38th EGOS Colloquium WU Vienna, Austria, July 7-9, 2022
Sub-theme 29: [hybrid]
Global Challenges: An Interdisciplinarity View on the Role of MNEs
Call for short papers*, Deadline: January 11, 2022
Submission of Short Papers via: https://www.egos.org
Information on Hybrid subthemes
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany
Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
University of Sussex Business School, United Kingdom
Call for Papers
Over the past 40 years research on multinational enterprises (MNEs) has provided a
rich stock of knowledge on cross-border and cross-cultural management as well as insights into the (re)structuring of MNEs, including their handling of inter- and intra-organizational relationships. Most of this research has been conducted in the highly specialised,
self-designated field of International Business and Management (IBM), often in a problematically instrumental, functionalist and managerialist manner. Studies on the social impact of MNEs’ activities on the wider society and non-economic stakeholders inside
and outside the unit of the firm remain scarce and scattered over a range of “adjacent”, social science disciplines such as Organizational Theory (OT), International Political Economy, Social Geography, Development Studies, Economic Sociology and Critical
International Business (Dörrenbächer & Gammelgaard, 2019). Over time, critical studies on the economic, political and societal effects of MNEs have gained ground in these domains, for example probing the ethically and legally dubious activities and the impact
of MNEs on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as employees in the Global South and in the platform economy. Critical scholars have furthermore inquired about the ways MNE activities are intertwined with the global financial system, the functioning of
welfare states, labour relations in the Global North and South, and climate change and ecological crises.
A recent call has seen the UN, arguably the most recognizable of international organizations, pair up with leading scholars of mainstream IBM scholars to demand more systematic and in-depth research on the ‘grand challenges’ and ‘big questions’ for society as these are related to MNE activities (Buckley et al., 2017; United Nations, 2015). Such efforts are to be lauded as they question the dominant rationalistic conceptual frameworks through which the MNE is typically studied, as well as the prevailing quantitative research traditions through which such research takes place, thereby potentially opening up prospects for novel debates and insights in IBM. Unfortunately, these efforts have largely been thwarted in practice and have not quite triggered a major transformation of in the central preoccupations, conceptualizations and methodologies in the domain of mainstream IBM to date (Bozkurt & Geppert, 2021; Dörrenbächer & Geppert, 2017).
In comparison to IBM, Organization Studies has been considerably more open for interdisciplinary research and continuously developed a more critical understanding of contemporary MNEs as powerful organizations by highlighting their socio-economic constitution, inner political dynamics and role as powerful political actors (Geppert et al., 2016). Research has for instance drawn on institutional theory, discursive approaches, relational perspectives, convention theory, organizational power and politics approaches, social movement theory, industrial relations and cultural sociology (e. g. Brandl & Schneider, 2017; De Bakker et al., 2013; Delmestri & Brumana, 2017; Levy & Reiche, 2018; Moore, 2017; Morgan et al., 2001; Whittle et al., 2016). In short, there is no shortage of critical ideas and approaches in OT, but broader debates about what kind of ‘grand challenges’ we face, how we can deal with them conceptually, methodologically and in practice – as researchers, consultants, customers and employees – have often only taken place inside of narrowly defined academic ‘silos’, such as IBM or OT.
This sub-theme aims therefore to probe interdisciplinary spaces that remain underappreciated and underexplored. We want to respond to various calls for interdisciplinarity when studying the ‘Grand Challenges’ that we face in the economy and society which are often both triggered by and dealt with by the contemporary MNE as well as the powerful key actors within and around it. We call for interdisciplinary contributions that can be conceptually, empirically and methodologically oriented. Foremost, we invite submissions from OT and IBM scholars, but we are also interested in submissions from scholars in neighbouring disciplines who explore how global challenges in its various forms are set off by MNEs activities and how MNEs strategically engage in dealing with them. Our call asks for submissions that touch on this indicative rather than comprehensive list of themes and topics:
Mike Geppert is Professor of Strategic and International Management at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. His primary research interests are in the areas of Industrial Relations, IHMR, International Management and Organization Studies. Mike is specifically interested in cross-national comparisons of management, work and organizations, socio-political issues in multinational corporations, and institutional change.
Christoph Dörrenbächer is Professor of Organizational Design and Behaviour in International Business at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany. His main research subject are multinational corporations, studied from an Organization Theory and Strategy perspective. Christoph currently serves as a Co-editor-in-Chief of ‘Critical Perspectives on International Business’.
Ödül Bozkurt is Senior Lecturer in International Human Resource Management at the Department of Management, University of Sussex Business School, UK. As a sociologist of work she is interested in the global/local dynamic of work experiences for a wide range of workers from the highly skilled professionals to the low skilled in “mundane” jobs such as those in mass retailing firms. Ödül has published on the uses and experiences of mobility in MNE jobs, the gendered outcomes of MNE employment in subsidiary locations, and the hybrid HRM practices of MNEs from emerging economies.
* Short papers should focus on the main ideas of the paper, this means, they should explain the purpose of the paper, theoretical background, the research gap that is addressed, the approach taken, the methods of analysis (in empirical papers), main findings, and contributions. In addition, it is useful to indicate clearly how the paper links with the sub-theme and the overall theme of the Colloquium, although not all papers need to focus on the overall theme. Creativity, innovativeness, theoretical grounding, and critical thinking are typical characteristics of EGOS papers.
Your short paper should comprise 3,000 words (incl. references, all appendices and other material).
Please take note of the Guidelines and criteria for the submission of short papers at EGOS Colloquia.
Time period for submission of short papers:
Start: Thursday, September 23, 2021
End: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 23:59:59 CET [Central European Time]
Dr. Christoph Dörrenbächer
Professor of Organizational Design and Behavior in International Business
Berlin School of Economics and Law
Badensche Strasse 50/51
Tel. 0049-30-30877-1491 (university office)
Co-editor in chief: 'critical perspectives on international business' (cpoib)