Sub-theme 16: A tavola! Crossing Perspectives and Mixing Ingredients to Study Organization in the Hospitality Industry

Bernard Forgues
emlyon business school, France
Giada Di Stefano
Bocconi University, Italy
Silviya Svejenova
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Call for Papers

The hospitality industry is a microcosm of our socioeconomic landscape. Organizations populating it witness, host, go through, and bear consequences of most phenomena of interest to organizational scholars. No wonder it is an empirical setting that has inspired a wealth of research focusing on intra-organizational, organizational, and interorganizational phenomena, and leveraging qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. The setting has attracted the attention of scholars studying culture (Van Maanen, 1991; Fine, 1996), knowledge transfer (Di Stefano et al., 2014), innovation (Feuls, 2018), institutional change (Rao et al., 2003), institutional entrepreneurship (Svejenova et al., 2007), status (Favaron et al., 2022), symbolic boundaries (Lockwood et al., 2021), social codes (Durand et al., 2007), authenticity (Kovács et al., 2014; Schifeling & Demetry, 2021), categories (Slavich et al., 2020), localized competition (Baum & Haveman, 1997), market identity (Wang et al., 2016), community cohesion (Simons et al., 2016), practice emergence (Gomez & Bouty, 2011), organizational uses of the past (Cappelen & Strandgaard, 2021), and much more.
Unfortunately, like ships that pass in the night, those excellent and influential pieces of research have largely ignored one another. And yet, from the focal organizations' perspective, the issues they face, responses they attempt, dynamics they go through seem to overlap and feed into one another. Organizations in the restaurant, and more broadly hospitality industry confront complex situations for which scholars are lacking a dialogue: it is time to enrich our research beyond our own analytical categories, so to contribute towards an organizational perspective on food (Moser et al., 2021). This dialogue is what our sub-theme aims at igniting. Our idea is to welcome scholars (as well as practitioners, policy makers, artists, etc.) who share curiosity and passion for, as well as expertise on, the hospitality industry, yet differ in their perspectives and methods. Instead of repeated calls for interdisciplinary research, which are at best challenging, we want to offer a space for engaging in a dialogue and reflection that brings different perspectives (established and new, core and peripheral, insider and outsider) to the table.
We welcome empirical papers on the restaurant, and more broadly hospitality industry. We are open to contributions at various stages of advancement, and to any theory, topic and method that could contribute to the joint development of an organizational perspective on food. Some examples of potential directions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How do people and organizations in the restaurant, and more broadly hospitality industry engage with grand challenges (e.g., sustainability, climate change, hunger), by developing new practices and forms (e.g., circular restaurants and hotels)?

  • What about new forms of collaboration across actors (entrepreneurs, policy makers, activists) and local (and global) communities (e.g., chefs’ led food relief and social kitchens)? How can the hospitality industry shift tastes and behaviors towards sustainable consumption?

  • How is the hospitality industry addressing its own challenges (e.g., labor precarity, harassment culture), while sustaining its creativity and impish sense of fun?

  • How are food- and hospitality-related technologies (e.g., cultivated meat, AI, augmented reality, immersive worlds) influencing organizations? What new categories are emerging? How are the traditional forms of hospitality being challenged and changed?

  • What new frontiers and meanings are being developed in relation to the hospitality industry in relation to technology, science, and art? (e.g., culinary genomics, space hotels; restaurants as essential infrastructures for food security)

  • How are interactions with various third parties (critics, suppliers, customers, platforms) shaping behaviors for organizations in the restaurant, and more broadly hospitality industry?

  • What about other trends and dynamics that affect the behavior of organizations in the restaurant, and more broadly hospitality industry?

We are looking forward to your cool papers and are cooking up secret recipes to make this sub- theme a productive and fun experience of encounters, discussions, and not least meals. A tavola!


  • Baum, J.A.C., & Haveman, H.A. (1997): “Love thy Neighbor? Differentiation and Agglomeration in the Manhattan Hotel Industry, 1898–1990.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 42 (2), 304–338.
  • Cappelen, M., & Strandgaard Pedersen, J. (2021): “Inventing Culinary Heritage through Strategic Historical Ambiguity.” Organization Studies, 42 (2), 223–243.
  • Di Stefano, G., King, A.A., & Verona, G. (2014): “Kitchen confidential? Norms for the use of transferred knowledge in gourmet cuisine.” Strategic Management Journal, 35 (11), 1645–1670.
  • Durand, R., Rao, H., & Monin, P. (2007): “Code and conduct in French cuisine: Impact of code changes on external evaluations.” Strategic Management Journal, 28 (5), 455–472.
  • Favaron, S.D., Di Stefano, G., & Durand, R. (2022): “Michelin is Coming to Town: Organizational Responses to Status Shocks.” Management Science, 68 (9), 6925–6949.
  • Feuls, M. (2018): “Understanding culinary innovation as relational: Insights from Tarde’s relational sociology.” Creativity and Innovation Management, 27 (2), 161–168.
  • Fine, G.A. (1996): “Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work.” Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Gomez, M.-L., & Bouty, I. (2011): “The Emergence of an Influential Practice: Food for Thought.” Organization Studies, 32 (7), 921–940.
  • Kovács, B., Carroll, G.R., & Lehman, D.W. (2014): “Authenticity and consumer value ratings: Empirical tests from the restaurant domain.” Organization Science, 25 (2), 458–478.
  • Lockwood, C., Glynn, M.A., & Giorgi, S. (2023): “Polishing the Gilt Edge: Elite Category Endurance and Symbolic Boundaries in U.S. Luxury Hotels, 1790–2015.” Academy of Management Journal, 66 (1), 9–42.
  • Moser, C., Reinecke, J., den Hond, F., Svejenova, S., & Croidieu, G. (2021): “Biomateriality and Organizing: Towards an Organizational Perspective on Food.” Organization Studies, 42 (2), 175–193.
  • Rao, H., Monin, P., & Durand, R. (2003): “Institutional Change in Toque Ville: Nouvelle Cuisine as an Identity Movement in French Gastronomy.” American Journal of Sociology, 108 (4), 795–843.
  • Schifeling, T., & Demetry, D. (2021): “The New Food Truck in Town: Geographic Communities and Authenticity-Based Entrepreneurship.” Organization Science, 30 (1), 133–155.
  • Simons, T., Vermeulen, P.A.M., & Knoben, J. (2016): “There’s no Beer without a Smoke: Community Cohesion and Neighboring Communities’ Effects on Organizational Resistance to Antismoking Regulations in the Dutch Hospitality Industry.” Academy of Management Journal, 59 (2), 545–578.
  • Slavich, B., Svejenova, S., Opazo, M.P., & Patriotta, G. (2020): “Politics of Meaning in Categorizing Innovation: How Chefs Advanced Molecular Gastronomy by Resisting the Label.” Organization Studies, 41 (2), 267–290.
  • Svejenova, S., Mazza, C., & Planellas, M. (2007): “Cooking up change in haute cuisine: Ferran Adrià as an institutional entrepreneur.” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28 (5), 539–561.
  • Van Maanen, J. (1991): “The smile factory: Work at Disneyland.” In: P.J. Frost, L.F. Moore, M.R. Louis, C.C. Lundberg & J. Martin (eds.): Reframing Organizational Culture. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications, 58–76.
  • Wang, T., Wezel, F.C., & Forgues, B. (2016): “Protecting Market Identity: When and How do Organizations Respond to Consumers’ Devaluations?” Academy of Management Journal, 59 (1): 135–162.
Bernard Forgues is Professor of Organization Theory at emlyon business school, France, where he manages the STORM Research Center in Strategy & Organization. His current research interests include social evaluation, institutions, and materiality. Bernard is a former Chair of EGOS and serves as Senior Editor for ‘Organization Studies’.
Giada Di Stefano is an Associate Professor of Strategy at Bocconi University, Italy. In her research she leverages experiments and field work more broadly to examine the factors that foster cooperation and knowledge transfer within and across organizations. Giada currently serves as an Associate Editor for the ‘Strategic Management Journal’.
Silviya Svejenova is Professor of Leadership and Innovation at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, where she co-directs ‘imagine’ – Centre for Creative Industries and Institutions. She investigates how creativity and innovation enable sustainable futures. A former Chair of EGOS, Silviya is currenlty VP research of IFSAM, the International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management, and a Senior Editor of ‘Organization Studies’.