Workshop on Age and Identities

Melbourne, February, 2014

An ICRODSC workshop on Age and Identities was held in Melbourne on February 14th 2014. The presentations covered various aspects of aged and aging identities. Gavin Jack and Emily Bariola (Latrobe), together with Kat Riach (Monash), presented findings from their exploratory study of women, work and the menopause. Susan Ainsworth (Melbourne) talked about the discourses used in connection with recent moves in Australia to raise the pension age. Belinda Allen (Monash) presented her study on identity construction in aged care homes. Barbara Foweraker (Sydney) talked about her work on ‘selling age’ in a pharmaceutical company that hires predominantly older sales representatives. Leanne Cutcher (Sydney) and Cynthia Hardy (Melbourne) compared the identity work of older and younger employees in two divisions of a global engineering firm. Two overseas experts on age and identities acted as discussants for the five papers that were presented: Steve Fineman (Professor Emeritus at Bath University, England) and Robyn Thomas (Professor at Cardiff Business School, Wales) provided a number of helpful insights to the presenters about their papers.

Workshop on Words and Things

University of Sydney, November, 2014

A two-day ICRODSC workshop entitled Words and Things was held at the University of Sydney Business School on November 27th and 28th 2014. The presentations covered various aspects of discourse and materiality. The keynote on the first day of the workshop, entitled Discourse in a Material World, was presented by Professor Cynthia Hardy of Melbourne University. Cynthia's presentation examined the extent to which a discursive perspective can contribute to our understanding of the material. This was followed by presentations by Kanti Pertiwi, who talked about media constructions of corruption in Indonesia, and Max Baker and Jane Andrew, who used an analysis of the Chevron Oil Company to highlight issues associated with ensuring disclosure and global accountability by international corporates. Sensemaking and learning from bushfire in Victoria was the topic of discussion by Graham Dwyer followed by a presentation by Leanne Cutcher on work carried out in collaboration with Teresa Davis and Tilly Milroy on the Stolen Wages Commissions. Through the personal account of one of the claimants Leanne's presentation highlighted what it means to Indigenous women to be required to 'give an account of oneself'. Gibson Burrell (University of Leicester) and Karen Dale of Lancaster University acted as discussants for the papers presented on the first day of the workshop which concluded with a buddying session between academics and current PhD students.

The keynote presentation for the second day of the workshop was presented by Karen Dale from Lancaster University who asked us to question how the human body has been predominantly understood in western cultures and how we might then be able to re-imagine and thus re-embody the ways that we live in and with the world. Catherine Hardy talked about making continuous assurance matter in a world where the boundary between the social and the material is ambiguous and Stephanie Dunk presented a discursive analysis of a strategic planning process in a university setting which provided insights into the way that words are used to signal the initiation of a strategic episode, shape its conduct and flag the episode's termination. The final presentation by Kat Riach used her research on smell at work to highlight increasing researcher awareness of sensorial and affective aspects of working life. Helpful insights were provided to these presenters by discussants Cynthia Hardy (University of Melbourne) and John Roberts (University of Sydney).

Seminar: Opening and closing a large-scale strategic conversation: the rhetorical strategies

Sydney, April 2014

A seminar was presented by Stephanie Dunk, who is currently completing the dissertation component of the Master of Commerce under the supervision of Associate Professor Leanne Cutcher, on the use of rhetoric as a key element of strategy-making. Rhetoric plays an important role in management attempts to exert authority and manage expectations during strategy processes. Formal rounds of consultation also provide those outside the top management team with an opportunity to participate in the linguistic construction of strategy-making. Episode theory and rhetorical analysis were used to examine the use of rhetoric in documents pertaining to the University of Sydney's 2011-2015 strategic planning process and in the formal responses received from faculties during the consultation.


Gioia Workshop

Melbourne, February 2013

Dennis Gioia, Professor of Management at Penn State University ran a two day ICRODSC workshop in Melbourne which explored how to write an effective introduction and what constitutes a theoretical contribution. The ODSC sponsored two ECR and two PhD members attendance at the workshop which ran from Thursday 20th-21st February, 2013.

Meiji Workshop

Meiji University, November 2013

ODSC Co-Directors, Leanne Cutcher and David Grant, along with ODSC members, Richard Hall, Jane Le and Maurizio Floris (PhD) were invited to attend a two day workshop at Meiji University in Japan. The workshop on the theme “Discourse and Change” ran from 10-11 November. Professor Grant presented the keynote paper entitled:Changing our Understanding of Organizational Change: A Discourse Based Approach.

Discourse of Risk

University of Melbourne, December 2013

A delegation of ODSC members attended a two-day workshop on risk and discourse at the University of Melbourne from 5-6 December. 2013. ODSC member, Professor Chris Wright was a key note speaker along with other internationally author and consultant, Beverley Sauer and renowned scholars working on issues of risk; Professors Mark Burgman (Melbourne), Jon Barnett (Melbourne), Steve Maguire (McGill), Yuval Millo (Leicester), Linda Putnam (USCB), Clive Smallman (UWS) and Andy Stirling (Sussex University). ODSC members, Dr Richard Seymour and PhD students, Mr Jarrod Orminston and Ms Sarah Runcie presented papers in the workshop roundtable.

PhD Workshop

Sydney University, December 2013

Visiting Assoc Professor David Oliver (HECS) ran a half day workshop with Business School PhD students on 12 December. This hands-on workshop focused on approaches to collecting, coding and theorizing from qualitative data sources. Drawing on a dataset generated from a multi-stakeholder partnership involving indigenous, non-indigenous and governmental organizations, workshop participants explored techniques for analysing and publishing from diverse data sources. The workshop also explored the benefits and challenges associated with working in culturally complex research contexts.


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

December 2009

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

June 2009

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

February 2008

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.