PDW 06: Marxism and Organization Studies

Paul S. Adler
University of Southern California, USA
Yrjö Engeström
University of Helsinki, Finland

Call for Applications

Claes Belfrage, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Christopher Nyland, Monash University, Australia
Chris Smith, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom
Juliane Reinecke, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
David Levy, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
Craig Prichard, Massey University, New Zealand [to be confirmed]
Christopher Land, University of Leicester, United Kingdom [to be confirmed]
Patrizia Zanoni, Hasselt University, Belgium [to be confirmed]
Steffen Böhm, University of Exeter, United Kingdom [to be confirmed]


This Pre-Colloquium Development Workshop (PDW) aims to offer interested faculty and doctoral students an opportunity to explore how Marxist ideas can enrich organization studies and the associated empirical research.
Marxist theory has a long history of engagement with the field of organization studies, and EGOS has hosted a Marxist organization studies sub-theme in each of the previous five years (leading to the publication of several papers in a forum in Organization Studies, April 2015). But there are not many opportunities available to faculty and students who want to learn more about this approach and discuss with others how it might help them in their own research. This PDW aims to fill that gap.



The PDW will be structured in two parts:

  • In the first part, the workshop will feature the two convenors discussing where Marxist theory is similar to and differs from the main lines of contemporary organization theory, and how Marxist theory has been used in empirical research at the organization level.

  • In the second part, participants will discuss and receive feedback on their “working papers” in a workshop setting. Working papers can take the form of a project description or a draft paper. Facilitators will be assigned to appropriate sets of working papers and will lead discussion of them in small groups.



To be considered for this PDW, authors will need to submit a short paper. Please submit – via the EGOS website – a single document of application (.doc, .docx or .pdf file) that includes:

  • a cover page with full details of name, affiliation, email address, and a personal website if that is available; and

  • a proposal/working paper of whatever length seems appropriate.

The workshop will move forward conditional on enough applications being received by April 3, 2017.

Paul S. Adler is currently Harold Quinton Chair in Business Policy at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, USA. His research and teaching focus on organization theory and design, and business-government-society interrelations. He has been co-convenor of the Marxist organization studies sub-theme at EGOS for the past seven years. Personal website at: http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~padler/
Yrjö Engeström is Professor of Adult Education and Director of the Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE) at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is also Professor Emeritus of communication at the University of California, San Diego, USA. He is widely known for his theory of expansive learning and for the methodology of developmental work research for the study of learning processes in work activities and organizations.