Sub-theme 60: Places, Emotions, and Organizations

Mélodie Cartel
UNSW Business School, Australia
M. Tina Dacin
Queen’s University, Canada
Ewald Kibler
Aalto University, Finland

Call for Papers

There is growing interest for a location-specific scholarship in organization studies. While place has long been taken for granted and backgrounded as context in organization studies, recent work is moving beyond past interpretations of place as a passive container of organizational life to a view of place as a dynamic component of organizing (Zilber, 2018; Cnossen, de Vaujany & Haefliger, 2021; Cartel, Kibler & Dacin, 2022). The places where organizational life unfolds can have considerable impact on people’s (individual and shared) lived experiences – on the way they see, feel, and respond emotionally to things (Alkhaled & Sasaki, 2021; Aversa, Furnari & Jenkins, 2021; Crawford & Dacin, 2021; Farny, Kibler & Down, 2019; Hultin et al., 2021; Lawrence, 2017; Lawrence & Dover, 2015; Wright et al., 2021; Siebert, Wilson & Hamilton, 2017). Our objective with this sub-theme is to nurture the emerging scholarly community at the intersection of place, emotions, and organizations.
Place is inherently an interdisciplinary construct, and therefore has received varied definitions according to the field of study (e.g., sociology, human geography, environmental psychology, and philosophy). Common across those definitions (Lefebvre, 1974; Relph, 1976; Gieryn, 2000; Gustafson, 2001) is the idea that (1) place is situated geographically (or digitally) somewhere; (2) place has a material form, whether that form is the product of natural physical forces (e.g. mountains, rivers) or the product of human activity (e.g., cities, digital stock exchanges), and; (3) place embodies a set of meanings, either as a result of a continuous history of traditions or disruptive events. With this in mind, a large body of knowledge in the social sciences addresses how people are moved and touched by places (Canter, 1997; Cresswell, 2015; Relph, 1976; Tuan, 1977). Key concepts such as “place attachment,” “place belongingness,” “place experience” “place identity,” “placelessness,” and “sense of place” capture the range of emotional bonds that may form between people and places. These studies acknowledge the diversity of modes of knowing places: we experience place with all of our senses (e.g. the stones in a church have a distinctive smell and the air is usually cold (Relph, 1976)). As such, people tend to develop embodied responses to the places they inhabit (e.g. emotional energy, feeling humbled, feeling responsible for the place), and, more specifically in the context of organizations, to the places in which they perform their work.
Building on these intellectual traditions, organizational scholars have begun to adapt place-based concepts to understand how our emotional investments in a place, as well as the (shared) emotional dynamics underpinning the making and sustenance of a place, affects organizational dynamics at different levels of analysis (Lawrence & Dover, 2015; Massa et al., 2017; Wright et al., 2021). For instance, when they inhabit a place for a long time, people in organizations can develop attachment and a strong emotional connectivity to that place (Kibler et al., 2015; Farny et al., 2019), creating a shared sense of belonginess which encourages them to protect or nurture that place (Shrivastava & Kennelly, 2013; Crawford & Dacin, 2021); when instead, a place that people in organizations care about breaks down, like the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013 (Chowdhury, 2017), or entire Haitian neighborhoods during the 2010 earthquake (Farny, Kibler & Down, 2019), it can create shared feelings of placelessness, which considerably affect and shape place-remaking and recovery processes (Cartel, Kibler & Dacin, 2022). Indeed, the current pandemic has heightened a sense of placelessness as many are forced into conditions of remote work.
These relatively new and fast developments are happening in different domains of organizational research and target a broad range of organizational phenomena such as, among others, institutional maintenance and change (Cartel, Boxenbaum & Aggeri, 2019; Lawrence & Dover, 2015; Siebert, Wilson & Hamilton, 2017; Wright et al., 2021), category, identity and emotional dynamics (Aversa, Furnari & Jenkins, 2021; Croidieu, Soppe & Powell, 2017; David, Jones & Croidieu, 2020; Delmestri et al., 2020; Lawrence, 2017; Massa et al. 2017), entrepreneurial imaginations, practices and processes (Kibler et al., 2015; Kibler et al., 2021; Muñoz et al., 2020; Farny et al., 2019; Welter & Baker, 2021), and organizing sustainability and social inclusion (Dacin, Munir & Tracey, 2010; Alkhaled & Sasaki, 2021; Hultin et al., 2021; Mazutis, Slawinski & Palazzo, 2021; Slawinski et al., 2021; Vernay, Cartel & Pinkse, 2022). Therefore, we see a unique and timely opportunity to foster a fruitful dialogue among the evolving community of scholars that are interested in advancing our knowledge at the intersection of places, emotions, and organizations. Our objective is to map this emergent field of research, take stock of what has been achieved so far and outline coherent directions for future research.
We are hoping to generate a wide range of insights to both advance both theory and practice in relation to places, emotions, and organizations. To this end, we welcome:

  • Conceptual papers drawing on, and combining, alternative intellectual traditions as an attempt to develop (new) ways of conceptualizing the relationship between places, emotions, and organizational life. What specific institutional, organizational, and entrepreneurial processes do place-based emotions support and under what conditions?

  • Methodological reflections on how to best capture emotional and place-sensitive dynamics in different institutional, organizational and entrepreneurial contexts (e.g. phenomenology, multimodal analysis, ethnographies, videography, walking interviews, experiments, alternative methods from other fields of research).

  • Empirical papers that deepen our knowledge of how people in and managing organizations emotionally engage with place. Are these emotional responses specific to organizational contexts? Meaning, are they similar to or different from well-established emotional responses such as place-belonginess and place-identity?

  • Unique local settings where place-based emotions are key to explaining institutional and organizational mechanisms and dynamics.



  • Alkhaled, S., & Sasaki, I. (2021): “Syrian Women Refugees: Coping with indeterminate liminality during forcible displacement.” Organization Studies.first published online on August 3, 2021,
  • Aversa, P., Furnari, S., & Jenkins, M. (2021): “The Primordial Soup: Exploring the Emotional Microfoundations of Cluster Genesis.” Organization Science, 33 (4), 1340–1371.
  • Canter, D. (1997): “The facets of place.” In: G.T. Moore & R.W. Marans (eds.): Advances in Environment, Behavior and Design. Vol. 4: Toward the Integration of Theory, Methods, Research, and Utilization. New York: Plenum Press, 109–147.
  • Cartel, M., Boxenbaum, E., & Aggeri, F. (2019): “Just for fun! How experimental spaces stimulate innovation in institutionalized fields.” Organization Studies, 40 (1), 65–92.
  • Cartel, M., Kibler, E., & Dacin, M.T. (2022): “Unpacking ‘Sense of Place’ and ‘Place-making’ in Organization Studies: A Toolkit for Place-sensitive Research.” The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 58 (2), 350–363.
  • Cnossen, B., de Vaujany, F.-X., & Haefliger, S. (2021): “The Street and Organization Studies.” Organization Studies, 42 (8), 1337–1349.
  • Crawford, B., & Dacin, M.T. (2021): “Policing Work: Emotions and Violence in Institutional Work.” Organization Studies, 42 (8), 1219–1240.
  • Cresswell, T. (2015): Place: An Introduction. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Croidieu, G., Soppe, B., & Powell, W.W. (2017): “Cru, glue, and status: How wine labels helped ennoble Bordeaux.” In: M.A. Höllerer, T. Daudigeos & D. Jancsary (eds): Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions. Bingley: Emerald Publishing, 37–69.
  • Dacin, M.T., Munir, K., &Tracey, P. (2010): “Formal Dining at Cambridge Colleges: Linking Ritual Performance and Institutional Maintenance.” Academy of Management Journal, 53 (6), 1393–1418.
  • David, R., Jones, C., & Croidieu, G. (2020): “Special Issue of Strategic Organization : ‘Categories and Place: Materiality, Identities, and Movements’.” Strategic Organization, 18 (1), 245–248.
  • Delmestri, G., et al. (2020): “The Hidden Paths of Category Research: Climbing new heights and slippery slopes.” Organization Studies, 41 (7), 909–920.
  • Farny, S., Kibler, E., & Down, S. (2019a): “Collective Emotions in Institutional Creation Work.” Academy of Management Journal, 62 (3), 765–799.
  • Farny, S., et al. (2019b): “Volunteer Retention in Prosocial Venturing: The Role of Emotional Connectivity.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 43 (6), 1094–1123.
  • Gieryn, T.F. (2000): “A Space for Place in Sociology.” Annual Review of Sociology, 26 (1), 463–496.
  • Gustafson, P. (2001): “Meanings of place : Everyday experience and theoretical conceptualizations.” Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21 (1), 5–16.
  • Hultin, L., et al. (2022): “Precarity, Hospitality, and the Becoming of a Subject That Matters: A Study of Syrian Refugees in Lebanese Tented Settlements.” Organization Studies, 43 (5), 669–697.
  • Kibler, E., et al. (2015): “Place attachment and social legitimacy: Revisiting the sustainable entrepreneurship journey.” Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 3, 24–29.
  • Kibler, E., et al. (2021): “Envisioning Entrepreneurial Engagement in North Korea.” Academy of Management Discoveries, , 8 (3), 459–489.
  • Lawrence, T.B. (2017): “High-Stakes Institutional Translation: Establishing North America’s First Government-sanctioned Supervised Injection Site.” Academy of Management Journal, 60 (5), 1771–1800.
  • Lawrence, T.B., & Dover, G. (2015): “Place and Institutional Work: Creating Housing for the Hard-to-house.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 60 (3), 371–410.
  • Lefebvre, H. (1974): The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Massa, F.G., et al. (2017): “Emotions Uncorked: Inspiring Evangelism for the Emerging Practice of Cool-Climate Winemaking in Ontario.” Academy of Management Journal, 60 (2), 461–499.
  • Mazutis, D., Slawinski, N., & Palazzo, G. (2021): “A Time and Place for Sustainability: A Spatiotemporal Perspective on Organizational Sustainability Frame Development.” Business & Society, 60 (7),1849–1890.
  • Muñoz, P., et al. (2020): “Local entrepreneurial ecosystems as configural narratives: A new way of seeing and evaluating antecedents and outcomes.” Research Policy.
  • Relph, E. (1976): Place and Placelessness. London: Pion.
  • Shrivastava, P., & Kennelly, J.J. (2013): “Sustainability and Place-Based Enterprise.” Organization & Environment, 26 (1), 83–101.
  • Siebert, S., Wilson, F., & Hamilton, J.R.A. (2017): “‘Devils May Sit Here’: The Role of Enchantment in Institutional Maintenance.” Academy of Management Journal, 60 (4), 1607–1632.
  • Slawinski, N., et al. (2021): “Managing the Paradoxes of Place to Foster Regeneration.” Organization & Environment, 34 (4), 595–618.
  • Tuan, Y.-F. (1977): Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Vernay, A.-L., Cartel, M., & Pinkse, J. (2022): “Mainstreaming Business Models for Sustainability in Mature Industries: Leveraging Alternative Institutional Logics for Optimal Distinctiveness.” Organization & Environment, 35 (3), 414–445.
  • Welter, F., & Baker, T. (2021): “Moving contexts onto new roads: Clues from other disciplines.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45 (5), 1154–1175.
  • Wright, A.L., et al. (2021): “Maintaining Places of Social Inclusion: Ebola and the Emergency Department.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 66 (1), 42–85.
  • Zilber, T.B. (2018): “Know Thy Place: Location and Imagined Communities in Institutional Field Dynamics.” In: J. Glückler, R. Suddaby & R. Lenz (eds): Knowledge and Institutions. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 179–194.
Mélodie Cartel is a Lecturer at the School of Management in UNSW Business School Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on institutional processes of innovation and change. Mélodie’s current research projects focus on [1] the role of experiments and spaces in institutional processes of innovation and change; [2] the role of visual versus verbal discourse in institutional processes of innovation and change.
M. Tina Dacin is the Stephen J.R. Smith Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behavior and Scotiabank Scholar in the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada. Her research interests include cultural heritage, traditions and place-making, and social entrepreneurship. Tina’s work has been published in outlets such as ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Journal of Business Venturing’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’, ‘Organization Science’, ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Strategic Management Journal’, ‘Strategic Organization’, and ‘Research in the Sociology of Organizations’.
Ewald Kibler is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Head of the Entrepreneurship Unit and Doctoral Studies at the School of Business, Aalto University, Finland. His work has been published in outlets such as ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Academy of Management Discoveries’, ‘Research Policy’, ‘Journal of Business Venturing’, ‘Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice’, ‘Human Relations’, ‘Journal of Economic Geography’, ‘Environment & Planning A, Regional Studies’, and ‘Entrepreneurship & Regional Development’.