CMS 2019 CfP: Problematising the Recolonization of Decolonial Scholar-Activism



The 11th International Critical Management Studies Conference

“Precarious Presents, Open Futures”

27th – 29th June 2019, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK

Stream 17: Problematising the Recolonization of Decolonial Scholar-Activism: Whiteness, Neoliberalization and the Threat of Co-optation within the New Spirit of Liberal Openness


Jenny K Rodriguez (Lead convener), Work & Equalities Institute, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK

Marcela Mandiola Cotroneo, Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, CHILE

Sadhvi Dar, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Helena Liu, University of Technology Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Angela Martinez Dy, Loughborough University London, UK

Alex Faria, FGV/EBAPE – Escola Brasileira de Administração Pública e de Empresas, Fundação Getulio Vargas, BRAZIL

Over the last 20 years, decolonial work has been central in creating spaces for critique, dissent and resistance in management and organization studies (see Prasad, 2003; Ibarra-Colado, 2006; Faria, Ibarra-Colado, & Guedes, 2010; Mandiola, 2010; Nkomo, 2011; Mir & Mir, 2013; Yousfi, 2014; Gantman, Yousfi, & Alcadipani, 2015; Dar, 2018, Liu, 2018). This sizeable body of work has systematically raised questions about the role of, and dynamics created and perpetuated by, particular actors that centre Whiteness and colonial power resulting in persistent inequality, oppression, marginalization and invisibility of people of colour and First Nations people. Despite the transformational momentum generated by these discussions, inequality is sustained amidst discourses of disruption. Further, there is a seemingly newfound openness to decolonial work that suggests that it is now seen, embraced and used in diverse ways by scholars in both hegemonic and marginalized contexts (see Dar et al, 2018). The starting point of reflection for this sub-theme is: Where is decolonising work today, why is it so popular and is this popularity a strategy of co-optation that undermines its very purpose? This sub-theme continues with the tradition of discussions about decolonizing launched for the first time at the CMS Conference 2009 by the late Eduardo Ibarra Colado, as well as subsequent efforts at CMS and beyond that have continued to debate the dialectic relationship between decolonizing and recolonizing efforts.

As a political struggle that disrupts racist, classist, casteist, gendered, capitalist, ableist Supremacy, decoloniality is an unending project. As such, it is within the long duree that subjects embrace the Eurocentric illusionary discourse of individualist sovereignty propagated by Westernized institutions (e.g. the Neoliberal University), accepting their vulnerable positionality and engaging in an explicit and drawn-out encounter with White power. This involves a politics of struggle where they must not only be conscious of the complexity of their subject positioning, but use it in ways that draw on decolonizing concepts and practices to make theoretical advancements and develop methodologies for knowledge production that do not exploit or decimate Global South / indigenous knowledge, doing the work in-house (e.g. in their respective departments and universities) with a view of overthrowing systems that exploit Global South students and workers / students and workers of colour. This is a fundamental challenge for CMS decolonial scholars because it brings to the fore the tension emerging from becoming a vocal critic of the structures that legitimize their own subjectivity and value.

This sub-theme is interested in contributions on the following areas (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • Intellectual openness and intellectual containment – There is a tension between the space decolonial work has as a lived position and the way it is seen just as a critique that needs to be legitimised for the sake of producing citations and citable work. What do these instances of legitimization look like? How do scholars deal with them? What strategies of containment keep these discussions on the margins in generative ways?
  • Recolonizing decolonial work – There have been some arguments and critiques that claim that decolonial discussions have been whitewashed and/or co-opted by capital. In what ways do we identify recolonization-decolonization dynamics? How is the decolonizing project co-opted by capital? What roles do scholars/practitioners at large from the GS and the GN have in the recolonization of strategies for liberation? Within the recolonizing dynamic, how can we meaningfully engage and distinguish between post-colonial and decolonial frameworks?
  • Mainstreaming and opening the decolonizing agenda – As decolonizing gains legitimacy in academic and institutional discourses, we must reflect on the role played by mainstreaming and openness/diversity in both fostering and undermining the radical politics of decolonial work. Is the decolonizing agenda being mainstreamed? What does it mean to open up decolonial work? Who is doing the work and whose multiple and interconnected interests-identities are being ultimately served?
  • White patronage – The relevance of patronage to the opening of spaces of legitimacy for intellectual labour cannot be overlooked. The role of white power brokers, networks and gatekeepers in the production, dissemination and valuing of decolonial work raises questions about the ways in which whiteness is re-centred through academic production from/about the GS. In what ways does white domination exert power over academic production? Which strategies (of co-optation, violence, influence) are used to maintain white hegemony in academia?

Celebrating the legacy of Eduardo Ibarra Colado

This stream will apply a liberation politics that will include a ‘walking-collective’ practice called: “Walking with Brown Folk”. The format seeks to disrupt the practice of centralizing knowledge in panels / experts that limits the possibilities for a dialectic engagement.

Abstract submissions

 Please submit a 500 word abstract (excluding references) one page, Word document NOT PDF, single spaced, no header, footers or track changes) together with your contact information: name, institutional affiliation (independent scholar if not currently affiliated) and email to decolonizingalliance @ The deadline for submission of abstracts is Thursday 31st January 2019. We will notify you a decision by the end of February.


Dar, S. (2018). Decolonizing the Boundary-Object. Organization Studies, 39(4), 565 – 584.

Dar, S., Dy, A., & Rodriguez, J. (2018) Is decolonizing the new black? Available at: (Accessed 02/10/18).
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.

Gantman, E. R., Yousfi, H., & Alcadipani, R. (2015). Challenging Anglo-Saxon dominance in management and organizational knowledge. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 55, 126-129.

Ibarra-Colado, E. (2006). Organization studies and epistemic coloniality in Latin America: Thinking otherness from the margins. Organization, 13, 463–488.

Liu, H. (2018) An Embarrassment of Riches: The seduction of post-feminism in the academy. Organization, DOI:

Mandiola, M. (2010) Latin America’s Critical Management? A Liberation Genealogy. Critical Perspectives in International Business, 6(2-3), 162-176.

Mir, R., & Mir, A. (2013). The colony writes back: Organization as an early champion of non-Western organizational theory. Organization, 20, 91-101.

Nkomo, S. M. (2011). A postcolonial and anti-colonial reading of ‘African’ leadership and management in organization studies: Tensions, contradictions and possibilities. Organization, 18, 365-386.

Prasad, A. (Ed.) (2003). Postcolonial theory and organization analysis: A critical engagement. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Yousfi, H. (2014). Rethinking hybridity in postcolonial contexts: What changes and what persists? The Tunisian case of Poulina’s managers. Organization Studies, 35, 393-421.

New Post and Updates

Loughborough University in London CampusHappy to report that as of 1st September 2015 I will be employed as a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Glendonbrook Centre for Enterprise Development at Loughborough University and primarily based at their new campus in London. I’ll be teaching contemporary entrepreneurship theory and practice to a cohort of MSc students from across a variety of disciplines. I am very excited about this new opportunity and will be looking forward to sharing my experiences with you all.

A few other updates and bits of news:

  • On 7th July 2015 I officially graduated with my PhD!
  • I’ll be participating in the Cambridge Realist Workshop 25th Anniversary as a representative speaker on the topic of the philosophy of gender next month!
  • I’ve just joined the team on a new research project exploring gender and business exit. First read of the transcripts has been fascinating – can’t wait to start doing the analysis!
  • Joy Francis of Digital Women UK and I are organising a conference and workshop for women working in digital and academics studying this area to be held at Nottingham Uni in November. More info here: You can register your interest now and we will update this page with the conference programme as it is confirmed.
  • I am the appointed Advocate for the Digital Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) event to take place in Manchester, also in November. We have put out a call for participants for PhD students working in the digital economy to come and participate with 36 fully funded places available. Stay up-to-date with us on Twitter at @digiyes.