EGOS – CFP -Sub-theme 41: The Effects of Social Movements on Organizational Processes



CALL FOR PAPERS: EGOS 2008 (July 10-12, 2008)

Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sub-theme 41: The Effects of Social Movements on Organizational Processes

Call for papers

One of the central forms that ‘upsetting organizations’ take is of stakeholders who demand change from corporations. Curiously, one of the most understudied kinds of stakeholder groups in organization studies are social movements. Social movements, both historically and contemporaneously, target organizations for a variety of reasons, ranging from dissatisfaction with corporate performance, to annoyance at price increases, to perceived wrong-doings of the corporation (including negligence and corruption), to anger at specific organizational policies. They are in the business of ‘stirring up’ business organizations. From an organizational perspective, this type of interaction has mainly been dealt with through stakeholder theory; from a social science perspective the focus has been on social movement studies. These streams of research have largely developed independently of each other, but have recently started to attract interest among scholars from both perspectives (e.g. Davis et al., 2005), as also witnessed by recent special issues of the Academy of Management Review (July 2007) and Business & Society (forthcoming

Over the past several years, there has been growing attention to questions of how organizational scholars can bring social movement theory and tools to bear on questions of organizational-level processes such as those described above. At the same time, there has been resurgence in interest by social movement scholars about how fundamental organizational processes underlie the emergence of social movements and mediate their impact on society. We propose to convene scholars from both social movement and organization studies in order to continue the dialogue between social movement and organizational theories. Our ultimate goal is to produce an edited volume focusing on the effects of social movements, as key stakeholders, on organizations.

We seek to continue the dialogue between social movement and organizational studies by inviting papers that draw on both organizational and social movement theories that deal with the relationship between activist groups and corporations; we would prefer empirical papers but some theoretical contributions might also fit in. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • the consequences of heterogeneity and dissent within the network of activist groups (cf. radical flank effect; Haines 1984);
  • the choice of tactics (e.g., their sequential adoption, the relationship between collaboration and confrontation, and in relation to the issue of co-optation);
  • the use and outcomes of shareholder activism and its role in the repertoire of tactics;
  • the consequences of transnational social movement activity on the policies and practices of multinational enterprises, and the role of the state and public authorities therein;
  • how social movements are able to draw public and media attention to alleged corporate misconduct and fraud;
  • how social movements shape or create organizational fields, e.g., in areas such as food and (counter-)culture;
  • how ecological processes shown to affect for-profit organizations affect social movement organizations;
  • the development, role and influence of counter-movements [cf.];
  • the historical uniqueness of contemporary anti-corporate campaigns;
  • the ways firms organize internally for coping with stakeholder influence.

The above topics are intended as guidelines for potential submissions, not as limits. Papers from other angles, though linked to the overall theme, are also welcomed.

Please submit your abstracts (800 words) through the EGOS website by January 13, 2008. Guidelines for the submission of abstracts can be found at Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of the convenors.

This information can also be found at


Sarah A. Soule
Cornell University
, Ithaca (USA)

Frank den Hond
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Frank G.A. de Bakker
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands)



One Response

  1. […] Filed under: Conferences — Steven L. Johnson @ 1:08 pm Several months ago we posted the EGOS – CFP -Sub-theme 41: The Effects of Social Movements on Organizational Processes. One of the organizers, Elisa Mattarelli, was also kind enough to provide more details on the […]

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