PDW 05: Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: Alternative Systems for a World beyond Environmental Crisis

Paul S. Adler
University of Southern California, USA
Ana María Peredo
University of Ottawa, Canada
Bobby Banerjee
City, University of London, United Kingdom

Call for Applications

Tima Bansal, Ivey Business School, Canada [tbc]
Zlatko Bodrožić, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Steffen Boehm, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Giuseppe Delmestri, WU Vienna, Austria
Seray Ergene, University of Rhode Island, USA
Andrew Hoffman, University of Michigan, USA
David Levy, University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA
Jochen Markard, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Renate E. Meyer, WU Vienna, Austria [tbc]
John Murray, University of Stockholm, Sweden
David Murillo, ESADE Business School, Spain
Cristina Neesham, Newcastle University Business School, United Kingdom
Daniel Nyberg, University of Newcastle, Australia
Mario Pansera, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
André Reichel, International School of Management, Germany
Anselm Schneider, Stockholm University, Sweden
Elke Schüßler, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Christopher Wright, University of Sydney, Australia


This half-day Pre-Colloquium Development Workshop (PDW) – which will be hybrid, both online and in-person/onsite – is part of a program of activities organized by the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) 15 Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: System Change, Not Climate Change. The PDW aims to help scholars develop the conceptual and methodological tools we need to understand the system-level challenges posed to business and society by climate change and other environmental crises of the Anthropocene, and it helps scholars with papers and research projects at a less advanced stage. The PDW welcomes scholars at any career stage – doctoral students and junior and senior faculty – who want to discuss their project ideas with other scholars and the faculty we have recruited to serve as “mentors”.

The rationale for the SWG can be summarized in four points:

  • Recent research results tell us we have only a decade until self-reinforcing feedback loops and cumulative effects bring us to various tipping points in planetary systems and the eventual collapse of civilizations as we know them (Aengenheyster et al., 2018; IPPC, 2018; Steffen et al., 2015a). Moreover, climate change is part of a wider environmental crisis associated with (among other risky and accelerating changes) significant disruption of the nitrogen cycle and massive loss of biodiversity (Steffen et al., 2015b).

  • To date, most organization and management scholarship on environmental issues has focused on changes in firm-level and individual-level behavior. Climate change and the other threats to environmental sustainability that we see today certainly pose challenges for individual organizations, and addressing these threats will require changes to individual behaviour. However, the climate change emergency cannot plausibly be overcome by the action of individual organizations and individual actors alone (see similar critiques offered by Banerjee, 2011, 2012; Jermier et al., 2006; Wittneben et al., 2012). We need action by governments and supra-national inter-government agencies. And we will need social movements capable of driving that action. The SWG aims to stimulate scholarship on the challenges and opportunities at that system level.

  • To understand and respond to the climate crisis, we need to focus on the political-economic-cultural system within which firms and individuals operate – on how this system can be mobilized to respond to the environmental challenge, on the impediments to such a mobilization, and how these impediments can be overcome. Such research will require a broadening of our intellectual resources. Where our field has in the past benefitted from engagement with contiguous disciplines like psychology, economics, and sociology, the environmental crisis demands that we further broaden our vision and engage with environmental science, political science, political ecology, public policy, as well as various heterodox schools of political economy.

  • The SWG therefore focuses on four interrelated topics: (1) theoretical frameworks capturing the systemic nature of the environmental crisis, (2) system-level impediments to an effective response to the environmental crisis, (3) alternative systems for a world beyond environmental crisis, and (4) mobilizing for system-level change to address the environmental crisis.

For this year’s PDW, while we will accept papers on any these four topics, we encourage papers that explore topic (3) alternative systems for a world beyond environmental crisis. This topic summons our imaginative powers: What kind of system, and within it, what kinds of organizing and organizations would enable us to address the environmental and social crisis effectively? How would future organizing and organizations need to differ from present organizing and organizations? Would the system be a capitalist system? If that is the case, what kind of capitalist system? If not, what are possible alternatives? See Banerjee et al., 2020; Gibson-Graham et al., 2013; Peredo et al., 2018; Peredo & Chrisman, 2006; Peredo & McLean, 2020; Parker et al., 2014; D’Alisa et al., 2014; Cheney et al., 2014; Delbridge & Sallaz, 2015; Zanoni et al., 2017; Adler, 2019; Chertkovskaya et al., 2019 for discussing some of these questions.

For this PDW, we invite papers to think “outside the box” and explore alternative types of organizing and systems for a future world beyond environmental and social crises. We are also looking for papers that discuss climate justice because any alternative system must also entail representation, inclusion and protection of vulnerable populations. Solutions must be based on principles of equity, justice and access to basic resources.


The PDW will start with a brief introduction to the background and aims of the event by the convenors and introductions of mentors and participants.

We will then have two successive rounds of small-group discussion, where each participant will be teamed up with two others and a mentor to explore how their project could be advanced.
The following segment will have some mentors on a panel reflecting on the main themes that emerged in their discussions. The discussion will then broaden to the whole group.


Please submit – via the EGOS website – by April 30, 2023 a single document of application (.docx or .pdf file) that includes:

  • A short letter of application containing full details of name, affiliation, email, and a personal website, if available;

  • A synopsis (up to 10 pages) of the paper or project you would like to discuss.


  • Adler, P.S. (2019): The 99 Percent Economy: How Democratic Socialism can Overcome the Crises of Capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Aengenheyster, M., Feng, Q.Y., van der Ploeg, F., & Dijkstra, H.A. (2018): “The point of no return for climate action: Effects of climate uncertainty and risk tolerance.” Earth System Dynamics, 9 (3), 1085–1095.
  • Banerjee, S.B. (2011): “Embedding Sustainability Across the Organization: A Critical Perspective.” Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10 (4), 719–731.
  • Banerjee, S.B. (2012): “A Climate for Change? Critical Reflections on the Durban United Nations Climate Change Conference.” Organization Studies, 33 (12), 1761–1786.
  • Banerjee, S.B., Jermier, J.M., Peredo, A.M., Perey, R., & Reichel, A. (2020): “Theoretical perspectives on organizations and organizing in a post-growth era.” Organization, 28 (3), 337–357.
  • Chertkovskaya, E., Paulsson, A., Barca, S. (eds.) (2019): Towards a Political Economy of Degrowth. New York & London: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Cheney, G., Santa Cruz, I., Peredo, A.M., & Nazareno, E. (2014): “Worker cooperatives as an organizational alternative: Challenges, achievements and promise in business governance and ownership.” Organization, 21 (5), 591–603.
  • D’Alisa, G., Demaria, F., & Kallis, G. (2015): Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era. London: Routledge.
  • Delbridge, R., & Sallaz, J.J. (2015): “Work: Four Worlds and Ways of Seeing.” Organization Studies, 36 (11), 1449–1462.
  • Dunlop, I., & Spratt, D. (2019): “We must mobilise for the climate emergency like we do in war time. Where is the climate minister?” The Guardian, June 3, 2019; https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2019/jun/03/we-must-mobilise-for-the-climate-emergency-like-we-do-in-war-time-where-is-the-climate-minister
  • Escobar, A. (2018): Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Gibson-Graham, J.-K., Cameron, J., & Healy, S. (2013): Take Back the Economy. An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • IPCC (2018): Global Warming of 1.5 °C. An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
  • Jermier, J.M., Forbes, L.C., Benn, S., & Orsato, R. (2006): “The new corporate environmentalism and green politics.” In: S. Clegg, C. Hardy, T. Lawrence & W. Nord (eds.): Handbook of Organizational Studies. London: SAGE Publications, 618–650.
  • Parker, M., Cheney, G., Fournier, V., & Land, C. (2014): The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization. London: Routledge.
  • Peredo, A.M., & Chrisman, J.J. (2006): “Toward a theory of community-based enterprise.” Academy of Management Review, 31 (2), 309–328.
  • Peredo, A.M., & McLean, M. (2020): “Decommodification in action: Common property as a countermovement.” Organization, 27 (6), 817–839.
  • Peredo, A.M., Haugh, H.M., & McLean, M. (2018): “Common Property: Uncommon Forms of Prosocial Organizing.” Journal of Business Venturing, 33 (5), 591–602.
  • Steffen, W., Hughes, L., & Pearce, A. (2015a): Climate Change 2015: Growing Risks, Critical Choices. Climate Council of Australia; https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/climate-change-2015-growing-risks-critical-choices/
  • Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S.R., De Vries, W., & De Wit, C.A. (2015b): “Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet.” Science, 347 (6223), 1259855.
  • Wittneben, B.B.F., Okereke, C., Banerjee, S.B., & Levy, D.L. (2012): “Climate Change and the Emergence of New Organizational Landscapes.” Organization Studies, 33 (11), 1431–1450.
  • Zanoni, P., Contu, A., Healy, S., & Mir, R. (2017): “Post-capitalistic politics in the making: The imaginary and praxis of alternative economies.” Organization, 24 (5), 575–588.
Paul S. Adler is currently Harold Quinton Chair of Business Policy, and Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology, and Environmental Studies, at the University of Southern California, USA. He has published widely in academic journals, and edited several books, “”The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies: Classical Foundations (2009), and “The Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents” (2014). And most recently, Paul published the “99 Percent Economy: How Democratic Socialism can overcome the Crises of Capitalism” (2019).
Ana María Peredo is a Canada Research in Social and Inclusive Entrepreneurship at the Telfer Management School, University of Ottawa, Canada. She is a Peruvian anthropologist and critical management scholar focusing on community alternatives, social economy, social justice, and participatory action research, particularly among Indigenous peoples and disadvantaged communities. She is a pioneer in community-based entrepreneurship (CBE) and Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Ana María has published her research in leading management and organizational journals (‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Journal of Business Venturing’, and ‘Journal of Business Ethics’, among others).
Bobby Banerjee is Professor of Management at Bayes Business School, City, University of London, United Kingdom. He researches and teaches on corporate social irresponsibility, unsustainability, climate justice, and decolonial resistance movements. Bobby has published widely in international scholarly journals.