Usual apologies for cross-posting but - we want to draw your attention that the deadline for submissions for Special Issue of the Organization journal 'Towards critical inclusion studies: interrogating the inclusivity imperative in contemporary organisations' is approaching fast - the Deadline is 31st of December 2018
Please consider submitting your work or/and spread the word widely through your networks. We specifically want to encourage submissions from authors from the 'Global South' and papers that focus on non-western contexts.
Towards critical inclusion studies: interrogating the inclusivity imperative in contemporary organisations
Dr Maria Adamson (Middlesex University)
Prof. Martyna Śliwa (University of Essex)
Prof. Elisabeth Kelan (Cranfield School of Management)
Dr Patricia Lewis (University of Kent)
Prof Nick Rumens (Middlesex University)
In the context of developed Western economies inclusion has been a recent buzzword in business rhetoric (Riordan, 2014; Sherbin and Rashid, 2017). Organisations increasingly promote themselves as ‘inclusive employers’, there is a growing number of inclusivity awards, metrics and ceremonies. Inclusion is the new imperative, a progressive and positive force - in opposition to the ‘old’ ways of exclusion. Or is it? Is inclusion always a good thing? And why do we assume that everyone wants to be included? This Special Issue aims to generate a new focus and debate on critically theorising the concept, rhetoric and practices of inclusion in contemporary organizations, how it manifests itself in different geographical contexts, and how it continues to be implicated and interwoven with the logic of exclusion and inequality.
Firstly, we want to critically understand the concepts of ‘inclusion’ and ‘inclusivity’. The terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are of often used together, yet, while critical debates on diversity are well established (e.g. Finkel et al., 2017 and Zanoni et al., 2009 in this journal), yet, with few exceptions (Dobush, 2014; Mor Barak, 2015; Robertson, 2006) there has been very little sustained discussion of the concept of inclusion in organisation studies literature. In this SI we want to think thought the emergence and meaning of the categories of ‘inclusion’ and ‘inclusivity’, and probe the conceptual limits and possibilities of the terms. What does inclusion mean? What theoretical work is it doing compared to other concepts, e.g. equality, diversity? And how is it helpful (or not)?
Secondly, through looking at a variety of empirical contexts both at micro- and macro- organisational processes, we seek to generate a more complex and critical ways of theorising inclusion and move away from a simplistic view of exclusion as ‘bad’ and inclusion as ‘good’. Looking at the broader level, how do organizations understand and approach inclusion? While diversity has typically been advocated on the basis of ‘the business case’, how do organizations make a case for inclusion? Can organisations (and individuals) play ‘the inclusion game’ (Harwood, 2010) strategically and with what effect? As Goodin (1996) writes, every inclusion implies an exclusion; so how does inclusion breed new forms of exclusion? Organizations are not monolithic, and may be more inclusive in some aspects while discriminatory in others (Bendl et al., 2017). So what does it mean when we say ‘organizations are inclusive’? How can we theorise the various ‘degrees’, shades or dimensions of inclusion? Are alternative forms of organisations (see Cheney et al, 2014) more inclusive? Looking at the micro-level politics of inclusion and dynamics of inclusion in the day-to-day interactions is also crucial. Current discussions explore the mechanisms that impede or facilitate inclusion (e.g. Córdoba, 2007; Ferdman, 2014; Jenssen and Zanoni, 2014; Pless and Maak, 2004; Robertson, 2006) but who exactly ‘does’ inclusion in organisations? Who has the power to include or define conditions for inclusion? How should we understand the role of those who are subject to ‘being included’? Quite often individuals are somewhat ‘coercively’ included based on a certain identity characteristic, for instance, being a token representative (Linton, 2017; Zanoni, Thoelen and Ybema, 2017); but what happens when one does not want to be included on these terms or at all? How do people negotiate inclusion in the context of intersectionality? In looking at the above questions, we want to encourage our contributions to think through ways of conceptualising inclusion as a more dynamic and relational construct (Dobush, 2014) and explore different approaches to theorising it.
Finally, and importantly, this SI aims to explore how geographical contexts matter for practicing and theorising inclusion. So far, the rhetoric of inclusion is mainly characteristic of relatively developed Western economies and much research on inclusion has been done in this context. We want to explore how the current theorising of inclusion may be enriched by examining non-Western contexts, for instance those in which inclusion is not an ideal promoted by popular discourses and supported through legislation. Barbosa and Cabral-Cardoso (2010) suggest that equality discourses in Europe tend to mirror the dominant US ones. How do inclusion discourses and practices ‘domesticated’ in non-western contexts? How does inclusion happen in the national contexts where organizations are allowed to discriminate legally against a certain category, and how? In what ways do such contexts give us an insight into the nature of inclusion and its process?
This SI seeks empirically grounded contributions focusing on any dimension of inclusion, that move forward our theorising of inclusion as outlined above. We especially welcome contributions drawn from non-Western geographical contexts and those using innovative methodologies. Submissions are invited to address (but not limited to) the following themes:
● Conceptualising inclusion and inclusivity. Exploring conceptual possibilities and limits of these terms
● Geographies of inclusion. How does inclusion happen and how can it be theorised in non-Western contexts
● Conditions and bases of inclusion in contemporary organizations. On which and whose terms, and where and how inclusion happens?
● Lived experiences of those seeking (or not seeking) inclusion in organizations.
● The complexities of inclusion. For instance, how do individuals and organizations negotiate inclusion in the context of intersectionality?
● Organisational processes of inclusion. How can different forms of organizations facilitate inclusion and/or create new exclusions?
● Are alternative forms of organizations more inclusive?
● Strategic use of inclusion in/by organizations
● The effects of inclusion-related initiatives in organizations. Can inclusion breed new forms of exclusion?
● Inclusion in the ‘exclusive’ contexts – how can researching contexts where exclusion is legal help us understand inclusion?
Papers may be submitted electronically from 30 November 2018 until the deadline date of 31st of December 2018 (final deadline) to SAGETrack at:
Papers should be no more than 10,000 words, excluding references, and will be blind reviewed following the journal’s standard review process. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the guidelines published in Organization and on the journal’s website:
Please contact the guest editors for further information: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
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