Reflecting on the visual power of management, organising and governing practices
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK,
26-27 June 2008
Keynote Speakers: Paolo Fabbri, Donald Mackenzie & Nigel Thrift
Organizations are saturated with images, pictures, and signs that impact on many different aspects of everyday organizational life. A moment of reflection can produce a long list of examples relating to: budgets and accounting tools, advertising literature, design specifications, public relations leaflets, standard operating procedures, schedules, reports, graphs, charts, organizational hierarchies, and maps, to name but a few.
This raises the question of how we study the role of images in performing all kinds of activities that keep us busy and attentive? Do we focus on images as signs and inscriptions that can be viewed as mediators making others do things (Latour, 2005)? How does this relate to ideas of intensities, affect, engagement, beliefs and passions? Can we explore the difference and multiplicity that underlies such performances in terms of techniques and practices of managing and organizing, and how do images relate to various issues of agency, accountability and responsibility?
Furthermore, imagination as representation is not the focus of this call. Rather than limiting the debate to the role that images have in representing ‘businesses’ of all sorts, we need to explore the role of images as 'forces' in performing business, and enabling possibilities in terms of thinking about and enacting particular orderings.
While images, signs and visualization have been studied from a wide range of perspectives and fields of study (e.g. history, religious iconography, art and visual studies, literature and communication studies, philosophy, sociology, geography, visual anthropology, semiotics, architecture, science and technology studies), within the areas of business, management and organization studies the level of interest has been less evident. A particular focus of this workshop therefore involves bringing together an eclectic assembly of scholars to enable an imaginative forum for discussion and debate in this area of enquiry. We welcome papers and extended abstracts (2500–4000 words) from scholars from a wide range of disciplines that seek to explore theoretical and empirical issues from a diverse set of themes.
Submission deadline: 28th February 2008
Organisers: Lucy Kimbell, Christine McLean, François-Régis Puyou, Paolo Quattrone
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