CfP RC17 Partner Workshop “Meta-, Macro-, and Partial Organization”, May 13-14, Toulouse

Call for Papers for the Workshop
“Meta-, Macro-, and Partial Organization: Advances in Research and Theory

Supported by RC17

Toulouse School of Management, May 13-14, 2019
Deadline for submission of extended abstracts is  February 15th, 2019.


Héloïse Berkowitz
CNRS TSM-Research, France
Michael Grothe-Hammer
Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, Germany

Scientific Committee: Göran Ahrne (Stockholm University), Héloïse Berkowitz (CNRS TSM-Research), Sanne Bor (Hanken School of Economics), Frank den Hond (Hanken School of Economics), Michael Grothe-Hammer (Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg), Stefan Kirchner (Technische Universität Berlin), Dennis Schoeneborn (Copenhagen Business School), David Seidl (University of Zurich), Mikaela Sundberg (Stockholm University)

Recent assessments see organization theory in a deep crisis. While the worldwide number of organizations as well as their relevance for nearly every area of modern society has been growing rapidly (Bromley & Meyer, 2015; Perrow, 1991), the scholarly interest in organizations as the unit of analysis is in decline (Ahrne, Brunsson, & Seidl, 2016). Moreover, “organizations are morphing furiously into new forms” (Barley, 2016) and established theories are increasingly unable to grasp empirical reality (Davis, 2015). To counteract this development, Ahrne and Brunsson (2011) suggested to put decisions back to the core of organization theory by declaring decisions the fundamental aspect of organization. In a series of works building on this common ground, they and others proposed to expand organization theory (Ahrne & Brunsson, Forthcoming; Ahrne et al., 2016; Ahrne, Brunsson, & Seidl, 2017) by combining the classical notion of formal organization with the notions of meta-organization (i.e. an organization that has organizations as its members; Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008; Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), partial organization (i.e. certain decided types of social order that can be seen as organizational; Ahrne & Brunsson, 2011), and macro-organization (i.e. completely organized sets of organizations and meta-organizations that do not constitute a formal organization; Brunsson, Gustafsson, & Hallström, 2018).

With their work, Ahrne, Brunsson, and colleagues laid the ground for a new understanding of a broad variety of modern organizational phenomena and their manifold facets – thereby offering a way out of organization theory’s existential crisis (Apelt et al., 2017). Building on this ground, scholars have, for instance, started inquiring a broad variety of phenomena such as Corporate Social Responsibility (Berkowitz, Bucheli, & Dumez, 2017; Rasche, Bakker, & Moon, 2013), social movements (den Hond, de Bakker, & Doh, 2015; Karlberg & Jacobsson, 2015), markets (Ahrne, Aspers, & Brunsson, 2015), crowdfunding (Berkowitz & Souchaud, 2017; Nielsen, 2018), coopetition (Azzam & Berkowitz, 2018), sustainability (Valente & Oliver, 2018), organization without actorhood (Grothe-Hammer, 2018), partnerships (Cropper & Bor, 2018) or the European Union (Kerwer, 2013; Murdoch, 2015).

The workshop on “Meta-, macro-, and partial organization” wants to embrace and advance this line of work. It is intended to bring together these related but so far way too often separated debates on formal, partial, and meta-organization – since these share a common conceptual basis.

We welcome submissions on aspects of meta-organization and/or partial organization and/or an integration of both. Submissions that address one of the mentioned concepts are as welcome as combined efforts. They can be theoretical, empirical, or methodological in nature.

We look forward to receiving submissions by experienced as well as early career scholars, and to an intensive and fruitful discussion during the workshop. Participants are expected to be present throughout the workshop and actively contribute to the discussions.

The deadline of submissions of extended abstracts (3-7 pages) is February 15th, 2019. Submissions must be sent to Notification of acceptance is sent out no later than February 28th, 2019.

In case of acceptance, a revised paper or paper draft (10-25 pages) must be sent by April 22nd, 2019, for distribution among workshop participants. By submitting a paper, the submitters also agree on commenting on at least one other paper during the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Toulouse School of Management (TSM) during May 13 & 14, 2019. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the workshop organizers Héloïse Berkowitz ( ) and Michael Grothe-Hammer ( ).

Best meta-organization related manuscripts will be encouraged to apply to an upcoming Special Issue of M@n@gement ( More information on the call to come.

Don’t forget to tweet using the #MMPorganizing and #metaorganization

Partners of the workshop


  • Ahrne, G., Aspers, P., & Brunsson, N. (2015). The Organization of Markets. Organization Studies, 36(1), 7–27.
  • Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (Eds.). (Forthcoming). Organization outside organizations. The abundance of  partial organization in social life. Cambridge University Press.
  • Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2008). Meta-organizations. Cheltenham, Glos, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2011). Organization outside organizations: the significance of partial organization. Organization, 18(1), 83–104.
  • Ahrne, G., Brunsson, N., & Seidl, D. (2016). Resurrecting organization by going beyond organizations. European Management Journal, 34(2), 93–101.
  • Ahrne, G., Brunsson, N., & Seidl, D. (2017). On the fruitfulness of the concept of partial organization: A rejoinder to Apelt et al. European Management Journal, 35(3), 297–299.
  • Apelt, M., Besio, C., Corsi, G., von Groddeck, V., Grothe-Hammer, M., & Tacke, V. (2017). Resurrecting organization without renouncing society: A response to Ahrne, Brunsson and Seidl. European Management Journal, 35(1), 8–14.
  • Azzam, J. E., & Berkowitz, H. (2018). Patterns of coopetition in meta-organizations. In A.-S. Fernandez, P. Chiambaretto, F. Le Roy, & W. Czakon (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Coopetition Strategies (pp. 280–291).
  • Barley, S. R. (2016). 60th Anniversary Essay: Ruminations on How We Became a Mystery House and How We Might Get Out. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(1), 1–8.
  • Berkowitz, H., & Bor, S. (2018). Why Meta-Organizations Matter: A Response to Lawton et al. and Spillman. Journal of Management Inquiry, 27(2), 204–211.
  • Berkowitz, H., Bucheli, M., & Dumez, H. (2017). Collective CSR strategy and the role of meta-organizations: a case study of the oil and gas industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(4), 753–769.
  • Berkowitz, H., & Souchaud, A. (2017). When business collective action fills an organizational gap in public policymaking. 33rd EGOS Colloquium 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sub-Theme 24.
  • Bromley, P., & Meyer, J. W. (2015). Hyper-Organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Brunsson, N., Gustafsson, I., & Hallström, K. T. (2018). Markets, Trust, and the Construction of Macro-Organizations. In N. Brunsson & M. Jutterström (Eds.), Organizing and Reorganizing Markets (pp. 136–152). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cropper, S., & Bor, S. (2018). (Un)bounding the Meta-Organization: Co-Evolution and Compositional Dynamics of a Health Partnership. Administrative Sciences, 8(3), 1–19.
  • Davis, G. F. (2015). Celebrating Organization Theory: The After-Party. Journal of Management Studies, 52(2), 309–319.
  • den Hond, F., de Bakker, F. G., & Doh, J. (2015). What prompts companies to collaboration with NGOs? Recent evidence from the Netherlands. Business & Society, 54(2), 187–228.
  • Grothe-Hammer, M. (2018). Organization without actorhood: Exploring a neglected phenomenon. European Management Journal.
  • Karlberg, E., & Jacobsson, K. (2015). A Meta-organizational Perspective on the Europeanization of Civil Society: The Case of the Swedish Women’s Lobby. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(4), 1438–1459.
  • Kerwer, D. (2013). International organizations as meta-organizations: The case of the European Union. Journal of International Organizations Studies, 4(2), 40–53.
  • Murdoch, Z. (2015). Organization Theory and the Study of European Union Institutions: Lessons and Opportunities. Organization Studies, 0170840615585342.
  • Nielsen, K. R. (2018). Crowdfunding through a partial organization lens-The co-dependent organization. European Management Journal.
  • Perrow, C. (1991). A society of organizations. Theory and Society, 20(6), 725–762.
  • Rasche, A., Bakker, F., & Moon, J. (2013). Complete and Partial Organizing for Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(4), 651–663.
  • Valente, M., & Oliver, C. (2018). Meta-Organization Formation and Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Organization Science.