33rd EGOS Colloquium, Copenhagen 2017


Call for sub-theme proposals



The Good Organization

Aspirations, Interventions, Struggles

July 68, 2017

Copenhagen, Denmark


Copenhagen Business School (CBS)



The Good Organization is often depicted as the efficient organization a particular means to achieve some pre-given end or purpose. But efficiency alone can hardly guarantee that an organization will be a force for the greater good, public as well as private. To that end, other ideals and aspirations have been frequently advocated: diversity, care, excellence, sustainability, health, play, transparency and responsibility, to name but some of the most obvious. Organizations structured according to these ideals, it is argued, can and should result in better products and services, better people, better workplaces and better societies.

The Good Organization is both a very tempting project and one inherently ridden with tensions: sustainability may partly function as a compensation for mindless overconsumption, diversity can be seen as a tokenistic attempt to remedy effects of marginalization, health may entail new forms of exclusion and discipline for the unhealthy, and playfulness potentially undermines both personal and professional integrity. More generally, the Organization structured around one overarching Good may end up as something akin to totalitarianism, an organization from which dissent, argument and conflict are excluded in favour of conformity, uniformity and compliance &

Shaped by Scandinavian welfare traditions, the Danish organizational landscape is often deemed radically benevolent to high degrees of inclusion and participation as well as leading developments in the areas of work-life balance, sustainability, equality, transparency and other contemporary markers of The Good Organization. At the same time, a distinctive Danish tradition of compromise and glossing over antagonisms might mask the conflicts inherent to the pursuit of The Good Organization. For its part, the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) has cultivated an interdisciplinary approach to the role of business in society, implicitly encouraging but also interrogating the idea of The Good Organization. At the same time, though, CBSs self-description as the Business University is itself an ongoing compromise in the continuing antagonisms besetting many business schools in one way or another, between their loyalty to business interests and engagement with societal issues. At Copenhagen Business School we appreciate the opportunity to celebrate our 100 year anniversary by hosting the EGOS Colloquium in 2017 and explicitly reflecting on the aspirations, interventions, and struggles of The Good Organization.

As we indicated above, the notion of The Good Organization can be approached from a variety of different conceptual and normative positions and generate discussions about a range of contemporary organizational phenomena. We encourage the submission of sub-theme proposals for this Colloquium, which seek to explore and interrogate the idea of The Good Organization in all its potential plurality.


Sub-theme proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Balancing aspirations. There are many different possible outcomes of organizing. The Good Organization is claimed to produce profit, efficiency, and competitiveness, but should also create jobs, health and meaning for individuals. Sub-themes that address different aspirations of goodness in the literature, in practice and different organizational contexts are welcome, as well as sub-themes that explore how aspirations of goodness reveal or conceal politics, ideologies and power relationships. The handling of dissent, resistance and conflict by progressive (and other) organizations could provide rich opportunities for sub-theme proposals.
  • Interventions for the good. When seeking improvement and betterness, what are the ways in which interventions can support and sustain our aspirations? The way we intervene may counteract our aspirations and actors may find themselves in an endless loop of efforts to reform and change to achieve the desired outcomes. How is The Good Organization performed, constructed or realized? What norms, techniques and devices format and frame The Good Organization?
  • Sites of struggles. Striving for The Good Organization involves balancing competing ambitions and interests, but even if this may be seen as a contest of ideas, it can have important consequences. Virtues are not only imaginary, they have material consequences. Indeed, some organizations are explicitly instituted to do good in society: social movements, NGOs, the UN; and so on. What does it mean to work in such a good organization? And how do these organizations with their focus on goodness co-exist with, challenge or support classical organizational concerns with task accomplishment, efficiency and due process? How do conflicting logics and practices coexist?


  • First of all, please see the?Guidelines and criteria for the submission of sub-theme proposals for EGOS Colloquia!




  • Submissions are expected to include an outline of the proposed theme and the related area of interest (maximum of two pages), as well as a short description of the team of convenors, including their academic background and experience. We expect most of the submissions to be linked with the overall Colloquium theme, but other submissions are also welcome.?The sub-theme proposals should avoid repetition of the overall Colloquium theme in their titles.
  • Convenor teams should be international in composition (convenors from at least two countries) and should include at least one highly reputed scholar and one convenor experienced in organizing EGOS sub-themes. The maximum convenor team size is three scholars; proposals from teams of four or more convenors cannot be considered.

Submission period (online via the EGOS website):
  • Start: Wednesday, October 14, 2015
  • End:? Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 23:59:59 CET

For any further questions, please contact

  • Ursula Plesner, Copenhagen Business School ();
  • Angelika Zierer, Head of EGOS Executive Secretariat ().