Dis/continuity and dis/organizing effects: Exploring absent presences in educational change projects


In the wake of the neoliberal reform agenda of the 1980s, public schools in many western countries, have faced reforms at an ever-quickening pace. One effect of this is the increased pace and number of organizational change projects going on in schools. Schools must be adaptable to shifting demands for outcomes, and must be able to take themselves to new modes of organising that are considered to be more goal efficient (OECD, 2013). 

Matters of dis/order and dis/organization

This issue takes up the role of disorganization and the relations between order and disorder in organization studies and everyday life. Rather than juxtapositioning these features as oppositions, the issue explores how to understand other aspects of the often unwanted and dark sides of disorganization and disorder - by scrutinising how they are entangled and mutually constitutive to organization practice and theory.

submission deadline  
31 Oct 2022
call for papers pdf  

Issue editors: Lisa Wiedemann, Vanessa Weber, and Hannah Grün

In times of Covid-19, it has become increasingly apparent that breathing is not only a vital life process indicating the leakiness (Shildrick, 1997) and connectivity of bodies, but also a matter of organizing. The numerous pandemic practices unveil the organizational aspects of respiration: meeting and breathing together in indoor spaces often requires sociomaterial regulation. We enter public ‘breathing spaces’ (Mitman, 2008) with vaccination or testing certificates; ‘respiratory publics’ (Nguyen, 2020) develop hygiene or ventilation concepts; containment scouts track shared air zones; people quarantine to protect others from their respiration or organize their used face masks for airing on walls. Such organizational practices that aim to facilitate breathing rely heavily on sociotechnical infrastructures and specific materiality (e.g., filter, disinfectants, masks, antigen and PCR tests, ventilators, air conditioners, air quality measures, QR codes, Bluetooth connections, or apps). Aside from pandemic issues, breathing is... more

A most wonderful mess


Like so many other households, mine is doing its best to maintain some sort of order under the current conditions, organizing around the new abnormal of the COVID-19 pandemic as best we can. However, as we enter yet another month of semi-lockdown (this was written in a Copenhagen flat at the end of January 2021) entropy looms large. Routines that used to go unquestioned can now become the main task – and sometimes the highlight – of the day: do I need to shower? Should we prepare a home-cooked dinner? 

submission deadline  
20 Feb 2020

Relations of disorder and disorganization have typically been peripheral in organization theory. As a result, the messy sides of organization and management – and their impact on establishing order in contemporary organizational life – are often overlooked. But, as Cooper (1986) tells us, order and disorder are inseparable and co-constitutive features of all organizational life. In line with this approach, critical organization studies is beginning to explore how organization/disorganization and management/mismanagement may be understood as mutually dependent and dynamically interwoven (Böhm & Jones, 2001; Burrell & Parker, 2016; Cooper, 2001; Hassard, Keleman, & Cox, 2008). For example, studies have developed this critical line of thought by conceptualizing the unmanaging organization (Munro, 2001), ‘spectres’ of disorganization (Knox, O’Doherty, Vurdubakis, & Westrup, 2015), the dark spaces of organization (O’Doherty, De Cock, Rehn, & Ashcraft, 2013), the un/doing and performativity of gendered dis/organization (Ashcraft & Mumby, 2004; Pullen & Knights, 2007; Trethewey &... more

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