35th EGOS Colloquium

Enlightening the Future:
The Challenge for Organizations


University of Edinburgh Business School

July 4–6, 2019

Edinburgh, United Kingdom




Sub-theme 58: Organizational Theory from the South: Enlightening the North

Rafael Alcadipani
Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Brazil
Marcos Barros
Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
Albert J. Mills
Saint Mary’s University, Canada

Call for Papers

The place of Southern theories of Management Knowledge Studies (MKS) has been the subject of different books, papers and special issues (e.g. Alcadipani et al., 2012; Westwood et al, 2014; Gantman, 2015). There is general agreement that the (North-)Western countries have dominated the organization studies literature despite efforts to bring Southern and Eastern criticism through post-colonial and de-colonial research (Long & Mills, 2008; Frenkel & Shenhav, 2006; Jack et al, 2011; Faria, 2013; Srinivas, 2013; Yousfi, 2014; Dar, 2014; Mills & Misocsky, 2014). Furthermore, a wealth of new research have displaced the center of organizational attention to marginal countries bringing to light phenomena under different contexts than the traditional US- and EU-centered research objects (Prasad & Durepos, 2016; Carrim & Nkomo, 2016; Alcadipani, 2017; Bell et al., 2017; Barros, 2014; Boussebaa & Brown, 2017; Khan, 2018).
Despite these developments, the grand majority of research in the so called top management journals – that claim to be international – still uses concepts and theories that were born under the auspices of the (North-)Western civilization, constituting a rather ‘parochial’ academic field (March, 2005) that only speaks one language (English) and naturalizes the Anglo-Saxon way of doing research. Even when new Southern authors are bring to the forefront they usually have to gain their legitimacy through the comparison/parallel to establish frameworks. Moreover, there are vast amounts of interesting work that is being published in other languages than English that are absent of the Anglo-Saxon debates in our field (e.g. Teixeira & Oliveira, 2016).
The goal of our sub-theme is to pursue the contribution of previous Southern scholars in defending a different tradition of scholarship that has been largely ignored by (North-)Western-dominated organization studies. We propose however to provide a different perspective/practice to the effort of bringing a Southern/Eastern perspective to management. Instead of focusing on authors and their specific theories, we suggest a more pragmatic and, we dare say, impactful approach of directing our attention to what new concepts and objects can be brought into light by their ideas or how old concepts and objects could be reappropriated through their work.
Our sub-theme invites contributions and critical reflections on the potentials of “marginal theories” to bring new and different perspectives on current debates in management literature. Such contributions while informed by local specificities have a potential to bring more general impact into theorization in organizational studies. Potential but not exclusive questions and topics that could be addressed include:

  • How Southern perspectives bring new concepts and objects to management studies?
  • How Southern perspectives illuminate traditional (North-) Western research concepts?
  • How traditional Northern objects can be reappropriated and reframed through Southern theorizing?
  • How theories from the South can illuminate problems from the North?
  • What process are in place in the Northern academy of organization studies to exclude lives, experiences and knowledge from the South?
  • How can North and South develop symmetrical conversations in organization studies?
  • How can we overcome language and geographical barriers to develop a truly international organization studies?

These are just some topics we can explore in this sub-theme and we are open to more topics that involve knowledge production and analysis of organizations from the South.


  • Alcadipani, R. (2017): “Reclaiming sociological reduction: Analysing the circulation of management education in the periphery.” Management Learning, 48 (5), 535–551.
  • Alcadipani, R, Khan, F.R., Gantman, E., & Nkomo, S. (2012): “Southern voices in management and organization knowledge.” Organization, 19 (2), 131–143.
  • Barros, M. (2014): “Tools of Legitimacy: The case of the Petrobras corporate blog.” Organization Studies, 35 (8), 1211–1230.
  • Bell, E., Kothiyal, N., & Willmott, H. (2017): “Methodology-as-Technique and the Meaning of Rigour in Globalized Management Research.” British Journal of Management, 28 (3), 534–550.
  • Boussebaa, M., & Brown, A.D. (2017): “Englishization, identity re-gulation and imperialism.” Organization Studies, 38 (1), 7–29.
  • Carrim, N., & Nkomo, S. (2016): “Wedding intersectionality theory and identity work in organizations: South African Indian women negotiating managerial identity.” Gender, Work & Organization, 23 (3), 261–277.
  • Dar, S. (2014): “Hybrid Accountabilities: When Western and Non-Western Accountabilities Collide.” Human Relations, 67 (2), 131–151.
  • Faria, A (2013): “Border thinking in action: Should critical management get anything done?” In: J. Murphy, V. Malin & M. Siltaoja (eds.): Getting Things Done Practice in Critical Management Studies. London: Emerald, 190–205.
  • Frenkel, M., & Shenhav, Y. (2006): “From binarism back to hybridity: A postcolonial reading of management and organization studies.” Organization Studies, 27 (6), 855–876.
  • Gantman, E., Yousfi, H., & Alcadipani, R. (2015): “Challenging Anglo-Saxon dominance in management and organizational knowledge.” Revista de Administração de Empresas, 55 (02), 126–129.
  • Horn, S.A. (2017): “Non-English Nativeness as Stigma in Academic Settings.” Academy of Management Learning & Education, 16 (4), 579–602.
  • Jack, G., Westwood, R., Srinivas, N., & Sardar, Z. (2011): “Deepening, broadening and re-asserting a postcolonial interrogative space in organization studies.” Organization, 18 (3), 275–302.
  • Khan, F.R (2018): “Qualitative Management Research in the Shadow of Imperialism. Some Elementary Remarks on Its Othering Processes from a Muslim Perspective.” In: R. Mir & S. Jain (eds): The Routledge Companion to Qualitative Research in Organization Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Long, B., & Mills, A.J. (2008): “Globalization, Postcolonial Theory, and Organizational Analysis: Lessons from the Rwanda Genocide.” Critical Perspectives on International Business, 4 (4), 389–409.
  • March, J. (2005): “Parochialism in the Evolution of a Research Community: The Case of Organization Studies.” Management and Organization Review, 1 (1), 5–22.
  • Mills, A.J., & Misoczky, M.C. (2014): “Editors’ Picks: Postcolonialism and Voices from the South.” Organization, posted in December 2014.
  • Prasad, A., & Durepos, G. (2016): “From margin to center: listening to silenced subjectivities in international business.” Critical Perspectives on International Business, 12 (3), 218–221.
  • Teixeira, J.C., & Oliveira, J.S. (2016): Por Que ainda Falarmos em Raça, Categoria Destituída de Valor Biológico? Anais do Encontro de Estudos Organizacionais (EnEO) da ANPAD, Belo Horizonte.
  • Yousfi, H. (2014): “Rethinking hybridity in postcolonial contexts: What changes and what persists? The Tunisian case of Poulina’s managers.” Organization Studies, 35 (3), 393–421.
  • Westwood, B., Jack, G., Kahn, F., & Frenkel, M. (2014): Core-Periphery Relations and Organisation Studies. London: Palgrave Mcmillan.

Rafael Alcadipani is an Associate Professor of Organization Studies at Fundação Getúlio Vargas FGV, EAESP, Brazil. His research interests are struggles in organizations, and he is specialized in ethnography. Rafael is Associate Editor to ‘Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management’. His work has been published in journals such as ‘Organization’, ‘Organization Research Methods’, ‘Human Relations’, ‘Academy of Management Learning and Education’, and ‘Gender, Work & Organization’.
Marcos Barros is an Associate Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France). His research interests include technology and social media, critical perspectives on identity, resistance, and change, alternative forms of organization, and institutional dynamics. Marcos’s research articles have been published in ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Organization’, ‘Organization Science’, and ‘Journal of Management Inquiry’.
Albert J. Mills is Professor of Management at Saint Mary’s University, Canada, and Professor of Innovation at the University of Eastern Finland. The author of over forty books and special issues, Albert is the Co-editor of the International Board for ‘Critical Management Studies’ and the Co-editor of the journal ‘Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management’. His most recent books include “Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures” (Emerald, 2017); “The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History” (Routledge, 2015); “The Routledge Companion to Critical Management Studies” (Routledge, 2015); and “The Oxford Handbook of Diversity in Organizations” (Oxford University Press, 2015.