Category Archives: Events

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.

22nd Annual Conference of the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR), July 31 – August 2, 2019

The International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) are now accepting abstract submissions for their annual conference, which this year focuses on the topic of ‘post-truth’. The organisers explain that the conference will “explore, from a Critical Realist perspective, the challenges ‘post-truth’ politics pose for society, the need for value-based research, and the role, representation and dissemination of academic knowledge in the public sphere.”

Proposals for paper sessions on the following themes are especially invited:

  • The role and representation of scientific knowledge, evidence and expertise in the public domain
  • The value base and emancipatory potential of academic knowledge and its scope to inform policy and practice
  • The application of Critical Realism to real-world problems and issues
  • Climate change/ denial of climate change and environmental protection
  • The complementarities and tensions between postmodernism and neoliberal political discourse and politics
  • International politics in a ‘post-truth’ environment
  • The relationship between Critical Discourse Analysis/Studies and Critical Realism
  • Education, including higher education, in the context of post-truth politics
  • Health and well-being in the context of neoliberal politics

The conference will take place at the University of Southampton, between the 31st of July and the 2nd of August, 2019. It will include a roundtable on the work of Andrew Collier. Further information about the conference can be accessed at, and enquiries can be sent to Erin Forward:

The Eighth CSO Workshop: Towards Post-human Society?

The eighth annual Centre for Social Ontology workshop will take place at the Grenoble Ecole de Management from January 7th to January 10th, 2019. It will be followed by an Open Research Workshop on Friday the 11th of January, in room C241. The seminar is convened by Prof. Ismael Al-Amoudi (GEM, social and organisational studies) and will feature professors Margaret Archer (Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, social theory), Pierpaolo Donati (Bologna, sociology), Jamie Morgan (Leeds-Beckett, philosophy and economics), Doug Porpora (Drexel, media studies) and Colin Wight (Sydney, international relations). This open seminar will feature a morning roundtable session regarding the CSO’s current project on post-human society, followed by an afternoon general discussion around the question ‘Towards post-human society?’ to generate informed dialogue with attendees.

Finally, between 3pm and 5pm on Friday, an Early Career and Doctoral Research Workshop will be held, during which time the five guest speakers will be available for individual 30 minutes discussions. Do not hesitate to discuss with them either a research project of yours for which you would like their input, or questions you may have about their own research, about realist approaches to social science, etc.

Those interested in attending can register here. Given that places are limited to a maximum of 35 participants, please register early. Please use the first sheet of the Google Doc to register for the open seminar, and the second page to register for the individual sessions should you wish to do so.

Friday Programme:

09.00 WELCOME + presentation of the CSO and its two projects to date (Prof. Al-Amoudi)
09.30 Discussion
10.15 Roundtable: Towards post-human society? (Profs Archer, Donati, Morgan, Porpora and Wight)
12.15 LUNCH
13.30 General discussion: Towards post-human society?
15.00-15.30 Afternoon individual meetings #1 (Boxes 102; 103; 104; 110; 111; 112)
15.45-16.15 Afternoon individual meetings #2 (Boxes 102; 103; 104; 110; 111; 112)
16.30-17.00 Afternoon individual meetings #3 (Boxes 102; 103; 104; 110; 111; 112)

The Seventh CSO Workshop

The seventh annual Centre for Social Ontology workshop took place at the University of Tromsø from January 9th to January 11th. It was followed by a workshop with colleagues from UiT Tromsø which can be viewed online here.

Doug Porpora, ‘What the Media are Saying’
Pierpaolo Donati, ‘ Human Enhancement and the Technological Matrices: the Hybridization of Identities, Social Relations and Organizations.
Mark Carrigan, The Human Ghost in the Machine that Learns
Margaret Archer, Considering AI Personhood
Andrea Maccarini, Transhuman social forms, cognitive advantages, post-human Sociability and feedback mechanisms.
Emmanuel Lazega, Fire and Forget Swarms; A.I. and the new wave of militarily driven Bureaucratization of Society.
Ismael Al-Amoudi, Public Policy, Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Problems