Ten-Year Anniversary Doctoral Workshop

ICRODSC celebrated its 10th anniversary with a workshop for doctoral students at the University of Melbourne. The workshop allowed former doctoral students associated with ICRODSC to share their insights concerning the transition from a doctoral program into employment with current doctoral students.


Workshop on Crafting Qualitative Research

Professor Ann Cunliffe (University of New Mexico) gave a seminar in which she re-visioned Morgan and Smircich’s (1980) typology of qualitative research, taking into account changes in organisation and management theory over the intervening 30 years.

Developments in meta-theoretical perspectives, organisation theory, research methods and ways of theorizing mean that our research choices have become more complex and challenging. The 1980 typology was based on a now contested subject/object distinction, which was replaced by three problematics – intersubjectivism, subjectivism and objectivism.

The workshop examined the ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions of each and discussed the implications for building crafted, persuasive and credible research accounts. Participants were then able to explore these issues in relation to their own research.


Workshop on Organisational Discourse Analysis: Old Standards and New Directions

This workshop was a masterclass in organisational discourse analysis, presented by Professor Gail Fairhurst (University of Cincinnati). The workshop was divided into three parts, the first of which described Professor Fairhurst's interpretive orientation through a leadership lens. Prof Fairhurst briefly reviewed the ontological and epistemological assumptions of 'discursive leadership' to show how it situates her to use discursive methods.

The second part of the seminar focused on how to do three types of well-known discourse analyses - conversation analysis, interaction analysis, and speech act analysis, while the third part focused on how to analyse dialectical tensions, contradictions and paradox, a discursive approach gaining momentum in the organisational sciences today.

Emphasis was also given to the collection of different types of discourse data, such as interviews, taping, observation and archival data, as well as the preparation of transcripts, the use and relevance of grounded theory methods, and any methodological issue that seminar participants wanted to discuss.


Seminar on the Business of Business Schools

Professor David Wilson (Warwick Business School) gave a seminar on the future of business schools. He said business schools had recently been the subject of intense criticism and debate, all serving to question their role and legitimacy. Instead of being seen as potential solutions to social and economic problems in society, business schools have instead been blamed by many for being the cause of such problems, described as unethical, greedy, and intellectually barren by many commentators.

In this seminar, Prof Wilson traced the stories of some of these allegations and assessed ways in which business schools may need to change if they are to survive over the next decade.


Seminar on How Imbrication Leads to Organisational Complexity

Emeritus Professor James R Taylor (Université de Montréal) gave a seminar on how organisations can be described as a continued, non-stop structuring and re-structuring of the organising dynamic, involving multiple practices. These practices are more or less mutually interdependent and coalesce to form, through their intersections, larger domains of practice whose culmination is the organisation itself. Such configurations of practice and sense-making are referred to as imbrication.

Based on a study of the Integrated National Crime Information System, a project that the New Zealand Police undertook in collaboration with IBM in 1994 and which was later judged to have failed, some of the communicative processes that display imbrication were examined and, in particular, the concept of authority was explored.


International Research Workshop on Discursive and Critical Approaches to Aging and Retirement

The University of Melbourne's Leisa Sargent and Bill Harley hosted a two-day international research workshop on discursive and critical approaches to aging and retirement, attended by 21 academics and doctoral students from Australia and overseas.

The first day of the workshop included papers on a range of critical approaches to aging and retirement, with a keynote address by Chris Phillipson (Keele University) about the changing constructions of work and retirement.

Kat Riach from Essex University presented her work on 'talking retirement' in a UK Hedge Fund, while other papers included:

  • divergent trends in late career and retirement by Bill Martin, University of Queensland,
  • older workers in the pharmaceutical industry by Barbara Foweraker, University of Sydney,
  • organisational responses to retirement by Paul Evans, University of Melbourne, and
  • policy examination of active ageing and realities of mature identity presented by Simon Biggs, University of Melbourne.

The second day commenced with a keynote address by Debbie Rudman, University of Western Ontario, Canada titled 'Ageing Well and Forever Productive Citizens', followed by research presentations including:

  • identity work among aged care residents by Belinda Allen, Monash University, and Catherine Casler, University of Melbourne, and
  • the fluidity of age identities by Susan Ainsworth, University of Melbourne, and Leanne Cutcher, University of Sydney.

The second day concluded with a panel discussion on managing an academic career and closing comments on the future of discursive and critical approaches to ageing and retirement, chaired by Leisa Sargent and Leanne Cutcher.