From Greece to Cardiff, ICRODSC members have presented at, as well as coordinated sub-streams, at leading conferences across the world since its inception.
European Group on Organization Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark
Steve Maguire (McGill University) co-convened a sub-theme on ‘Risk, Value and Virtue in the Audit Society’ with Michael Power (London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom) and Roger Friedland (University of California at Santa Barbara, USA).
The sub-theme attracted papers related to four major themes:
- Organizations, risk society and audit. How is the ‘organized irresponsibility’ of the ‘risk society’ manifested in the pathologies of an audit explosion and expansion of regulation? How are contemporary organizations compelled to manage risk according to regulations and governance structures which produce illusions of control? Are oversight and monitoring a substitute for action? What risks are organizations not managing when they are preoccupied with reputation and compliance?
- Organizational routines in the audit society. What are the mechanisms, infrastructures and routines through which the audit society reproduces itself at the organizational level? How are practices of risk management both resistant to, and colonized by, requirements for the production of evidence for audit purposes? In what sense is auditability a ‘logic’ or cultural value which varies across organizational fields and national contexts?
- Values and virtues at risk in the audit society. What values does the audit society promote and what values are placed at risk? What are the effects on organizational actors of the increasing transparency and exteriorization of performance in indicators? How is it possible to do the ‘right thing’ and be loyal in organizational environments which require traces, registers and audit trails? Are ‘good’ organizational motives distorted by demands for evidence?
- (Re-)constructing the moral audit. What are the emerging or suppressed forms of counter-practice in the audit society? Do social media forms, such as Trip Adviser, radically democratize audit processes and thereby pose new kinds of risk for organizations? Can they be a medium of ‘moral audit’ through which the disapproval of the public can be made directly visible, as in the case of protests against the ‘legal’ tax arrangements of large prominent companies and individuals? Or do initiatives aimed at promoting ethics and corporate responsibility inevitably comes to be formalized and governed by the very logic of auditability which they seek to escape?
The 12th International Conference on Organisational Discourse: Silence, Significance and White Space
Held in Amsterdam, this conference explored and reflected on what might be considered the dark side of the moon or blank spots on the map, the unspoken or unknown, the unintelligible or inaccesible, the seemingly insignificant and all-too-mundane, and the new and exceptional realities of everyday organisational life.
In this way, while the extraordinary and 'infra-ordinary' invite people to explore and chart new landscapes or see familiar landscapes with new eyes, in discourse studies, it is the white space that remains unsaid, cannot be put into words or is implied in unspoken expactations, tacit assumptions and hidden meanings - offering significant heuristic potential.
Papers presented at this conference explored:
- the dark sides of apparent transparencies,
- what remains unsaid or unheard,
- how silence may signify the exercise of or resistance to power,
- semiotics outside or beyond talk and text, such as bodily gestures, looks, dress and artefactss
- absent or not told stories, and
- the silences and subtexts in people's talk and texts.
The 31st European Group for Organisational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium: Sub-theme on Identity Work through the Ages: Unexamined Lives?
Professors Leanne Cutcher (University of Sydney), Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) and Cara Reed (University of Cardiff) co-convened a sub-theme on age at the 2015 EGOS colloquium in Athens, Greece.
With age largely under-explored by researchers in organisation studies and studies of individual age notably absent from leading management journals, the sub-theme attracted 17 papers from researchers in eight countries exploring the complexity and diversity in meanings of age from a critical standpoint.
The papers reflected on:
- age and examined its implications for identity work,
- inspired dialogue about what age means,
- moved beyond demarcations of old and young age and other reified categories of age, and
- linked individual age-related identity work to organisations and organising.
The 11th International Conference on Organisational Discourse: Terra Firma, Terra Nova, Terra Incognita
The International Conference on Organisational Discourse was held for the first time in Cardiff, Wales from July 9-1. Hosted by the Cardiff Business School, University of Cardiff, and celebrating the 20 years since the first conference was held at the University of London's King's College, participants had the opportunity to reflect on how the study of discourse in organisations has changed and to consider emergent and novel approaches in organisational discourse analysis.
The initial conference was held in 1994 on the theme of 'Metaphors', and attracted academics from Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Ireland, Finland, Israel, Sweden, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Scotland who presented more than 40 papers. Since then, the conference has been held in London and Amsterdam, with the introduction of Escher prints and more discourse-oriented titles over time.
With the conference's title honouring British polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his ill-fated expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole, more than 70 papers presented by academics from countries including Wales, Scotland, Ireland, England Norway, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Israel, Japan Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada were presented at this conference.
Academics Dennis Mumby (University of North Carolina) and Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) were keynote speakers, while David Grant (formerly University of Sydney), Tom Keenoy (Cardiff University) and Cliff Oswick (Cass Business School), the three academics most closely connected with the development of the conference series, spoke at the close of the event.
Between them, the three academics have not only safeguarded the continuation and development of the conference series, but also been responsible for related publications, including a highly cited book on Metaphors and Organizing (1996) and Special Issues of Human Relations (2), International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy, Time & Society, Organization Management Journal, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and Organization(2).