Call for Papers
In his play “Biography: A game”, Swiss dramatist and novelist Max Frisch gives a middle-aged researcher the opportunity
to restart his life at any point of his biography and change his decisions and actions. The current digital transformation
of management and organization is acting as director of a similar play. Since digitalization does not stop at randomly producing
digital copies of analog content, this epochal transformation involves an option to jettison the obsolete among the analog
concepts, which again opens a historic windows of opportunity through which we can review and redesign our collective biography
as researchers in management and organization.
Frisch stage-manages biography as accumulation of mistakes and failures. The game is hence designed to have a bad end: The researcher keenly avoids any larger surprise, and after a small series of halfhearted modifications his situation is even somewhat worse than in his cheerless original biography. The key message received is that a unique opportunity deserves to be met by more than incremental change. The digital transformation of management and organization therefore is a veritable call to large-scale redesigns of both forms and contents of research in management and organization, while the second message sent by Biography is that such games end badly if researchers remain just actors in a play rather than also acting playfully, thus redirecting the game. In fact, play necessarily comes into play whenever transformations create situations similar to open spaces and first contacts, in which the contingent nature of the social world is particularly perceptible, as is the corresponding unsettling assurance that this world can and always must be re-/invented.
The objective of this sub-theme is to meet scholars who do or intend to conceptualize and develop management and organization theory as game. To this end, conceptual or concept papers as much as alternative formats are invited that go beyond addressing gamification as topic of management and organization theories or tool of management learning, respectively. In this sub-theme, we will be keen to read and listen to ideas how forms of play and game may considerable reshape the forms and functions of theorizing on management and organization, thus creating windows of opportunity for surprising and explorative scholarship.
These ideas may correspond to the subsequent non-exclusive list of tags, topics, and teasers:
Gamification: Tools, trends, and test cases for a serious or simply playful gamification of management and organization theory
Retooling: Experiences with or anticipations of new tools for theory design (Lego, computer programs, artworks, etc.)
Improvisation: Techniques of bricolage and yesanding for going beyond paradigmatic frames
Abduction: Explorations in speculative forms of reasoning and theorizing
Flirt: Ways to almost thoughtlessly and intuitively discover next steps, missing links, and hidden desires
Dance: Theory as only one side of an ever-oscillating distinction that keeps us in e-/motion
Sampling: Management and organization theory as techno science or: lessons to be learnt from electronic music DJs and VJs
Scratching: New strategies for decomposing theories or building theories from scratch
Backmasking: New sounds of old theories played backwards or reloaded
Reverse-engineering: Reverse theory engineering as practice for theory learning and new theory design
Digital transformation: Sources and codes for the digital transformation of management and organization research
Hacking: Creative-destructive (digital) tools for theory re-/design