Newsletter April 2019

Dear RC17 members and Newsletter subscribers,

Our Calls for Abstracts for the ISA Forum 2020 in Porto Alegre are out! Thanks to your engagement we received many excellent proposals for sessions and will have 14 thematic sessions on a broad range of topics. We are happy to announce that many sessions will feature Latin America related topics and linguistic diversity (English, Spanish, French). Among the sessions are four joint sessions with the Research Committees 31, 40, 48, and 52. There will also be a poster session to facilitate the presentation of empirical results and methodological innovations. Last but not least, Robert van Krieken and Paul du Gay organize a session on “Writing for Publication in Organization Studies” in which they offer insights to their experience of writing for publication in organization studies. This session will be open for anyone interested (no application needed).

We also kept developing our website. Under the heading “OrgSoc Links” ( you can now find a list of national and regional communities of organizational sociologists. Check it out – there might be more organizational sociologists than you think! If you have any suggestions for additions, please let our website administrator Michael Grothe-Hammer ( know.

ISA Forum Calls for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts for the 4th ISA Forum of Sociology, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 14-18 July 2020

 Deadline for submission of abstracts (max. 300 words) is September 30, 2019

 We are delighted to invite you to submit your abstracts to the forthcoming sessions on organizational sociology. RC17 will host 13 sessions on the following topics open for abstract submission:

The call for abstracts for each session can be found here:

For more information about the 4th ISA Forum of Sociology, please visit:

Spread the word and see you in Porto Alegre!

RC17 Program Coordinators:

Robert VAN KRIEKEN, University of Sydney, Australia,
Michael GROTHE-HAMMER, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, Germany,

Call for Posters

“Mapping entrepreneurial group trajectories”

Research Conference, 25‐27 September 2019, Technische Universität Berlin

Organized by the Research Group “Entrepreneurial Group Dynamics” and the DFG‐Research Network “Venturing Together!”

Deadline for submission of abstracts (200 words): April 30th, 2019

It is the goal of this research conference to create a platform for researchers interested in mapping entrepreneurial group trajectories over time and space. The tentative program features keynote speeches by Martin Ruef and Ugo Corte, who will reflect upon entrepreneurial groups as social orders and their collaborative trajectories. Invited and commented presentations will address the dynamics in the formation of groups, key transitional events such as member entry / exit or further business founding and closing (habitual entrepreneurship), and contextual influences on the trajectories of entrepreneurial groups. Please find a tentative program below.

If you are interested in attending the conference (or presenting a full paper), please contact the conference coordinator Marie Gutzeit at There will be no registration fees charged. The conference has limited seats available on a first come, first serve basis.

Currently, the organizers are still accepting contributions for the FORUM: Poster Session for New Research. Interested scholars can submit an abstract of 200 words until April 30th to Final posters should fulfill academic standards and depict the research question, theoretical framework, methodological design, expected findings and contributions. The call for posters is available here.

More information on the conference is available under:

Book announcements

Dis/organization as Communication: Exploring the Disordering, Disruptive and Chaotic Properties of Communication

Edited by Consuelo Vásquez & Timothy Kuhn

Book Description:
This book accounts for the transformation of organizations in a post-bureaucratic era by bringing a communicational lens to the ontological discussion on organization/disorganization, offering a conceptual and methodological toolbox for studying dis/organization as communication.
Increasingly, scholars acknowledge that communication is constitutive of organization; because meaning is always indeterminate, communication also (and simultaneously) generates disorganization.
The book synthesizes the major theoretical trends and empirical studies in communication that engage with dis/organization. Drawing on dialectics, relational ontologies, critical theory, systems theory, and affect thinking, the first part of the book offers communicational explanations of how dis/organization unfolds. The second part of the book grounds this theoretical reflection, providing empirical studies that mobilize diverse methodological and analytical frameworks (e.g., ethnography, situational, interactional and genre analysis) for studying the practices of dis/organization. Overall, the book exposes organizations (and organizing processes) as significantly messier, irrational (or a-rational), and paradoxical than scholars of organization typically think. It also offers readers the conceptual and methodological tools to understand these complex processes as communication.
This book will be essential reading for scholars in organizational communication or management and organization studies, together with senior undergraduate and graduate students studying organizational communication, organizational discourse, discourse analysis (including rhetoric, semiotics, pragmatism, narratology) and courses in management studies. It will also be richly rewarding for organizational consultants, managers and executives.

To find more information about the book, please visit the book’s page at:

Organization outside Organizations: The Abundance of Partial Organization in Social Life

Edited by Göran Ahrne & Nils Brunsson

Book Description:
The book explores how various social settings are partially organized even when they do not form part of a formal organization. It also shows how even formal organizations may be only partially organized. Professors Göran Ahrne and Nils Brunsson first established the concept of partial organization in 2011 and in doing so opened up a ground-breaking new field of organizational analysis. An academic community has since developed around the concept, and Ahrne and Brunsson have edited this collection to reflect the current state of inquiry in this burgeoning subject and to set an agenda for future research. Its chapters explain how organization is a salient feature in many social settings, including markets, interfirm networks, social movements, criminal gangs, internet communication and family life. Organization theory is much more relevant for the understanding of social processes than previously assumed. This book provides a new understanding of many social phenomena and opens up new fields for organizational analysis.

“In an imaginative move to renew and enlarge the scope of organization studies, Ahrne and Brunsson observe that organizational elements are no longer contained within the boundaries of discrete firms or agencies, but have broken up and flowed out to operate in varying combinations to create new partially organized entities in numerous social contexts. Together with their contributors, they examine their multiple guises in arenas as varied as markets, digital platforms, the sharing economy and ‘organized’ crime. An insightful window into the changing structure of contemporary society.” Richard Scott – Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Business, Education, Engineering, and Medicine, Stanford University

“Ahrne and Brunsson have put together a wide-ranging set of studies of the rationalization of contemporary society outside formal organizations themselves. Markets generate rationalized structure, and so do interpersonal relationships, criminal groups, and globalized international life. It is all pulled together in this impressive book under the creative heading of ‘partial organization’.” John W. Meyer – Stanford University

“The theory of partial organization is the most innovative development in organizational theory in many years – It’s particularly useful for areas such as financial markets that are often considered to be understructured and atomized. The book is immensely successful in putting the theory together with different empirical applications; in a global world, it is badly needed to explain the growing domain and power of dispersed collectives without clear governance structure that transcend national boundaries.” Karin Knorr Cetina – Otto Borchert Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago

To find more information about the book, please visit the book’s page at:

Call for Contributions to our Newsletter

For the future issues of our Newsletter, we need your contributions. We are particularly interested in contributions on:

  • Relevant calls for papers for conferences, workshops, and special journal issues
  • Conference and workshop reports
  • New book publications
  • Brief reviews of books or seminal journal articles (approx. 200-300 words)
  • Reports from activities on organizational sociology in national associations

Please send your submissions to our Newsletter editor Michael Grothe-Hammer ( Do also not hesitate to contact Michael, if you have any other suggestions regarding our Newsletter. |