Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Organization
Decolonising Management and Organisational Knowledge
Nimruji Jammulamadaka (IIM Calcutta, India),
Alex Faria (FGV, Brazil),
Gavin Jack (Monash University, Australia),
Shaun Ruggunan (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
This special issue focuses on decolonising management and organisational knowledge (MOK), a vital and timely endeavour. The contemporary globalised world is experiencing new and continuing conditions of coloniality/decoloniality (Mignolo & Walsh, 2018) organised by forces of transnational capital and the nation-state on the one side, but counter-balanced by resurging, insurging peoples and scholars on the other. The nature and momentum of these axes of neo-colonial power and decolonial praxis-theory (Mignolo & Walsh, 2018) has led Mbembe (2016: 36) to observe that the “decolonizing project is back on the agenda worldwide”. Decolonial conversations set out to both critique the “dominant Eurocentric academic model” and “imagine what an alternative to this model could look like” (Mbembe, 2016: 36). Decolonial feminists (Lugones, 2010; Mohanty, 2003; Simpson, 2011) call for nothing less than the transformation of hetero-patriarchal, colonial, and racist structures of organisation and power, and the revival of Indigenous knowledges-practices. Most MOK as is generally understood – theory, discourse, practice, and its asymmetrical generative structures of production, distribution, and consumption - is based on the dominant Eurocentric academic model. Decolonising sentiments in respect of that model have expressed themselves as a recent coming together of regional scholars and non-scholars (e.g., the African AOM, LAEMOS) to assert difference from hegemonic forms of MOK built on colonial blindness. It is no coincidence, then, that over a third of all “decolonial management” scholarship emerged in the year 2017 alone (googlescholar search on 12 October 2018). It is therefore timely to revisit the broad theme of coloniality/decoloniality, and management and organisational knowledge.
Organization has been an ‘early champion of non-Western organization theory’ (Mir & Mir, 2013). This special issue sets out to consolidate and build further on the ground prepared by previous special issues of Organization on related themes such as voices of the South and postcolonialism. It aims to advance our understanding and support of non-hegemonic, inclusive, non-racist, gender-sensitive, caring and diverse MOKs, practices, worlds and worldviews.
Extant decolonial critiques of MOK have emerged at the exteriorities, focusing on enduring coloniality and the constitutive role of difference – notably along lines of gender, race and to some extent class –in hetero-patriarchal, racist and oppressive structures of knowledge and organisation (Connell, 2007; Faria et al, 2010). Interest in, and resurgence of, Indigenous worldviews and customary practices, offer one mode for contesting and ‘going beyond’ prevailing hegemonic structures of difference (Connell, 2007). That said, they may also be sites for imperialist appropriation(s) and re-appropriation(s) in global management knowledge production/transmission/consumption and organisational practice. Sanitised traditional concepts such as ubuntu have gained ever-increasing global circulation (Ruggunan, 2016) even as regional, traditional management knowledges/practices continue to be framed through discourses of deficiency, corruption or unprofessionalism. Noteworthy is the inadequacy of new or re-invented Eurocentric ideas such as diversity, or international management, in changing the content or relations of knowledge production in our field, in spite of growing presence of non-Western scholars in management academia.
We the SI editors, coming from the heterogeneous geographical South, living in societies that have borne the brunt of colonial violence, enunciating from our particular epistemic loci as gendered beings and inhabiting colonial management institutions, are acutely aware that Souths and Norths intercalate each other in conditions of unbounded coloniality and imperial globality (Escobar, 2004). We are therefore interested in silenced voices, whether they be from Abya Yala, Africa, Greenland, Eastern Europe or anywhere else. We are mindful of the representation versus enunciation dynamic, and do not wish to turn this special issue into an ethnographic compilation project that uncritically recolonises decolonial work. We therefore seek conversations from and across various decolonial loci on the production, transmission, translations and contestations of ‘global’ management knowledge as well as its organisational practices. We also see this special issue as creating spaces for radical others, perhaps through revival and resurgence of Indigenous knowledges-practices.
We de-link from convention and top-down agenda setting list for contributors. Instead, we bring methodological openness and conversation, sharing our questions/concerns with contributors on what decolonising MOK may mean. How we might go about this?
- In contexts of resistance, appropriation and re-appropriation, what does invoking Indigenous knowledges mean?
- Cognisant of the role of gender and intersectionality in Eurocentric structures of critique, how does one decolonially engage with gender, race or other markers of difference in MOK?
- Given binary-vs-hybridity and identity debates (Radhakrishnan, 1994), how can decolonising writing serve to re-assert the margins’ right to knowledge and others’ non-hierarchical binaries?
- Given critical self-reflexivity’s emergence within exterior-interiorities of Western modernity, what kind of reflexivity does decolonialising MOK scholarship require? Is there a particular kind of decolonising reflexivity?
- Internally, margins exhibit a peculiar character, where only that “other knowledge” that is endorsed by a metropolitan centre is recognised as legitimate “other knowledge”. What has to be done to create conducive climates within exteriorities for pursuing decolonising MOK?
- Given that decolonial and postcolonial MOK scholarship exist in multiple geographies, centre-peripheries and borderlands, how do such geographies interact with “loci of enunciation” (Mignolo, 2012) in the global house of knowledge? Who speaks, and for whom (Spivak, 1999)? What is the representative and enunciative ethics and politics involved?
- Given the colonial blindness of prevailing MOK, what is involved in producing connected management knowledges, writing in the colonial encounter? How does this relate to curriculum and pedagogy?
- The rhetoric of Western modernity has been one of turning local knowledge claims into universal ones. What strategies of scholarship-praxis are available to prevent/challenge such transmogrification? Is such transmogrification the only strategy available for resurrecting others’ knowledges that are often encoded in the form of cultures and myths? Decolonial scholarship is typically assessed against Eurocentric theoretical-publishing-epistemic criteria. How does this impact the publication of decolonial writing? What will constitute the parameters or epistemic yardsticks of good decolonial scholarship?
- Postcolonial and decolonial scholarship are similar in criticising Eurocentrism, in spite of identifiable differences in their scholarship. How does one theorise the enduring emphasis on only their differences in the context of Empire? What strategies of scholarship-praxis are available to build solidarities across them?
Papers may be submitted electronically from 31 October 2019 until the deadline date of 30 November 2019 (final deadline) to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/organization. Submission of the SI is planned for September 2021. Authors may send in their ideas and queries to the SI editors at firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers should be no more than 10,000 words, including references, and will be blind-reviewed following the journal’s standard review process. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the guidelines published in Organization and on the journal’s website:
Connell, R. (2007). Southern theory: The global dynamics of knowledge in social science. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Escobar, A. (2004). Beyond the Third World: imperial globality, global coloniality and anti-globalisation social movements. Third World Quarterly, 25(1): 207-230.
Faria, A., Ibarra-Colado, E., & Guedes, A. (2010). Internationalization of management, neoliberalism and the Latin America challenge. Critical perspectives on international business, 6 (2/3): 97-115.
Lugones, M. (2010). Toward a decolonial feminism. Hypatia, 25(4): 742-759.
Mbembe, A.J. (2016). Decolonizing the university: New directions. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education. 15(1): 29-45.
Mignolo, W. D., & Walsh, C. E. (2018). On decoloniality: Concepts, analytics, praxis. Raleigh, NC: Duke University Press.
Mir, R. A., Mir, A. H. (2013). The Colony writes Back: Organization as an early champion of non-Western organizational theory. Organization, 20(1): 91-101.
Mohanty, C.T. (2003). Feminism without borders: Decolonizing theory, practicing solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Radhakrishnan, R. (1994). Postmodernism and the rest of the world. Organization, 1(2): 305-340.
Ruggunan, S. (2016) Decolonising management studies: A love story, in Goldman, A.G. (Ed.) Critical Management Studies in South Africa. Pretoria: AOSIS Publishers. 103-138.
Spivak, G. C. (1999). A critique of postcolonial reason: Toward a history of the vanishing present. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Simpson, L. B. (2011). Dancing on our turtle's back: Stories of Nishnaabeg re-creation, resurgence and a new emergence. Canada: Arbeiter Ring Pub.