Organizations in a Plural Society. International Conference on Organizational Sociology (ICOS)

Our society is characterized by an ever-expanding number of organizations and organizational forms – a “hyper-organization” so to say (Bromley & Meyer 2015). Without doubt, organizations have a significant impact on the development of society. They have conquered nearly all areas of social life and new organizational forms nowadays diffuse even into areas which traditionally were coordinated in an informal and community-based manner (e.g., childcare, housekeeping, personal assessments and career advice, hunting, weddings, and funerals). This conference aims at disentangling the relation and mutual influence between the manifold forms of organization and a plural society. In particular, we focus on the entanglement of organizations with heterogeneous expectations.

Considering that on the one hand organizations actively shape specific meanings of combined expectations (e.g., through advisory and lobbying activities), while on the other hand they mediate different requests in their everyday activities, formal structures and projects, we might ask:

  • How do organizations combine different domains and rationalities (e.g., moral missions and economic demands) and what are the societal implications?
  • How can organizations innovate and become drivers of new expectations in organizational fields and broader social contexts?
  • In which ways do organizations shape new grand challenges such as digitalization, global health crises, large-scale disasters, or climate change and vice versa?
  • How do macro-societal pluralities spawn new organizational forms, structures, and processes, and what impact do these new aspects of organization have in turn on society?

The conference is organized by the DGS-section Organizational Sociology in cooperation with the Research Committee 17 “Sociology of Organization” of the International Sociological Association and the Research Group “Organization & Society” of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. We invite papers that address these or similar questions revolving around the role and relevance of organizations in and for our plural society. The conference will take place at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, December 8-9, 2022. Please submit an abstract of 2-3 pages to by June 15, 2022. Decisions on acceptance will be made until the end of July. More information can be found in the complete Call for Papers.

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