Repetition and difference in organizing over time and space


The title of the 2010 EGOS call for sub-theme proposals sounds remarkably Deleuzian. Could it be just a co-incidence that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition? The call for proposals speaks of repetition and difference, the emerge of new organisational forms, the problem of the micro and the macro, globalisation, and the role of technology. The deadline for the submission of sub-theme proposals is 15 January 2009.

It would be interesting to have a track or two with specifically Deleuzian themes, e.g. with a focus on repetition and difference vis-a-vis routines and innovation, or on the Deleuzian notion of the assemblage in organising. The similarities and differences between the Deleuzian assemblage theory of Manuel DeLanda and the evocation of assemblages in Science and Technology Studies and economic sociology could make another interesting platform for discussion. We reproduce the call below in full, in case the link gets broken during the current overhaul of the EGOS website.

26th EGOS Colloquium

July 1–3, 2010

Center for Globalization and Governance
Faculdade de Economia
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Lisbon, Portugal

Waves of globalization

Repetition and difference in organizing over time and space

Call for sub-theme proposals

What better place could there be than Lisbon, the westernmost capital of continental Europe, to explore the relevance of globalization for organization studies and to celebrate discovery, cultural difference and the experience of diversity which EGOS stands for?

Globalization is the buzzword of the new millennium. Its presence can be felt in everyday life; its forces strain established orders, opening new possibilities for global organizations. We appear to be the witnesses of something entirely new. History, however, seems to move in circles that resemble previous ones. Globalization is no exception. Some authors refer to current events as the third wave of globalization. The fist wave started in the 15th century, the Age of Discovery, with Portugal and Spain playing major roles. The second wave came in the early 19th century and lasted until World War I. The driving force of this period was the United Kingdom and it resulted in the increased relevance of the North Atlantic. The third wave of globalization began with the aftermath of World War II, and it has got a new form during the past two decades. It sees the world’s economic center moving eastward, with China and India gaining in size and importance.

What is interesting about these – or even alternative – views of globalization is the fact that what appears as a new and irresistible force of social change, may actually be a new form of a recurrent historical process, in which organizations (be they the kingdoms, or trading companies of the past, or the multinationals of today’s modern world) play a substantial role.

Giddens, Bauman, Castells and others forayed into globalization’s impact on people and their interactions, and their theories continue to inspire organizational scholars in their quest to uncover the dynamics and undercurrents of the third wave. They argue that globalization reveals itself in how organizing happens today, be it in leadership, innovation, global teams, born global ventures, business ethics, or new organizational designs. This is, in our opinion, why we need to continue to study globalization in its organizational aspects and implications.

We invite sub-theme proposals which explore connections between the past, the present and the future; micro and macro levels; center and periphery. Sub-theme proposals should aim at attracting papers dealing with different kinds of organizational, social and societal changes, the conditions that foster or hinder them, and the processes through which they take place, gradually or abruptly. Sub-theme proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

(1) History (never) repeats itself
Innovative proposals, which push forward divergent thinking and pose challenging questions on how contemporary organizations are the result of the previous experiments with organizing possibilities, are most welcome. The role of history as a facilitator of learning; repetition as persistence; cyclical repetition as difference; history as mindset; the past as source of identity and continuity: these are some of the possibilities that should be considered.

(2) Discovering and forgetting
We invite sub-theme proposals that offer room for explorations into organizations and societies as sources of change and innovation. Why did the previous versions of globalization happen where (and when) they did? Why did some countries lose their edge? How have previous processes been learned and forgotten? Which conditions facilitate a motivation for discovery?

(3) Looking for the next wave
We are also looking for sub-themes that address questions related to deep changes in organizational forms. Possible topics include the role of technology in the development of new organizational forms, the interplay between organizations and national states, the diffusion of technology-supported networks of organizations, the role of swarm intelligence in the development of complex products and ideas, the possible contours of a post-organizational society, the differential diffusion of innovations in different parts of the globe, flatness versus spikiness, social responsibility as a core business. The sub-themes in this topic may in a sense be viewed as efforts in radical theoretical imagination.

(4) Local waves, global tides
Further sub-theme proposals could be, for instance, those that focus on the interconnection between the local and the global. Glocalization, uniformization, local identity: these are some of the topics that may be addressed. How do local changes diffuse to the global level? How can local events influence the global agenda? How do global agendas penetrate the local level? How do different local waves combine to produce global tides? These questions may be considered from several perspectives including the intersection between global organizations and local communities.

(5) The dark side of globalization
Finally, we seek sub-theme proposals that look at the dark side of globalization. Topics can include domination of the rest by the West, the role of multinational companies in shaping local policy, ethnocentrism and neo-colonialism, and the global propagation of local financial and economic crises. We invite proposals from a wide range of perspectives including critical theory, cultural studies and fields of research that espouse a more functional approach.


Submissions are expected to include an outline of the proposed theme and the area of interest (maximum of 2 pages), as well as a short description of the team of convenors, including their academic background and experience. We expect most of the submissions to be linked with the overall conference theme, but also other submissions are welcome. The sub-theme proposals should avoid repetition of the overall conference theme in their titles.

Convenor teams should be international in composition (convenors from at least two countries) and should include one highly reputed scholar and one convenor experienced in organizing EGOS sub-themes. The maximum convenor team size is three scholars. Proposals from teams of four or more convenors will not be considered.

Deadline for submission of sub-theme proposals: January 15, 2009.

Please send your submissions by email to:


Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact one of the following members of the local Organizing Committee at FEUNL in Lisbon:

Miguel Pina e Cunha, Associate Professor (
João Vieira da Cunha, Assistant Professor (jvc@
Stefan Meisiek, Assistant Professor (smeisiek@
Rita Campos e Cunha, Associate Professor (rcunha@
Daved Barry, Professor (

[Reproduced from the EGOS website.]


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