Sydney International Research Workshop on "Discourse and Strategy-as-Practice"
University of Sydney, November 2012
There is an increasing interest in the intersection of discourse studies and strategy-as-practice. The Strategy-as-Practice research agenda connects with the broader "practice turn" in contemporary social sciences by attending to the micro-level of social activity, in particular, organizational settings and to the location of such activities in relation to broader social, discursive and material practices. This workshop explored the production, dissemination and consumption of strategy discourse(s), how these discourses are largely constituted, enacted, maintained, transformed or resisted through discursive work, and their implications for work and organisation. The workshop addressed the multiple facets of discourse research, including the textual, contextual, performative and the material aspects of strategy-related discourses, and also questions related to research design and methodology.
The ICRODSC workshop canvassed a range of theoretical and empirical papers that highlighted this link. It featured the work of leading international scholars as well as members of ICRODSC at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney. The workshop also provided PhD students an opportunity to liaise with these scholars to discuss their research. Keynote speakers were Professor Julia Balogun (Chair in Strategic Management, Lancaster University) and Professor David Seidl (University of Zurich).
Deloitte - ODSC Group Expert Lunch with Professor Wanda J. Orlikowski
Deloitte, Sydney, September, 2012
During 2012, the ODSC Group hosted a visit from Professor Wanda J. Orlikowski, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management, and a Professor of Information Technologies and Organisation Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Professor Orlikowski, is one of the world's leading researchers on the social and economic implications of using internet technologies. Specifically, she is known for her research on the dynamic relationship between information technologies and organisations, with a particular emphasis on structures, cultures, work practices and change.
As part of the visit, the ODSC Group and Deloitte co-hosted a select gathering of senior executives to meet Professor Orlikowski and hear her talk about digital disruption in the business sector. This lunch event was held at the offices of Deloitte Sydney. Major corporate organisations were represented from the professional services and finance sectors. It provided, an excellent opportunity to interact with a leading global expert and gain insights that could help shape business strategy, and it stimulated a thought-provoking session.
Workshop on "Discourse, Identity and Meaning"
University of Sydney Business School, December 2011
This half-day workshop will feature presentations from Professor Loizos Heracleous (Warwick Business School) and Associate Professor David Oliver (HEC Montreal).
Professor Heracleous' talk will examine the role of language and discursive elements such as metaphor and rhetorical arguments in how we interpret and negotiate social and organisational situations; and the ways in which a discursive analytical lens can inform our understanding of such situations. He will address the various ways in which organisational discourse has been examined, and offer empirical examples of how such a methodological focus can deliver rich insights to organisational and strategic issues and dilemmas.
Associate Professor Oliver's presentation will canvass some of his research on new product development, where the numerous benefits of sequestering innovation teams away from the parent firm have been long documented. By separating such groups physically and cognitively from bureaucratic constraints, these skunkworks or "golden teams" have been shown to enable superior levels of innovation. However, David will argue that such research largely fails to document the counterintuitive possibility that determinants of project-level success may actually lead to organizational-level dysfunction. Accordingly, this presentation will explore this potential paradox of innovation. Drawing on a detailed case study of one golden team in the consumer products sector, three self-reinforcing discourses that contributed to the formation of an exceptionally strong team identity, which appeared to be instrumental in delivering the desired product innovation, will be identified. However, the team identity also appeared to contribute to an undesired organizational implosion of the team upon reintegration following product delivery due to mass attrition. As such, David offers important caveats regarding the usage of golden teams for innovation.
ICRODSC 10-Year Anniversary Workshop
University of Melbourne, November 2011
In late-2011, members of the ODSC Group participated in the ICRODSC 10-Year Anniversary Workshop at the University of Melbourne. This workshop was held to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the International Centre for Research in Organizational Discourse Strategy and Change (ICRODSC). The workshop allowed former doctoral students associated with ICRODSC to share their insights concerning the transition from a doctoral program into employment with current doctoral students.
The ten-year anniversary marked an important milestone for the Centre. When ICRODSC was launched in 2001, it brought together four founding institutions: University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, King's College at the University of London and McGill University. Since then it has grown to include fourteen institutional partners located in Australia, Europe, North America and Asia. Australian ICRODSC members at Melbourne and Sydney have supervised more than 30 doctoral students, attracted more than $2million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, held over 40 workshops and seminars, and hosted around 60 visitors.
The event was attended by more than 50 participants from a wide range of institutions in Australia and abroad. It catered to doctoral students in the later stages of their doctoral research and included sessions on publishing qualitative research; analysing qualitative data; applying and publishing research; tips on teaching; and making the transition from being supervised to becoming a supervisor.
Workshop on "Organizational Discourse Analysis: Old Standards and New Directions"
University of Sydney, April 2011
This workshop was a master class in organizational discourse analysis, presented by Professor Gail Fairhurst (University of Cincinnati). The workshop was divided into three parts, the first of which described Professor Fairhurst's interpretive orientation through a leadership lens. Professor Fairhurst briefly reviewed the ontological and epistemological assumptions of 'discursive leadership' to show how it situates her to use discursive methods. The second part of the seminar focused on how to do three types of well-known discourse analyses: conversation analysis, interaction analysis, and speech act analysis. The third part focused on how to analyse dialectical tensions, contradictions and paradox, a discursive approach gaining momentum in the organizational sciences today. Emphasis was also given to the collection of different types of discourse data (e.g., interviews, taping, observation and archival data), the preparation of transcripts, the use and relevance of grounded theory methods, as well as any methodological issue that seminar participants wanted to discuss.
Workshop on "Discursive and Critical Approaches to Ageing"
University of Melbourne, February 2011
Leisa Sargent and Bill Harley (University of Melbourne) hosted a two-day international research workshop on discursive and critical approaches to ageing and retirement, which was attended by 21 academics and doctoral students from Australia and overseas. Projects on aged care and perceptions of ageing in Australia are currently being conducted by Sydney ODSC members. Dr Leanne Cutcher and PhD student, Ms Barbara Foweraker presented their research on "Discursive and Critical Approaches to Ageing" based on their study of older workers in the pharmaceutical industry. The workshop concluded with closing comments on the future of discursive and critical approaches to ageing and retirement, chaired by Leisa Sargent and Leanne Cutcher.
Sydney International Research Workshop on "Discourse and Innovation"
Sydney University Village, December 2010
This ICRODSC workshop was instigated by the increasing interest in the analysis of discourses in and around organizations as well as innovation. The relationship between these two areas of study, however, is still in the early stages of development. This workshop therefore brought international scholars together in order to explore the ways in which discourse theory and analysis might inform studies of innovation. The workshop canvassed a range of theoretical and empirical papers that highlight this link. It featured members of the ICRODSC groups at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, as well as several leading scholars from overseas. The workshop will provided PhD students with an opportunity to discuss their research with these scholars in a series of one-on-one meetings.
Keynote presenters at this workshop included:
- Professor Sally Davenport, Victoria University of Wellington
- Professor Bill Doolin, Auckland University of Technology
- Professor Shirley Leitch, Swinburne University of Technology
Members from the ODSC at Sydney to deliver presentations at the workshop include Kristine Dery (Social Media), Richard Dunford (Crowdsourcing), Richard Seymour and Fanny Salignac (Fairtrade), and Abz Sharma (Charismatic Leadership).
Discourse and Financialisation Workshop
The theme of this workshop was 'Finance Capitalism's Discursive Twists and Turns: Crisis, Critique and the Construction of Normality', bringing together a range of academics from different geographical and disciplinary backgrounds to explore the various discourses of finance that have emerged, and are still emerging in response to the 'Global Financial Crisis'. Rather than offering solutions, the presenters at this workshop sought to render the financial world problematic by articulating key questions through a careful analysis of these various discourses. Invited speakers included Professor Christian De Cock - (Swansea University), Professors Bernard McKenna and David Rooney (University of Queensland). Presentations were also given by Sydney's Professors John Roberts, David Grant and Richard Hall, and Dr Melinda Cooper.
Melbourne Workshop on Discourse and Practice
The ODSC Group co-sponsored (with colleagues at the University of Melbourne) an IDCRODSC international workshop on Discourse and Practice. The workshop sought to examine the ways in which work on discourse and on practice might inform each other, and to identify the benefits and challenges associated with combining these approaches. Seven members of the Sydney group accompanied by four PhD students attended the workshop. Invited speakers included Professor Stan Deetz (University of Colorado) and Professor Paula Jarzabkowski (Aston Business School). Presentations were given several members of the Sydney group, including Professor John Roberts, Dr Leanne Cutcher and Dr Daniel Nyberg, and PhD students, Helena Liu and Jeaney Yip.
Sydney Workshop on Leadership and Discourse
An ICRODSC international research workshop on Leadership and Discourse was held in Sydney in February 2008. Over 40 participants heard 9 papers over the two days the workshop was held. Invited speakers included Professor Keith Grint (Cranfield University), Professor Brad Jackson and Dr Brigid Carroll (Auckland University Business School), Professor Gail Fairhurst (University of Cincinnati) and Associate Professor Ray Gordon (Bond University). Papers were also presented by Helena Liu and John Shields (University of Sydney) and Jennifer Frahm (University of Melbourne). ICRODSC members attending from other partner included Stefan Sveningsson, (Lund University) and Nick Ellis (Leicester University). The workshop concluded with a discussion session involving all participants. A PhD forum, which provided students with an opportunity to meet with leading scholars in the area of organizational discourse and leadership in order to discuss their PhD research was also held. A special issue of the journal Management Communication Quarterly which will contain papers from the workshop has been commissioned. This is to be guest edited by David Grant, Gail Fairhurst, Keith Grint and Brad Jackson and is due to appear in 2010.
Doctoral Workshop: Organizational Discourse Methods
University of Sydney, November, 2006
As part of a visit funded by a University of Sydney, Visiting Research Fellowship Dr Andrea Whittle of Cardiff Business School led a doctoral workshop on Organizational Discourse Methods. This included 12 participants from the disciplines of Work and Organizational Studies, Marketing, International Business, Government and Law. The workshop introduced six different forms of discourse analysis, which included references to key literature and examples of recent studies. The workshop was a practical, hands-on session which gave participants the opportunity to conduct each type of discourse analysis using an empirical data extract provided. The participating doctoral students also benefited from the opportunity to work in groups to analyse data extracts from their own research projects.
International Research Workshop on Organizational Discourse Methods
University of Sydney, December, 2005
In December 2005, the Organizational Discourse, Strategy and Change Group at the University of Sydney hosted an ICRODSC international workshop on Organizational Discourse Methods. The aim of this interactive two-day event was to explore various approaches to discourse analysis as well as reflect on the implications of their use.
Methodological approaches covered in the workshop included critical discourse analysis (Cynthia Hardy, Melbourne University and Steve Maguire, McGill University); narrative (Andrew Brown, University of Bath); Laclau & Mouffes discourse analysis (Hugh Wilmott, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge); reflexivity (Robyn Thomas, Cardiff University); micro-level analysis (Arlene Harvey, University of Sydney), and multi-modality (Rick Iedema, University of New South Wales). In addition to the invited speakers and PhD students from a range of Australian universities, other invited participants included Stefan Sveningsson (Lund University), Chris Wright (University of New South Wales), Bill Harley and Leisa Sargent (University of Melbourne).
Highlights of the workshop were the interactive panel discussions and the PhD forum which provided students with an opportunity to meet with leading scholars in the area of organizational discourse and discuss their PhD research.
Resistance in Organizations: Processes, Forms and Discourses
University of Sydney, February, 2004
Members of the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney (Leanne Cutcher, David Grant, Nick Wailes and Grant Michelson) collaborated on a workshop held in Sydney in February 2004 on Resistance and Discourse. It involved the participation of members of other partner institutions including Dan Krreman (Lund) and Linda Putnam (Texas A&M). In addition, Dennis Mumby (University of North Carolina) and Karen Ashcraft (University of Utah) both attended. Dennis and Karen regularly work on research related to resistance and discourse. They have recently published a book together on Reworking gender: A feminist communicology of organization published by Sage. Other participants came from New Zealand - Ralph Stablein and Craig Pritchard (Massey University) and Deborah Jones and Brad Jackson (Victoria University). A special issue of the journal Management Communication Quarterly which will contain papers from the workshop has been commissioned. This is to be guest edited by Sydney and Texas A&M members of ICRODSC and is due to appear in 2005.
Enterprise Resource Planning Workshop: Managing ERPs Organisational Implications
As the Centres ERP project developed and four major case studies were completed, it was decided that it would be of value to hold another workshop to share our ideas with other key researchers in the field. The ERP project team met with 25 other academics from a range of Australian universities who were all studying ERPs from a variety of different perspectives. The brief was to focus on post-implementation issues with particular reference to organisational impacts.
Speakers included: Peter Seddon, Department of Information Systems, Melbourne University; Nasrin Rahmati, School of Business, Monash University; Sue Williams and Catherine Hardy, Business Information Systems, University of Sydney; Guy Gable, School of Information Systems, Queensland University of Technology; Madhavan Thiruvenkatachari, Business Information Systems, University of Sydney.
Further presentations from the ERP Project team were made by Richard Hall, Kristine Dery and Nick Wailes.
The day concluded with a practitioner panel to discuss the days presentations from a practitioner perspective and also to get views on the measures industry uses to determine ERP success. The panelists were Nick Covari, IT Manager, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney; Virginia Rice, Consulting Director, Cubic Consulting; and Jeff Stewart, Business Solutions Manager, Dairy Farmers. This presentation was taped and transcribed for contribution to the research project.
A special issue of the Journal of Strategic Change which will contain papers from the workshop has been commissioned. This is to be guest edited by Sydney members of ICRODSC and is due to appear in 2005.
Sydney Workshop on Ethical Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility
The aim of the workshop was to bring together fund managers, those involved in screening companies, corporate managers, stakeholder groups and academics from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to discuss various aspects of ethical investment and its connections to corporate social responsibility. The symposium attracted interest from the Journal of Business Ethics and the Australian Accounting Review which commissioned special issues based on the symposium themes to be guest edited by Sydney based members of ICRODSC.