Call for Papers
The survival of human civilization depends on our ability to resolve the environmental crisis (Spratt, 2019). Organizational
scholars have found it difficult to orient our research to a crisis of this magnitude. There is a huge disconnect between
micro-level voluntary corporate sustainability practices – which regularly point toward progress – and the observed aggregate
environmental outcomes – which just as regularly point toward catastrophe. This disconnect is a function of the system – the
“rules of the game” – within which firms operate. Under the prevailing rules, voluntary action by businesses cannot be far-reaching
and rapid enough to meet the challenge of the climate crisis.
In prior sub-themes of our Standing Working Group 15 at EGOS Colloquia, we analyzed the systemic origins of the environmental crisis and the systemic impediments to an effective response. A key conclusion of these privious meetings is that we need to study not only the crises-laden present but also alternative possible futures for our enterprises and systems: we need to mobilize our imaginative powers to form usable images of a truly sustainable economy and society.
This year’s sub-theme thus invites organization scholars to explore the possible shape of our world beyond the environmental crisis. We invite papers that use any of a wide variety of theoretical and disciplinary lenses to imagine a better future. Some possibilities include:
Shifting from an institutional framing of climate change that favours market mechanisms to an institutional framing that relies more on non-market mechanisms (Schüssler, Rüling, & Wittneben, 2014) and to cultural re-enlightenment (Hoffman & Jennings, 2021);
Shifting from shareholder dominance to genuinely democratic multi-stakeholder governance (Ferreras, Battilana, & Méda, 2022);
Shifting from corporate hegemony, which marginalizes dissenting voices, to a world that brought dissenting voices into the political debate (Wright & Nyberg, 2015; Levy & Egan, 2003);
Shifting from capitalism to democratic socialism (Adler, 2015; Adler, 2019);
Shifting from economic growth to de-growth (Chertkovskaya, Paulsson, & Barca, 2019) and post-growth (Banerjee et al., 2021):
Shifting from a passive role of the state and a dominance of the market to a transformative role of the state and dominance of public purpose (Adler, Bodrožić, & Jermier, 2021); and
Shifting from the divisions between the Global North and the Global South over who should share the burden of carbon emissions reductions (Banerjee, 2012; Bulkeley & Newell, 2015; Bumpas & Liverman, 2011) to a just transition that acknowledges the needs of the Global South.
Such explorations can be conceptual and/or empirically grounded in prefigurative cases. The convenors welcome inquiries from prospective participants.
- Adler, P.S. (2015): Book Review Essay: The Environmental Crisis and Its Capitalist Roots: Reading Naomi Klein with Karl Polanyi.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 60 (2), N13–NP25.
- Adler, P.S., Adly, A., Armanios, D.E., Battilana, J., Bodrožić, Z., Clegg, S., Davis, G. F., Gartenberg, C., Glynn, M.A., Gümüsay, A.A., Haveman, H.A., Leonardi, P., Lounsbury, M., McGahan, A.M., Meyer, R., Phillips, N., & Sheppard-Jones, K. (2022): “Authoritarianism, Populism, and the Global Retreat of Democracy: A Curated Discussion.” Journal of Management Inquiry, fortcoming; https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/10564926221119395.
- Adler, P.S., Bodrožić, Z., & Jermier, J. (2021): The Climate Emergency and the Proactive State: New Directions for Management and Organization Studies. Paper presented at the virtual 37th EGOS Colloquium in Amsterdam, July 8–10, 2021.
- Banerjee, S.B. (2012): “A Climate for Change? Critical Reflections on the Durban United Nations Climate Change Conference.” Organization Studies, 33 (12), 1761-1786.
- Bulkeley, H., & Newell, P. (2015): Governing Climate Change. Abingdon: Routledge.
- Bumpas, A.G., & Liverman, D.M. (2011): “Carbon colonialism? Offsets, greenhouse gas reductions, and sustainable development.” In: R. Peet, P. Robbins & M. Watts (eds.): Global Political Ecology. London: Routledge, 203–223.
- Chertkovskaya, E., Paulsson, A., & Barca, S. (2019): Towards a Political Economy of Degrowth. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Ferreras, I., Battilana, J., & Méda, D. (2022): Democratize Work: The Case for Reorganizing the Economy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Hoffman, A.J., & Jennings, P.D. (2021): “Institutional-Political Scenarios for Anthropocene Society.” Business & Society, 60 (1), 57–94.
- Schüssler, E., Rüling, C.-C., & Wittneben, B.B.F. (2014): “On Melting Summits: The Limitations of Field-Configuring Events as Catalysts of Change in Transnational Climate Policy.” Academy of Management Journal, 57 (1), 140–171.
- Spratt, D. (2019): “Revisiting the climate collapse: The view from Nuuk in the year 2070.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 75 (6), 280–285.