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The 24th EGOS Colloquium 2008  

General Theme


Postdoctoral pre-colloquium workshop

PhD pre-colloquium workshop

Roland Calori Prize

EGOS Best Paper Award
EGOS Best Student Paper Award

Organizing Committee

Fees and Registration


Tourist Information

24th EGOS Colloquium

July 10–12, 2008

VU University Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Upsetting Organizations


Call for Papers

In historical consciousness, the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC) has come to represent both the pride and the shame of the maritime reign of the Netherlands in the 17th century. The VOC is credited as the first multinational corporation in the world, and it was the first company to issue stocks. Sailing the seas from Spitsbergen to Cape Horn and into the Pacific, the VOC set up global trade networks, accumulated exorbitant wealth, and contributed to an era of Dutch economic and cultural prosperity, the remnants of which can still be admired in cities like Amsterdam. The company known as the symbol of the Dutch Golden Age also came to represent the dark sides of Dutch economic expansion. The VOC did not hesitate to use ugly and socially upsetting tactics, such as war, enslavement, torture and mass murder, to accomplish its objectives. The Dutch East India Company therefore symbolizes the potentials of organized human action to initiate activities that are tremendously successful yet, at the same time, utterly upsetting.

Intense media coverage of organizational crises, scandals and disasters has brought the darker side of organizations to the forefront of public attention in recent years. Yet, organizational theory has paid little attention to organizations causing or facing disorganization, disorder and decay. It could be – and perhaps should be – more upsetting to management and organizations by unmasking organizational rhetoric and revealing actual practices or develop counterintuitive interpretations and groundbreaking, provocative theories; qualities that give organization studies a dynamic and slightly unsettling quality by being in counterpoint to the orthodoxy of mainstream thinking. Investigating the implicit or even silent features of organizational life and organized societies is a key task for organizational research in its role of upsetting the easily observed and taken-for-granted aspects of organization. The challenge for the field of organization studies, and for this conference, is to address theoretical implications of upsetting events and develop insights that upset the field of organization studies anew.