Category Archives: Events

Leadership, Organizations and COVID-19 – Gazi Islam, NUI Galway

Professor Gazi Islam gave an invited presentation on “Leadership, Organizations and COVID-19” to the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, on the 12th of October, 2020. The below recording and summary of the event are taken from the event page.

On 12 October, the Whitaker Institute hosted a live webinar titled Leadership, Organizations and COVID-19. The webinar discussed the challenges of being a leader against a backdrop of radical uncertainty including the need to make rapid decisions. Available information changes fast, and is often based on contested evidence. Meanwhile anxious employees and stakeholders seek guidance and some sense of certainty amid the challenges.

These challenges have impacts on people’s lives. In politics, the ambiguity accompanying Covid-19 continues to be exploited by populist leaders worldwide. In business, the corporate social responsibility initiatives that many have celebrated over the past ten years, are now being tested to their limits. Demands of those with short-term, profit-driven interests are pitted against longer-term concerns including the health and well-being of employees, customers and other stakeholders. In the public sector including education, the implicit contract of public service is likewise being challenged, as traditional funding sources dry up.

In the event, established leadership theories were also questioned. For some, the pandemic marks the end of the traditional, masculine model of leadership in which power ought to be centralized, and decision-making unilateral. Instead, we see examples of strong feminine leaders coming to the fore, with collaborative and empathetic approaches winning out. For others, such claims of a paradigm shift are premature.

Image via Derek Bruff, CC BY 2.0

Place-Based Economic Recovery Network (PERN) Webinar Series and BEIS Submission

Professor Jamie Morgan, together with Dr. Thomas Haines-Doran, Professor Andrew Brown, and Professor Gary Dymski (all University of Leeds), and Dr. Richard Whittle (Manchester Metropolitan University), recently submitted an inquiry into post-pandemic economic growth to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. This submission is reproduced on the Yorkshire Universities Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) network site here.

These scholars offer expert guidance to local authorities as part of the West Yorkshire ‘Place-Based Economic Recovery Network’ (PERN), with the aim of shaping the economic recovery strategy for the region. Initial webinar discussions and presentations took place in July 2020. Details of these webinars can be found here.

Image via Frank Pickavant, CC BY 2.0

Common good in a world of social distancing – Gazi Islam, Research Group on Collaborative Spaces

Professor Gazi Islam gave an invited presentation on “Common good in a world of social distancing” to the Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS), on the 19th of May, 2020.

Here is the abstract taken from the event page:

What is the space enacted in the covid world? What are our new gestures? What does our workspace look like? What will it look like in the post-covid world? What in the spacing of our security we produce collectively?

In the context of this third RGCS Open Seminar coordinated by Albane Grandazzi (GEM & Ecole Polytechnique), a presentation about space and spacing of the covid and post-covid world will be offered.

Ritual, Communitas and Institution: Theorizing Events as Moments of Organizing – Gazi Islam, University of Milan

Professor Gazi Islam gave an invited seminar entitled “Ritual, Communitas and Institution: Theorizing Events as Moments of Organizing” to the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at the University of Milan, on the 22nd of January, 2020. Here is the abstract taken from the event page:

Organized events such as rituals, conferences, summits, and festivals have become an increasingly examined topic in organizational scholarship. At the same time as scholarship has noted the fragmentation and fluidity of organizational life, attention has shifted to forms of “partial” organization, of which events form an important example. Such events can be singular or repeated, turned toward social reproduction or change, and emphasized socio-affective aspects of community or the structuration of formal institutions and rules. This heterogeneity has provided a challenge for organizational scholars, especially when aspects of change and transformation, uniqueness and history, informality and formality, alternate as moments within such events, making it difficult to theorize both events’ external diversity and internal heterogeneity. In this talk, I will outline an emergent research agenda around organizational events. I will draw upon my own theoretical and empirical work, while couching this work in the broader literature, to argue that attention to events reveals tensions occurring in organizational life more generally. On this basis, I venture some potential pathways for scholars to build upon in understanding events in terms of their psychological, relational, and social implications.

The Ninth CSO Workshop: AI’s significance for human society

The ninth annual Centre for Social Ontology workshop took place on January 10th, 2020, at the Grenoble Ecole de Management. Participating members included Prof. Pierpaolo Donati, Prof. Andrea Maccarini, Prof. Margaret S. Archer, Dr. Mark Carrigan, Prof. Philip Gorski, Prof. Gazi Islam, Prof. Jamie Morgan, Prof. Emmanuel Lazega, Prof. Doug Porpora.


9h – 12h: Open research round table with CSO members on the theme of “AI’s significance for human society”

14h – 17h: Presentations by GEM early career and doctoral researchers to CSO members

Organizing Material: A Research Agenda for the “Material Turn” in Organizational Scholarship – Gazi Islam, Bilkent University

Professor Gazi Islam gave an invited presentation to the Faculty of Business Administration at Bilkent University on the 15th of May, 2019. The talk began with a research presentation entitled “Organizing Material: A Research Agenda for the ‘Material Turn’ in Organizational Scholarship“, followed by a discussion of publishing strategies.

The abstract from the event page is reproduced here:

Organizing Material: A Research Agenda for the “Material Turn” in Organizational Scholarship

Organizational scholarship has been increasingly concerned with the material and aesthetic properties of work.  As evidenced by a rapid growth in visual, spatial and object-centered approaches, as well as discussions of embodied cognition and affect, organizational scholarship has been characterized as going through a “material turn”. By acknowledging the materiality of organizing, such scholarship has addressed some of the limitations of purely discursive or cognitive approaches, while offering avenues for studying the impacts of novel technological and material artefacts in organizations.  This presentation will discuss the possibilities for current thinking around the material turn in organizing, presenting an ongoing research agenda around different aspects of materiality.  I will discuss the theoretical and methodological challenges around defining sites of study, analysing and interpreting data, and theorizing materiality Based on a brief description of my own research agenda around materiality at work, I reflect on the challenges and possibilities of this agenda in organizational scholarship.

Publishing in Management and Organization Studies- Contexts, Paradigms, Communities

The purpose of this talk is to discuss publishing experiences and strategies in organizational scholarship. Drawing on personal experiences in publishing, as well as experience as Section Editor at Journal of Business ethics and editorial board member of Organization Research Methods, Journal of Management, Organization, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Management Decision, and Organization Theory, I will share some of my own observations around academic research and publishing, including: International mobility and publishing, Academic communities and audiences, the relation between methodological choices and publishing, and the evolving nature of academic visibility. The format is meant to be interactive, with ample time for discussion, questions and debate.

Enchanting Workplaces: The Ambivalence of Workplace Well-Being – Gazi Islam, University of Melbourne

On the 26th of February, 2019, Professor Gazi Islam gave an invited seminar to the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne, entitled “Enchanting Workplaces: The Ambivalence of Workplace Well-Being.” Here is the abstract taken from the event page:

Contemporary work has been increasingly framed as a source of well-being, self-fulfilment and creativity, as “post-bureaucratic” modes of organizing and service-intensive tasks have become paradigmatic ways of thinking of work.  Promises of fulfilment, however, take place in an environment of eroding worker protections, precarisation and distributive injustices at work, calling into question the social meanings and functions of well-being discourses. The dissonance caused by contextualizing well-being discourses within precarious worlds of work leads to a theoretical quandary – how to acknowledge and promote more humane ways of working without providing ideological cover for new modes of workplace domination.  In this talk, I will describe an ongoing research agenda whose goal has been to explore the ambivalent aspects of workplace well-being, aspects which create both theoretical and methodological tensions.  Using examples from previously published work, I describe ongoing attempts to address the limits of this work, both in terms of the theoretical lenses needed for understanding ambivalence and the methodological stakes involved.