Amsterdam, Wednesday 14th July-Friday 16th July, 2010
The Conference Conference Theme Submission Details
The Location Travel and Accommodation Plenary Speakers
Accepted Papers Conference Registration ICRODSC Website
INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY NETWORK
Eric Abrahamson, Columbia University, USA. Mats Alvesson, Lund University, Sweden. David Boje, New Mexico State University, USA. Gerrit Broekstra, Nyenrode University, The Netherlands. Gibson Burrell,University of Leicester, UK. Didier Cazal, Groupe ESC Marseille, France. Francois Cooren, University of Montreal, Canada. Stan Deetz, University of Colorado, USA. Richard Dunford, Macquarie University, Australia, Norman Fairclough, University of Lancaster, UK, David Grant, University of Sydney, Australia,Cynthia Hardy, University of Melbourne, Australia, Steve Maguire, McGill Univeristy, Canada, Robert Marshak, The American University, USA. Gareth Morgan, York University, Canada. Ian Palmer,University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, Martin Parker, University of Leicester, UK, Linda Putnam,Texas A&M University, USA. David Sims, City University, UK. Hari Tsoukas, Athens Laboratory for Business Administration, Greece. Anne Wallamacq, Namur University, Belgium. Karl Weick, University of Michigan, USA.
Sierk Ybema and Ida Sabelis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,
Tom Keenoy, Cardiff Business School, UK and Cliff Oswick, Queen Mary College,
University of London UK.
Culture, Organization and Management, Vrije Universiteit,
Queen Mary College, University of London, and
Cardiff Business School.
Elles Bandringa, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
As with previous conferences, the primary aim of the 9th Conference is to develop further insights into the field of organizational discourse. It is envisaged that the Conference will provide a forum in which academics with contrasting epistemological and ontological perspectives on both organization and discourse can engage in dialogue.
The Conference will again be hosted by the Department of Culture, Organisation and Management at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University), Amsterdam and organized under the auspices of the International Centre for Research in Organizational Discourse, Strategy and Change (ICRODSC). This international research centre acts as umbrella for a number of discourse-related research activities and initiatives and provides links between researchers from leading international management schools who share an interest in developing and applying discourse methods in the study of organizations.
Contemporary organizing is confronted by seemingly endless ‘crises’ which are routinely projected through apocalyptic metaphor. Over coffee, we can skip-read through today’s ‘ecological catastrophe’, the ‘global financial meltdown’ and ‘the collapse of capitalism’ before ‘getting down to work’. The global financial system appears to be littered with a variety of corrosive mechanisms in the banks, the housing markets and their institutions, the pensions industry and the short-termism of stock-markets. And these ‘crises’ are of such magnitude that we are threatened with recession if not the more ominous possibility of economic depression. Meanwhile, it seems, global warming and its attendant climate change proceed unabated. We are threatened with the inundation of all low-lying land, the collapse of food production across several continents and the fundamental transformation of ocean currents promising flood and drought in equal measure. Fish and bees are disappearing while feel-good eco-friendly products proliferate within a flourishing carbon-offset ‘market’. And the poverty of our political response is breath-taking – the only tangible outcome of the G8 meeting in L’Aquila (July, 2009) was that world leaders were presented with made-to-measure Belstaff parka jackets individually signed by Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Crises? What crises?
All of which suggests that the distance between our discursive projections of the future and our inability to confront those possibilities has, perhaps, never been greater. In the post-whatever world we now inhabit, all appears to be simultaneously terminal and – bizarrely – transient. We can frame this apparent dissociation of human action from its consequences through the analyses of ‘flexible capitalism’ (Sennett) or ‘liquid modernity’ (Bauman) which have charted the disorienting and destabilising effects of – in its broadest sense – the emergent ‘post-modern’ social reality. However, the persuasiveness of such abstract analyses apparently remains beyond periphery of policy-makers’ thinking.
Hence, the theme for the 9th Conference has a narrative focus on the discursive construction and re-construction of crises, corruption, character and change. At the meta-level, the conference theme is intended to elicit papers which address the discursive construction and re-construction of ‘crises’. In our view, linguistic framing is a fundamental aspect of how ‘crises’ are being manufactured, constituted, projected, perceived and addressed (or finessed) at all levels of organization. Despite the apocalyptic metaphors, it appears that any given ‘crisis’ can re-emerge as a ‘manageable risk’, a ‘market opportunity’ or a case for ‘re-regulation’. Perhaps most problematic is how we have depicted the character of these various crises for their technical and global complexity invariably engenders over-simplified description.
In parallel, we appear to be experiencing a persistent growth in corruption. This is manifest in at least two spheres. First, we have seen an increasing prevalence of dissociated institutional practices across organizations which have directly undermined the presumed core processes of those organizations – a phenomenon which has occurred not only in financial institutions but also in the political sphere and across public sector organizing. Secondly, in accounting for and representing such seemingly corrupt behaviour, the first resort is invariably to one or other variety of rhetorical dissimulation – a deeply corrosive process which corrupts the conventional meanings of language.
These issues raise further questions regarding the problems of continuity and the scope for change. Is socio-political and institutional change desirable or even feasible? If so, what particular forms of change might be instigated? Should change processes be radical and transformational or orthodox and incremental in nature? What is the role for, and status of, discourse(s) in relation to change (or non-change). How does discourse shape ‘character-formation’ and possible responses to crises and corruption?
In keeping with past conferences, we also invite papers which engage with the constructs ofcharacter, corruption and change in a more specific sense. Hence, character – corrupt or otherwise – could, for example, be considered as an attribute of individuals ‘getting into character’, of organizations (e.g. culture), or as a loaded social phenomena (i.e. with moral, spiritual and/or ethical overtones). Similarly, we welcome submissions which address corruption in the wider etymological sense of contaminating or altering meaning (e.g. relation to a text). Alternative readings of changewhich apply to discursive aspects of organizing or organizations are also encouraged (i.e. as socially embedded processes of substitution, conversion, disruption or improvement).
Given the Conference theme deliberately constitutes a broad discursive canvas, we expect the precise conference streams to emerge from the papers themselves. However, we also anticipate papers that will organize themselves within the following topics:
Sensemaking, Stories and Narrative
Corruption, Disruption and Rhetoric
Discourse, Identity and Temporality
Language, Culture and Ideology
Professions, Practices and Ethics
Ethnography and Organizational Life
Crisis, Continuity and Change
Reflexivity in Organizing
Critical Discursive Approaches
Metaphor, Tropes and Symbolism
Text, Talk and Technology
Structures, Networks and Agency
Consumption, Brands and Images
Dramaturgy and Aesthetics
Spirituality and Diversity
Conversation Analytic Approaches
Papers are invited on talk and text which address issues of social representation, social construction and social interaction in relation to any aspect of organization or organizing in relation to these themes. Contributions may adopt any epistemological perspective but we are concerned to achieve a balance between empirical studies and conceptual/theoretical contributions.
The conference proceedings will be published (with an ISBN) and available to participants at the Conference. The proceedings will contain the abstracts of the papers presented and the full versions of the papers will be provided on a memory stick as part of the conference pack.
The eight previous Organizational Discourse conferences have led to the publication of several edited books and a number of special issues and themed sections of journals. It is anticipated that the 9th Conference will result in further publication(s) containing selected contributions from the conference.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION
All submissions and conference communications will be conducted by email. Prospective contributors interested in presenting a paper should send an abstract of approx. 1,000 words to the conference organisers by 15th January 2010. Notification of acceptance of papers will be given by 5th March 2010 and full papers are required by 4th June 2010.
Abstracts should be typed using double spacing and include: (1) the title of the paper; (2) the name(s), and affiliation(s) of the author(s); and, (3) an author contact address, e-mail and telephone/fax number.
Abstracts should be sent as an email attachment (saved as a Word document or a text file) to Tom Keenoy and Cliff Oswick at: Discourse09@cardiff.ac.uk
THE LOCATION: THE VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT (FREE UNIVERSITY)
The Vrije Universiteit was established in 1880 in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, which has been a renowned cultural, scientific and commercial centre for many centuries. The Free University or – as it is known locally – ‘the VU’, is a thriving international institution comprised of twelve faculties – Arts, Earth and Life Sciences, Dentistry, Human Movement Sciences, Economics and Business Administration, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Psychology and Education, Sciences, Social-Cultural Sciences and Theology. It has around 15,000 students and offers over fifty undergraduate and almost a hundred postgraduate programmes. The university campus and university hospital are situated in the south-western part of Amsterdam, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands. It is within easy reach of both Amsterdam-Schiphol airport and all the various attractions of central Amsterdam.
The Department of Cultuur, Organisatie en Management (Culture, Organization and Management), which is co-hosting the Conference, is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences (http://www.fsw.vu.nl/en/index.asp ). The Faculty has about 2800 students and 140 members of staff and is one of the VU’s larger faculties. The Department is relatively new and the focus of both the teaching programme and research activity is organisational anthropology which involves a pre-eminent concern with the cultural dimensions of management and organization. Current research projects include work on cultural change in organisational networks; processes of identity formation under globalisation; diversity-management; the temporal aspects of management and organizational intervention strategies. The teaching programme includes both undergraduate and postgraduate course in organisational anthropology as well as a thriving doctoral programme. There are 25 staff including five professors and researchers.
TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION
Amsterdam is one of the great European capital cities. Built around a series of concentric canals, it is justly famed for its architecture, museums, art galleries, public parks, markets and restaurants. On the streets, the bicycle is king, and the city is renown for being a deeply relaxing place with a liberal attitude to drugs, sex and international conferences.
Both international and local travel are easy. Schiphol-Amsterdam airport is a major International hub airport with excellent bus and rail connections to central Amsterdam. Amsterdam boasts one of the best public transport systems in any European city: there are trams, buses, a metro and trains all of which are relatively cheap, extremely easy to use and run with remarkable frequency. Taxis are easily available but not cheap and it is sometimes easier to get around the city by public transport.
Schiphol to Central Amsterdam
Apart from a taxi (costing about 40 Euros), by far the best way to get into central Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport is to go by train to Amsterdam Central Station.
Schiphol Station is in the airport (under ‘Schiphol Plaza’) and the train goes from Platform 3. Trains depart every 10 minutes and the trip takes about 15 minutes.
Schiphol to the VU (The Conference Venue)
To travel direct to the VU from Schiphol Airport, take a train from Schiphol station to Zuid/World Trade Center station. Trains depart from platform 1 or 2 (under ‘Schiphol Plaza’) and run every 15 minutes. From there, it is a 10 minute walk to the VU. Alternatively, take the metro train No. 51 in the direction of ‘Amstelveen/ Westwijk ’ or tram 5 in the direction of ‘Amstelveen/ Binnenhof’. It is just one stop to the VU (2 minutes).
Central Amsterdam to the VU (The Conference Venue)
The VU is in the south-east quadrant of Amsterdam. The main address is:
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
There are frequent metro trains and trams to the VU from the Central Station. Metro 51 or tram 5 go direct to the VU. Finding it is easy because the VU has its own tram-stop: ‘Boelelaan/VU’. The trip takes about 15 minutes (by metro) or 25 minutes (by tram). During the day there are trams and metros every 5 to 10 minutes. In the evenings there are fewer connections (every 15 minutes approximately).
Accommodation in Amsterdam:
PLEASE NOTE: There is no suitable conference accommodation at the VU and all accommodation must be booked directly by conference participants themselves.
As a major tourist destination, alongside the usual range of branded international hotels, there are hundreds of small and medium-sized hotels throughout Amsterdam and the surrounding area. And there should be something to suit everyone’s budget. There are numerous web-sites (some are listed below) providing information and leading to on-line booking facilities. Once you have decided on a possible hotel, before booking, it is advisable to check prices on the hotel’s own web-site. Some agencies charge a premium and booking direct with the hotel can sometimes be cheaper.
Since the conference is being held during the tourist season, early booking is advisable.
Some places to start:
Dutch Tourist Board Web-Page:
The Dutch Reservations Centre
This is a central marketing organisation which will find hotel rooms across the full range. It also takes options on some hotel rooms and can provide discounted room prices.
OTHER USEFUL WEB PAGES (ALL IN ENGLISH):
Amsterdam City Web-Page:
Tourist Guide to Amsterdam:
Public Transport in Amsterdam:
The Vrije Universiteit:
This site also contains some useful information about Amsterdam.
PLENARY SPEAKERS (TO COME)
ACCEPTED PAPERS (TO COME)
The full conference fee will be €440 euros. This covers registration, all conference materials, refreshments, lunches, conference dinner and other social events. (Detailed instructions onregistration will be posted shortly.)
The International Centre for Research in Organizational Discourse, Strategy and Change (ICRODSC) was launched in 2001. It is supported by leading international management schools at the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, McGill University, King’s College, the University of London, the Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge, the University of Leicester, Lund University and Texas A&M University. The Centre links international researchers who share an interest in developing and applying discourse methods in the study of organizations. It brings together researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, provides a critical mass in research expertise, facilitates cross-disciplinary research, provides a banner for new research initiatives, provides contacts and support for doctoral students, and provides resources for workshops, studies, and other activities.
For further details see: http://www.management.unimelb.edu.au/icrodsc/