Call for Professional Development Workshop Proposals: Critical Management Studies Division

PDW Co-Chairs: Alison Pullen, Macquarie University, Australia, and Ozan Nadir Alakavuklar, Utrecht University, the Netherlands


The Critical Management Studies (CMS) division welcomes proposals for the 2020 Academy of Management (AOM) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. PDWs are unique spaces in which participants can share their expertise and engage inclusively and provocatively with the audience. PDW proposals may be related to the general meeting theme and/or with topics and concerns of interest to our members, to like-minded practitioners, and to members of other divisions (offering possibilities for co-sponsorship). PDWs also afford spaces to explore and experiment, in addition to building on formats that have been engaging and challenging to the membership over the years, to critically question the status quo and propose alternative ways of seeing and doing organization. PDWs offer possibilities to partner and collaborate with local groups and organizations to develop proposals that could be delivered off-site.

In line with the ethos of the CMS, to encourage participation and inclusion, we will select PDWs on the basis that PDW proposals:

  • Are representative of the diversity of the international CMS community.
  • Embody the professional development workshop model and thus offers active participation and discussion rather than presentation panel so that participants have the opportunity to contribute with members of the community.
  • Have at least one early career researcher on the organizing team.
  • Consider new ways of working and participating to ‘shake our programme up’.

PDW proposals that are consistent with and address topics around the following (non-exhaustive list) are welcome:

  • Engaging the 2020 meeting theme, “20/20: Broadening our Sight”, the theme for the overall meeting seeks to overcome the binaries and the dichotomies reinforcing an ‘either, or’ framework to understand the society and organizations. Hence, the theme is an opportunity for CMS members to radically question dichotomies such as masculine/feminine, east/west, center/periphery, activist/academic, research/teaching and rigor/relevance. Some relevant topics and questions that can be considered are:
    • Breaking down dichotomies for critical interventions and transforming society: How can critical thinking question the reproduction of dichotomies in CMS scholarship? How can CMS intervene into dominant structures that shape the organization of society and economy? How can we employ new concepts, theories and ways of working to challenge and overcome such dichotomies reproducing current power relations and the status quo? What methodologies are able to resist and subvert the discourses and practices built upon dichotomies and binaries?    
    • Broadening our sight for ‘the invisible’: How do we study the invisible critically and radically? How can critical studies of management and organization make the invisible ‘visible’? What theoretical and methodological tools broaden our sight? How do dichotomies and binaries create invisibles?
    • Critical multitudes and possibilities: In response to hierarchies of “either, or” creating inequalities at different levels of the society (including higher education and research), how can critical perspectives create and contribute to the multitude of different identities, practices and relations? How can we work towards alternative possibilities (such as assembly) to move beyond dichotomies and binaries?
    • How do dichotomies flourish in our resistance against the mainstream?
    • How does dichotomous identity politics create violence to each other in the CMS community?
    • How does embodiment critically question the prevalence of the ocular in CMS research, its doing and writing? 
  • Critical Scholarship and Research: Proposals here could deal with alternative ways of presenting research to connect with broader audiences, such as documentary making, opinion pieces, case writing, digital storytelling, artistic and creative endeavors, etc., as well as new and emerging methods for collecting and analyzing data. Proposals can also address issues of performativity, reflexivity, voice, representation, and praxis as they relate to epistemological and methodological concerns in the field. These approaches can inform ways to think about scholarship and social change in the spirit of critical management thought and practice.
  • Teaching from a Critical Perspective: there are several ways to teach from a critical perspective. However, issues that may provide imaginative PDWs are related to alternative paths to organize this practice aiming to create critical, inclusive and collaborative spaces based on active engagement. The CMS community welcomes possibilities to embrace discussions challenging the status quo and encourage other ways of seeing and doing our classroom practices aligned to our critical scholarly ethos. We are also interested in going beyond our critical literature to inform the possibilities for social change that can be enacted through curriculum, ideologies, and engagement as educators. Going further, our community is particularly interested in forms of individual or collective engagement that could reimagine the role of business schools and business education in a critical and transmodern approach.

The above is a modest guide, we expect our membership to inspire us. We are looking for new ways of doing PDWs and therefore welcome creative formats, offsite activities, and imaginative proposals that address Critical Management Studies.

The CMS PDW Program also incorporates the Doctoral and Early Career Consortia. Doctoral candidates or early career faculty are very much welcomed to engage with more experienced colleagues in small groups to focus on critical research, teaching, and career development. If you are a doctoral candidate and early career faculty, please contact us with your ideas and get involved in the consortia. You are the future of the division.

In the process of developing a proposal, you may find useful the PDW Guidelines for Submission, along with a guide for creating and managing a good professional development workshop. As in previous years, we want to have conversations relevant with other divisions, to build connections and a critical community across the AOM. As such, please indicate how the PDW is of interest to the members of up to three other divisions.

By all means, contact us to discuss proposal ideas, but do so well in advance of the deadline and before 14 December 2019. Decisions will be made according to the brief criteria stated above by the PDW chairs. The submission center will open in early December, and the deadline for receipt of proposals is Tuesday, 14 January 2020, at 5:00 PM ET (NY Time), through the AOM Submission Center.