Sub-theme 44: Marxist Organization Studies: Structures, Systems and Power

Paul S. Adler
University of Southern California, USA
Rick Delbridge
Cardiff Business School, UK
Matt Vidal
King's College London, UK

Call for Papers

In 2015, we will build on the success of the five previous EGOS Marxist studies sub-themes in bringing together people who share an interest in building on Marx's ideas to advance organization studies. With Athens as the host city, the organizers of the EGOS 2015 Colloquium have invoked various Greek philosophers in calling for papers that examine organizational life, challenge unreflexive practice, consider the ongoing reflexive reconstitution of organization and the power relations and responsibilities that are entwined in these social relationships. This sub-theme takes up this invitation by providing the space for reflection on the current contributions and future prospects of Marxist-inspired organization studies in examining the structures, systems, and power relations of contemporary organizational life. As the organizers observe 'Much of modern organizational life is carried out through structures, systems and routines, following norms and rules, within power structures' and Marxist work is particularly well placed to contribute to the examination of these phenomena.

We particularly welcome papers that address the following:

  • Processes and systems of globalization and cross-national organization
  • Studies of work, organization and the labour process
  • Studies of organization and society, including processes of hegemony, class relations and power structures
  • Marxist analyses of institutional fields and processes of institutionalization
  • Class analyses of employee identities, including the professions and occupational groups

We are not dogmatic in an attachment to any specific kind of Marxism – all kinds are welcome. In previous years our sub-theme has enjoyed lively debate spanning a wide range of Marxist approaches. Some scholars have sought to integrate insights from organization studies into a Marxist framework, while others have examined how Marxist insights may fruitfully add analytical value to other research traditions.

We invite contributions that either (a) enrich our understanding of the empirical world of organizations based on Marxist theoretical foundations, or (b) enrich Marxist theory in a way that promises deeper understanding of that world.

While the overall EGOS call asks for short papers under 3000 words, this sub-theme encourages longer submissions so we can better assess the fit with our program.


Paul S. Adler is Professor of Management and Organization at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, where he holds the Harold Quinton Chair in Business Policy. He began his education in Australia and moved to France in 1974. Paul received his doctorate in Economics and Management there while working as a Research Economist for the French government. He came to the USA in 1981, and before arriving at USC in 1991, he was affiliated with the Brookings Institution, Columbia University, the Harvard Business School, and Stanford's School of Engineering. At the Academy of Management, he has served as chair of the Technology and Innovation Management Division and of the Critical Management Studies Interest Group, as a representative-at-large on the Board of Governors, and currently serves as the Academy’s President.
Rick Delbridge is Professor of Organizational Analysis at Cardiff University, UK. His research interests include work and workplace relations, the management of innovation, and critical human resource management. He has published his research in many leading journals including 'Academy of Management Review', 'Human Relations', 'Journal of Management Studies', 'Organization Science' and 'Organization Studies'. He is Associate Editor of the 'Academy of Management Review'. Rick is a Fellow of the Sunningdale Institute, member of the British Academy of Management Research & Development Committee and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Matt Vidal is Senior Lecturer in Work and Organizations at the Department of Management, King's College London, UK. His research interests include the sociology of work, organizations and labor markets, political economy, comparative-historical sociology and social theory. Matt's work has been published in 'Contexts', 'Critical Sociology', 'Human Relations', 'Industrial Relations', 'New Political Economy', 'Socio-Economic Review', 'Sociology Compass and Work', 'Employment & Society'. He is author of "Organizing Prosperity" (EPI) and editor (with Marco Hauptmeier) of "Comparative Political Economy of Work" (Palgrave). Matt is Editor-in-chief of "Work in Progress", a blog of the American Sociological Association; an Editorial Board Member of 'Work, Employment & Society'; and was editor (with Jon Hindmarsh) of the "Organizations & Work" section of Sociology Compass. He organized (with Hyunji Kwon) the 32nd International Labour Process Conference, London, 2014, and is a Council Member of the Marxist section of the ASA.