Cross-institutional Collaborations

Leading academics from universities across the world are working together to build knowledge in the field.

ICRODSC's 13 institutional partners have been involved in a range of collaborations involving members from different institutions.

Some of these collaborations are described below:

Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award

Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne), Cliff Oswick (Cass Business School) and Nelson Phillips (Imperial College), who are all co-founders of ICRODSC, were jointly awarded the Joanne Martin Trailblazer Award at the 2018 Academy of Management Meetings in Chicago. The award was for their foundational work in establishing organizational discourse as a field of research in organization and management studies, through both intellectual contributions and community building efforts. This highly prestigious award is given by the Organization & Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management. It is presented once every two years to recognize scholars who have taken a leadership role in the field of OMT by opening up new lines of thinking or inquiry. The award is given to scholars who extend and build the organization and management theory community by shepherding new ideas and new scholarship, often in unconventional ways.

The establishment of the award was motivated by the retirement of Joanne Martin, Professor Emerita at Stanford University, who was a critical voice in research on culture and a leader in bringing feminism and critical theory into the mainstream of organization theory. Professor Martin was one of the earliest visitors to the newly formed International Centre for Research on Organizational Discourse, Strategy & Change in Melbourne.

The Management of Age

Susan Ainsworth and Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne), Leanne Cutcher (University of Sydney) and Robyn Thomas (Cardiff University) are working on a research project on the management of age.

With the aging population meaning individuals need to work longer and organisations need to manage age better, the research team contend that Australian organisations are failing to respond adequately to the issue.

By using a discursive approach and comparing how age is managed in different organisations, this study challenges taken-for-granted views that aging is negative, contributes to theory building in organisation and management theory, and identifies effective age-management strategies for employers.

The project - Managing Age in Organisational Context: A Comparative Study of the Meaning of Age among Managers - was awarded a $275,829 grant by the Australian Research Council, focusing on Australian organisations, with additional data also being collected in the UK.

The four investigators are also co-editors of a special issue of Organization Studies on 'At a Critical Age', which examines how age and aging have become key organising principles in contemporary society, how meanings of age have emerged, and the political, cultural and social effects of the way in which age and aging is organised.

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Handbook of Organizational Discourse - Japanese Version

As part of an initiative to further globalise the field of organisational discourse, Professor David Grant (formerly University of Sydney) and Professor Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) liaised with colleagues in Japan on a Japanese translation of the Handbook of Organizational Discourse (Sage, 2004).

The Japanese translation team was drawn from several institutions across Japan and was coordinated by Professor Masaya Takahashi (Meiji University). The Japanese version was published in 2012 (ISBN 978-4-495-38101-1).

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Major Work on Organisational Discourse Studies

David Grant (formerly University of Sydney), Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) and Linda Putnam (University of California, Santa Barbara) have published a three-volume major work on organisational discourse studies with Sage publications.

With organisational discourse now firmly established in such fields as management, organisation studies, and organisational communication, this publication offers the opportunity to reflect on the emergence of organisational discourse theory and the particular theoretical assumptions which distinguish it from other forms of qualitative work.

It also provides an opportunity to compare and contrast the varied methodological techniques that have been developed, and to offer insight into the wide array of organisational contexts that have been studied using the lens of organisational discourse theory.

The work is an edited collection of about 50 published articles and book chapters, with the three volumes covering  theoretical developments, discourse analytic methods and applications and contexts.

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The Impact of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems on Australian Organisations

In 2003, this project was awarded a Discovery Project grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to study ERP systems, which are computer-based technologies designed to increase efficiency and achieve major cost savings across entire organisations.

ERP implementation is one of the most pervasive sources of technological change in contemporary Australian enterprises, having significant implications for the structure, nature and management of organisations.

The chief investigators for the project were David Grant (formerly University of Sydney), Richard Hall, Nick Wailes and Chris Wright (all University of Sydney), and Cynthia Hardy and Bill Harley (University of Melbourne).

The project produced special issues of New Technology Work and EmploymentJournal of Applied Behavioral Science and Strategic Change, as well as articles in the Journal of Applied Behavioral ScienceNew Technology Work and Employment, Management Communication Quarterly and Strategic Change.

In 2008, University of Sydney researchers secured an ARC Linkage grant to build on the initial project by exploring the impact of ERP on human resource (HR) functions in collaboration with five large Australian organisations.

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The Handbook of Organisational Discourse

The Handbook of Organizational Discourse, published by Sage in 2004, was co-edited by David Grant (formerly University of Sydney), Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne), Cliff Oswick (formerly University of Leicester) and Linda Putnam (formerly Texas A&M).

Other ICRODSC members were contributors including Susan Ainsworth (University of Sydney), Nelson Phillips (formerly McGill University), Tom Keenoy (formerly King’s College) and Mats Alvesson (Lund University).

The Handbook is an important overview of the state of the field of organisational discourse and, in 2005, won the Outstanding Book Award from the Organizational Communication Division of the USA’s National Communication Association.

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The International Conference on Organisational Discourse

ICRODSC has participated in the International Conference of Organisational Discourse since 2002. For more information on these conferences, go to the ICROSC conferences page.

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The Study of Institutional Entrepreneurship

This collaboration involves Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) and Steve Maguire (University of McGill) and has earned three competitive research grants – two from the Canadian Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada and one from the Australian Research Council, totalling more than $300,000.

Prof Maguire was awarded an Edward Clarence Dyason Universitas 21 Fellowship from the University of Melbourne to work on this project, while published papers include the Academy of Management Journal and Organization Studies, a special issue of Organization Studies on institutional entrepreneurship, and a chapter on institutional entrepreneurship in the Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (eds.) R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, K. Sahlin-Andersson & R. Suddaby.

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Discourse at European Group on Organization Studies (EGOS)

ICRODSC members have organised sub-themes at the annual European Group on Organisation Studies (EGOS) conferences.

For more information on these conferences, go to the ICROSC conferences page.

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The Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM)

Laureate Professor  Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) and Steve Maguire (McGill University) were sponsored as International Visiting Fellowships of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM) by AIM Fellows Robyn Thomas and Rick Delbridge (Cardiff University).

As part of this initiative, the pair traveled to Cardiff in November 2006 to conduct two workshops - on Organizational Discourse: Why it Matters to Managers and on Organizational Discourse Methods.

Cardiff University's Robyn Thomas also twice traveled to Australia in connection with her Fellowship to participate in seminars on identity and resistance at Melbourne and Sydney universities.

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Discourse and the Older Worker

This work started with Susan Ainsworth’s (University of Sydney) doctoral work, supervised by Cynthia Hardy and Bill Harley (University of Melbourne).

Ongoing collaboration between professors Ainsworth and Hardy has produced:

  • a book chapter on identity in 'Discourse and Identities' in the Handbook of Organizational Discourse,
  • four refereed journal articles -  'Critical Discourse Analysis and Identity: Why Bother? in Critical Discourse Studies (2004), 'The Construction of the Older Worker: Privilege, Paradox and Policy' in Discourse & Communication (2007), 'The Enterprising Self: An Unsuitable Job for an Older Worker' in Organization (2008) and 'Mind over body: Physical and psychotherapeutic discourses and the regulation of the older worker' in Human Relations (2009).

This initiative has since been broadened to include a study of how the meaning of age is constructed in organisations with Leanne Cutcher (University of Sydney) and Robyn Thomas (Cardiff University) - see above.

A special issue of Organization Studies on 'At a Critical Age: The Social and Political Organisation of Age and Aging' is currently being prepared.

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A collaboration involving Cynthia Hardy and Bill Harley (University of Melbourne) and Mats Alvesson (Lund University) produced a conference presentation entitled 'Reflecting on Reflexivity' at the annual meetings of the Academy of Management in New Orleans in 2004.

The paper was then published in the Conference Proceedings, and won Best Paper Award in the Critical Management Studies Interest Group, with a longer paper published in the Journal of Management Studies in 2008.

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Special Issue Series

ICRODSC members have contributed to a series of special issues of leading international journals.

These include:

  • Nelson Phillips (Imperial University) collaborated with Graham Sewell (University of Melbourne) on a Special Issue on Technology and Organization: Essays in Honour of Joan Woodward in Research in the Sociology of Organizations.
  • Linda Putnam (formerly Texas A&M) worked with David Grant, Grant Michelson and Leanne Cutcher (University of Sydney) on a special issue of Management Communication Quarterly on resistance in organisations in 2005.
  • David Grant, Grant Michelson and Nick Wailes (University of Sydney) joined forces with Cliff Oswick (then at Leicester University) on a two-part special issue of the Journal of Organizational Change Management in 2005 on discourse and change.
  • David Grant (formerly University of Sydney), Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne), Tom Keenoy (King’s College), Cliff Oswick (Leicester University) and Nelson Phillips (Imperial College, University of London) co-edited a special issue of Organization Studies on Organizational Discourse in 2004.
  • David Grant (formerly University of Sydney), Tom Keenoy and Cliff Oswick (formerly King’s College) published a special issue of International Studies of Management and Organization on organisational discourse methods and a special issue of Journal of Organizational Change Management on dramaturgy and organisational change in 2001.

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