Sub-theme 72: Challenges and Balancing Acts in Organizing

Vincenza Esposito
University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy
Bernard Forgues
EMLyon Business School, France
Susanne Boch Waldorff
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Call for Papers

Designing organizations which are efficient enough to drive performance and flexible enough to sustain advantage is a fundamental capability in today's dynamic and competitive environment. In new business models and in highly fast digitized and globalized general business environment, collective action among organizations needs to take new adaptive forms. Design issues are addressed in many research fields and at different levels of analysis: individuals, groups, organizations and network.

The aim of this sub-theme is to build a platform for research on design in management that could transform a fragmented debate into an organized and fruitful diversity. We invite papers to investigate the potentiality of organizing, but also more critically assessing how the design in management impacts the organizational practices, social relations and interaction, power, and focus of attention. Empirical, conceptual, and practitioner-oriented contributions utilizing various theoretical perspectives and research designs will be discussed.

In particular, major topics include theory and research on:

  • Organizational strategy
  • Organizational configurations
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Performance measurement
  • Organizational learning
  • Dynamics and processes of collective action organizing
  • Knowledge management practices
  • Organizational design of project based organizations
  • Social relations
  • Creative capabilities
  • Cooperation and innovation
  • Organizational change and development


  • Barley, S.R., & Kunda, G. (2006): "Contracting: A new form of professional practice." Academy of Management Perspectives, 20 (1), 45–66.
  • Bruns, H.C. (2013): "Working alone together: Coordination changes expert practice in cross-domain collaboration." Academy of Management Journal, 56, 62–83.
  • Cappelli, P., & Keller, J.R. (2013): "Classifying work in the new economy." Academy of Management Review, 38 (4), 575–596.
  • Foos, T., Schum, G., & Rothenberg, S. (2006): "Tacit knowledge transfer and the knowledge disconnect." Journal of Knowledge Management, 10 (1), 6–18.
  • Gehman, J., Treviño, L. K., & Garud, R. (2013): "Values work: A process study of the emergence and performance of organizational values practices." Academy of Management Journal, 56, 84–112.
  • Kane, A.A., Argote, L., & Levine, J.M. (2005): "Knowledge transfer between groups via personnel rotation: Effects of social identity and knowledge quality." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 96 (1), 56–71.
  • Kunda, G., Barley, S.R., & Evans, J. (2002): "Why do contractors contract? The experience of highly skilled technical professionals in a contingent labor market." Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 55 (2), 234–261.
  • Langley, A., & Tsoukas, H. (2010): "Introducing perspectives on process organization studies." In T. Hernes & S. Maitlis (eds.): Process, Sensemaking and Organizing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1–26.
  • Okhuysen, G.A., & Eisenhardt, K.M. (2002): "Integrating knowledge in groups: How formal interventions enable flexibility." Organization Science, 13 (4), 370–386.
  • Pettigrew, A.M., Woodman, R.W., & Cameron, K.S. (2001): "Studying organizational change and development: Challenges for future research." Academy of Management Journal, 44, 697–713.
Vincenza Esposito is Assistant Professor of Organization Studies at University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy, where she currently teaches organization theory and organizational behaviour. She holds a PhD in Organization from University of Molise. She was a Visiting Researcher at the University College of Oxford, UK. In her academic research, she has explored the field of organizational theory, the relationship between diversity and control and the evaluation processes.
Bernard Forgues is Professor of Organization Theory at EMLyon Business School, France. In his current research, he primarily explores how materiality affects and is affected by organizational practices, market categories, technologies, and field dynamics. His recent work has been published in the 'Academy of Management Journal' and 'Human Resource Management'.
Susanne Boch Waldorff is Associate Professor at the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, where she is the Director of the Center for Health Management. Her research interests include the translation of reform and policy into organizational practices, the complexity of governance models, professions in change processes, and collaborative innovation. Her recent work has been published in 'Journal of Change Management', 'Scandinavian Journal of Management', 'Research in the Sociology of Organizations', and 'Public Sector Innovation Journal'.