Organizing for the common good: revisiting performativity

by Faculty Events


Fri, Apr 21, 2017

1 PM – 6:30 PM

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Bayes Business School, 106 Bunhill Row

106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ, UK

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13:00-14:30: first panel [room 2003]
14:30-15:00: break
15:00-16:30: paper development tables [rooms 2003, 2007 and 2005]
16:30-17:00: break
17:00-18:30: second panel [room 2003]

How can theories – and in particular critical theories – transform social reality or support social changes? Spicer, Alvesson and Kärreman introduced the concept of critical performativity in 2009 which has subsequently generated multiple developments around this central question as well as exploring the role of critique more broadly. This debate is on-going as illustrated by a recent special section of Human Relations (2016) and related publications (e.g., Parker and Parker, forthcoming; and a forthcoming special issue in Management). But what is and should be the role of performativity within research? What can organizational studies of performativity tell us about how private actors interact with the society around them? Can performativity research inform current debates about the social and economic impact of scholarly work? And also, does critical performativity provide a way out from purely negative forms of critique?

Far from being a mere philosophical speculation, we regard the performativity conversation as a unique opportunity to reconsider the relevancy of academic organizational research and to discuss its potential to promote or help design alternative organizations or forms of organizing. The types of questions we seek to address in this workshop are the following: How shall we deal with the Butlerian performative effects of management research? How can we put critical performativity into practice? What are the core assumptions behind the narratives of ‘sustainable business’ or ‘corporate responsibility’? And how do we determine what ‘counts’ as a heterotopia or an alternative organization?

On April the 21st 2017, we are pleased to invite you to Cass Business School, City, University of London for a one-day workshop to gather with the main scholars of this debate. Our goal at ETHOS – the centre for responsible enterprise – has always been exploring how alternative forms of organizations and organizing can be discussed, analysed and promoted through research. We therefore welcome scholars studying Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), critical theory, inequality, climate change, etc., who believe that performativity can and/or should play a relevant role in their research. Empirical studies drawing on critical performativity are encouraged. We warmly welcome empirical works fostering this debate with qualitative and quantitative analysis. Critical perspectives on critical performativity and more generally on the performativity concept are welcomed too.

The event will feature two main panels with experts, and simultaneous paper-development workshops divided in small groups. To present your work at the event, please submit a long abstract (maximum 1200-words references excluded). The event has no participation fee, and applications should reach us by April the 1st please email your abstracts to:

Scientific committee & organization
• Alessandro Tirapani & Jean-Pascal Gond – Cass Business School
• Simon Parker – Nottingham University Business School
List of confirmed panel speakers and/or paper discussants
• Bobby Banerjee, Cass Business School [t.b.c.]
• Laure Cabantous, Cass Business School
• Jean-Pascal Gond, Cass Business School
• Emilio Marti, Said Business School, University of Oxford
• Martin Parker, University of Leicester
• Simon Parker, University of Nottingham
• Christopher Wickert, VU University of Amsterdam
• Hugh Willmott, Cass Business School


Bayes Business School, 106 Bunhill Row

106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ, UK