembling, disassembling, and reassembling. The Marxist tradition is rich in concepts for understanding the evolving contours and forms of assemblies at various scales: transnational, societal, organizational. We encourage submissions that analyze recent economic and organizational developments through Marxist lenses and that use these lenses to anticipate the emergent new assemblies.
  • Everyday organizing. Marxist theory offers an integrative theory of different types of activity, linking the analysis of work organizations to the organization of the family and community. We encourage Marxist-informed submissions that examine the evolving nature of these linkages.
  • Re-connecting. Marxist research in fields beyond organization studies has progressed enormously in recent decades. We encourage submissions that reveal useful connections to Marxist work on economics, history, culture, politics, science, anthropology, psychology, etc.

We invite Marxist submissions on any of these topics, and also encourage contributions on any of the other dimensions of organization studies where a Marxist approach might be fruitful, such as (but not limited to):
globalization, imperialism, domination, war

  • epistemology: dialectical materialism, critical realism, etc.
  • labor process and the organization of work
  • historical perspective on crisis
  • financialization in its various dimensions
  • changing structure of the ruling class
  • the role of the state and state power in its various forms
  • contemporary culture and the consumer society
  • the emergence of new social categories
  • the role of academics as public intellectuals
  • the university in contemporary capitalism
  • subjectivity and agency
  • the reproduction sphere
  • capitalism, environment, and the metabolic rift
  • the transitions of capitalism, then and now.

We are not dogmatic in an attachment to any specific kind of Marxism. All kinds are welcome. In selecting papers, the conveners will give priority to those that either (a) enrich our understanding of the empirical world of organizations based on strong Marxist theoretical foundations, or (b) enrich Marxist theory in a way that promises deeper understanding of that world.


Paul S. Adler 
Rick Delbridge