Sub-theme 24: Markets, Sociality and Citizenship in Crisis: Marxist and Other Critical Approaches [merged with sub-theme 33]

Paul S. Adler
University of Southern California, USA
Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo
London School of Economics, UK, and Universidad del País Vasco, Spain
Matt Vidal
King's College London, UK

Call for Papers

The goal of this sub-theme is to build on the success of the first four EGOS Marxist studies sub-themes in bringing together people who share an interest in building on Marx's ideas to advance organization studies. We are not dogmatic in an attachment to any specific kind of Marxism – all kinds are welcome.

The theme of the 2014 Colloquium is "Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times". Given the emphasis in Marxist scholarship on crisis and how social structures become embedded and then uprooted, the Marxist sub-theme is well positioned to address the core theme of the conference. 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.


This year's call notes that we need to "rethink, and reshape our scholarship in light of the deeply invasive period of stagnation and decline we currently face". We thus invite papers that specifically show how Marxist theory can contribute to reimagining and rethinking how organizational scholarship can better address contemporary problems in the world economy, to ensure human flourishing and environmental sustainability in a globalizing world.

The 2013 Colloquium organizers have focused their theme on three specific areas, and we encourage submissions to our sub-theme that offer a Marxist approach to any of them:

  • Institutions, fields and organizations: Among the topics noted under this rubric in the Call are "changing contexts, crossing boundaries". Marx was one of the first writers on globalization, writing famously with Engels in the Communist Manifesto that "All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned … the need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe". We think there is fertile ground for Marxists to critique and potentially engage with mainstream institutional theory, including "institutional influences on ecological processes" and "institutional logics". In particular, we encourage papers that examine how classical Marxist topics such as class struggle, accumulation, commodification and valorization may provide alternatives or complements to mainstream institutional work.
  • Organizing and managing: Marxism has a long history of research on management in the labor process tradition. This tradition has theorized many forms of managerial control, including technical, bureaucratic, normative and concertive. Moreover, Marxist theory offers important insights into the constraints imposed by broader social structures on firms' ability to engage in strategic choice. We thus welcome studies examining how Marxist approaches can contribute to an understanding of organizing and managing in unsettled times.
  • Power and identities: Marxism's emphasis on class relations presents a distinct approach to understanding power relations, and the issue of identity is at center of Marxist concerns with consciousness and ideology. Marxist theory thus has a lot to offer on these topics, and we invite contributions to the range of issues covered under this broad topic area.

Over the previous four years, this EGOS sub-theme has become a gathering point for organizational scholars working with Marxist ideas. So we invite Marxist submissions on any of these topics, and we also encourage contributions on any of the other dimensions of organization studies where a Marxist approach might be fruitful. Contributions may 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.


Short paper submissions (max. 3,000 words) are welcome, but full length drafts are encouraged so that we can better assess their fit with our program.


Paul S. Adler is Professor of Management and Organization at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, USA, where he holds the Harold Quinton Chair in Business Policy. Website:
Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo is a Lecturer in Organizational and Social Psychology at the London School of Economics, UK. She has particular interest in organizational change and transitions, and has taken part in a number of research projects focused on change in organisations in different contexts: from the changes in health promotion and innovation structures in a network of European cities (WHO Healthy Cities); to knowledge transfer and inter-organizational collaboration among voluntary sector organisations in the UK (NCB), as well as within small and medium size enterprises in Europe (InCAS project).
Matt Vidal is Lecturer in Work and Organizations in the Department of Management, King's College London, UK. Website: