Sub-theme 56: Organizing for the Good Life between Nationalism and Globalization

Convenors:
Alexei Koveshnikov
Aalto University, Finland
Sally Riad
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Janne Tienari
Hanken School of Economics, Finland

Call for Papers


Building on the EGOS sub-theme organized in 2021 and reflecting on current global developments, in this sub-theme we continue to explore the interplay and the emerging implications of nationalism and globalization for individuals, communities, and organizations around the globe. As the world shivers from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and military conflicts, nationalism in its various manifestations continues to affect people, groups, organizations, economies, and society at large. Often pitted against globalization, its effects on organization are complex, multifaceted, and enduring. They extend from the repercussions of geopolitics (e.g., the US-China trade war) to the implications of the global expansion of giant tech companies, to the more micro-level, daily lives of refugees and immigrants in numerous places around the world. Meanwhile, the pandemic exposed the limits of the ‘nation-state’ as a unit of analysis, including to its citizens. For example, in Australia, states managed their respective borders to control outbreaks, leaving the national government constrained as many key decisions were made at the state level.
 
Organizational research has engaged with some of these processes, including the roles and connections between governments and multinational organizations (Devinney & Hartwell, 2020; Hartwell & Devinney, 2021; Vaara, Tienari, & Koveshnikov, 2021; Witt, 2019). However, the effects of nationalism extend far beyond the well-known and well-discussed cases of the rising populism (e.g., Brexit, the leadership of Trump) to pervade daily processes in various parts of the world; for example, migration border crises, national trade confrontations that reshuffle global supply chains, the proliferation of ‘democratic illiberalism’ (e.g., in Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland), or military maneuvers (e.g., Russian operations in the Ukraine). Since nationalism and globalization are constantly deployed by various actors and groups as they jockey for position and influence, their organizational implications need to be better understood.
 
In this sub-theme, we are interested in exploring processes of organizing that unfold in a world where the forces of nationalism and globalization struggle for dominance and are further reshaped and complicated by quickly escalating crises of various kinds. We call for papers based on diverse methodological approaches that explore macro-level phenomena such as the complexities and impediments that nationalism creates for multinational corporations and their partners (e.g., imposing barriers to immigration thus creating skilled labour shortages, or constraining multinationals’ access to large infrastructure investment projects and limiting their ability to exploit technological advantages). We also invite papers that focus on meso- and micro-level organizational phenomena. Examples include the impact of nationalism on internationally mobile employees and their motivations to relocate, and on local attitudes toward foreign businesses and employees; or the influence of nationalism and/or globalization on strategic decision-making and legitimation in organizations, or the interplay of nationalism and globalization in identity construction and sensemaking processes of actors in international organizations. We are also interested in papers that explore various phenomena at other systemic levels of analysis alongside the global and the national; for example, those that focus on the tensions between global, national, and local wellbeing and the implications these tensions might have for organizations and organizational actors.
 
We welcome research that addresses the implications for organizations and organizing from established and new forms of nationalism and/or globalization and their effects on a range of topics, including but not limited to:
media and social media;

  • leadership, leaders, and corporate cultures;

  • legitimation, attributions, blame, scapegoating;

  • managing organizations in conditions of COVID-19 and its aftermath;

  • global careers and global mobility;

  • identity, including identity politics, in organizations;

  • gender, ethnicity, and race in organizations;

  • culture and its resources, e.g., stereotypes, symbols, artefacts, and their deployment;

  • language, discourse, and their resources, e.g. metaphor, metonymy, irony, humor.


We are also interested in research that explores the nuances of nationalism and globalization, such as…

  • the variety in forms and manifestations of nationalism (e.g. economic, techno, banal and cyber nationalism) and globalization in contemporary organizations;

  • new forms and manifestations of nationalism in organizing emerging economies;

  • the erosion of the power embedded in both nationalism and globalization through the rising salience of regionalism and community organizing;

  • the role of geopolitics (e.g. trade wars, sanctions) and ideology in shaping the nationalist-globalist struggles that pervade organizations;

  • the productive and constraining effects of nationalism in organizing recuperative politics and/or decolonization;

  • the appeal of nationalism as a form of resistance and/or a source of power in organization;

  • the effects of ‘democratic illiberalism’ and its implications for local and foreign organizations;

  • the role of ‘exceptionalism’ in shaping nationalism (including the effects of a sense of loss/erosion in that exceptionalism) and its respective effects on organization:

 


References


  • Devinney, T.M., & Hartwell, C.A. (2020): “Varieties of populism.” Global Strategy Journal, 10 (1), 32–66.
  • Hartwell, C.A., & Devinney, T. (2021): “Populism, political risk, and pandemics: The challenges of political leadership for business in a post-COVID world.” Journal of World Business, 56 (4).
  • Vaara, E., Tienari, J., & Koveshnikov, A. (2021): “From cultural differences to identity politics: A critical discursive approach to national identity in multinational corporations.” Journal of Management Studies, 58 (8), 2052–2081.
  • Witt, M.A. (2019): “De-globalization: Theories, predictions, and opportunities for international business research.” Journal of International Business Studies, 50 (7), 1053–1077.
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Alexei Koveshnikov is an Associate Professor at the School of Business, Aalto University, Finland. He does research on politics and power, nationalism, stereotyping, sensemaking and cultural resources in the context of multinational corporations.
Sally Riad is a Senior Lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her research is positioned at the nexus of organization and difference, addressing value, mergers and acquisitions, identity and diversity, culture, and leadership.
Janne Tienari is a Professor at Hanken School of Economics, Finland. His research interests include globalization and nationalism, gender and diversity, feminist theory, strategy work, managing multinational corporations, mergers and acquisitions, and branding, media, and social media.