CMS 2019 CfP: Inclusions and exclusions in the digital world: meanings, challenges, opportunities


11th International Critical Management Studies Conference – CMS 2019

June 27 – 29, Milton Keynes, UK


  • Deborah N Brewis, University of Bath
  • Cinzia Priola, Open University
  • Angela Martinez Dy, Loughborough University London
  • Adaku Jennifer Agwunobi, Loughborough University London

New means of information sharing and communication presented a promise and an opportunity; a new frontier open to more democratic and accessible practices (Papacharissi 2002). Affordances of the digital represented a chance for people from marginalised social groups not only to be ‘included’ in existing organising structures, often pervaded by historically-rooted forms of privilege (Adamson et al. 2016, Ahmed 2012), but to transform them. However, recent research has shown that the inequalities of the ‘analogue’ world have been reproduced or exacerbated online: relations of rentiership – where ownership and control of assets enables individuals to capture and appropriate value (Birch 2017); unequal resource access (Martinez Dy et al 2017); and neoliberal capitalism (Brewis and Mitchell 2017).

The very design of contemporary digital technologies reflects and reproduces the worldviews of those who create them (Lanier, 2011), thus (re)producing kyriarchy – an interlocking set of persistent social hierarchies, such as those of race, gender, and social class. For example, research shows how high tech founders tend to come from the top of the employment strata (Braguinsky et al. 2012); that digital media platforms are not culture, race or gender neutral (Noble, 2018); and how resource needs of the global tech industry have negative impacts on the living and working conditions of marginalised communities across the world (Bleischwitz et al., 2012).

Neoliberalism uses the digital to tighten its grip on individuals through surveillance and self-tracking (Moore 2017), consumption and desire (Belk 2015, Denegri-Knott and Molesworth 2013). An accelerating precarity and pace of work (Wajcman 2015) has, in part, been facilitated by the digital and legitimated under the discourses of ‘flexibility’ (Nyong’o 2013). Precarity disproportionately affects members of marginalised groups (Duffy and Pruchniewska, 2017), furthermore, online abuse and discriminatory harassment of people from marginalised groups, women in particular, is well documented (Jane, 2014), as is the use of digital spaces by the State to target activists and potential change makers (Michaelsen, 2018).

Yet, we have also seen powerfully transformative and world-shaping uses of digital spaces for both online and offline organising (Smith-Prei and Stehle, 2016), for example, in the Arab Spring, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, and Me Too movements, as well as the development of cryptocurrencies. Thus, it is timely to critically examine the concept of digital inclusion, and analyse the extent to which its promise still holds. With this call, we invite submissions that engage critically with the notion of inclusion within the digital space. We encourage analyses that look not only at how digital technologies and spaces can help organisations to include marginalised peoples, but also how the digital can help to challenge and change the dominant discourses and practices of organising to produce new meanings of inclusion.

It is important that we develop knowledge of how and why marginalisation and privilege are (re)produced via the use and design of digital technologies, but we also invite engagement with efforts to disrupt these patterns, subvert mainstream organisation, and promote alternative forms of politics, for example through collaboration, amplification of marginalised voices, collective action, and non-capitalist economies. Furthermore, we invite submissions to reimagine the meaning of inclusion itself, as a concept that finds itself embedded with normativity. We therefore ask:

  • What does it mean for digital technologies to be genuinely inclusive, or of service to, people of different genders, ethnicities, global locations, abilities, classes, ages, and sexual identities?
  • How can an ‘open’ digital space contribute to reimagined or alternative meanings of ‘inclusion’?
  • How can digital technologies promote openness and resist attempts to colonise the new frontiers of the digital space through political, cultural and financial means?
  • How can digital technologies be used to advocate for or foment greater inclusivity in ‘analogue’ workplaces and entrepreneurial activity?

Submissions may engage with the questions outlined above in relation, but not limited, to:

  • Digital exclusions and marginalisation
  • Digital networks, communities, solidarities and collaborations
  • New meanings of (digital) inclusion and inclusive organising
  • The blockchain, accountability and transparency
  • Artificial Intelligence, labour organisation and regulation, universal basic income
  • Open source, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
  • The interface of the digital and the analogue
  • Materiality and digital dirty work
  • Affect, embodiment, transformed subjectivities and experiences of digital labour
  • Neoliberalism, (neo)colonialism, rentiership and alienation
  • History/Herstory of the digital
  • Digital technologies, surveillance and the State
  • Cryptocurrency, FinTech, and the banking sector
  • Digital entrepreneurship and inclusion

This stream encourages a variety of submissions, such as traditional research papers, digital demonstrations and interactive analysis, artistic engagements, and other alternative modes of presentations and discussion.

Please submit an abstract or proposal of no more than 700 words (excluding references) together with your contact information to Deborah Brewis Please send this as one page, Word document (not PDF), single spaced, without headers, footers or track changes.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 31st 2019, and we will notify you of our decision by the end of February.


Adamson, M., Kelan, E. K., Lewis, P., Rumens, N., & Slíwa, M. (2016). The quality of equality: thinking differently about gender inclusion in organizations. Human Resource Management International Digest, 24(7), 8-11.

Ahmed, S. (2012) On Being Included. Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Belk, R. (2015). YouTube on the couch: Psychoanalytic challenges in a digital age. Marketing Theory, 15(1), 21-24.

Bleischwitz R, Dittrich M and Pierdicca C (2012) Coltan from Central Africa, international trade and implications for any certification. Resources Policy 37(1): 19–29.

Braguinsky S, Klepper S and Ohyama A (2012) High-Tech Entrepreneurship. The Journal of Law and Economics 55(4): 869–900.

Brewis, D.N. and Mitchell, L. (2017) ‘Digital Frontiers: Exploring the digital-analogue interface’ Workshop call for participants, Kingston Business School, November 2017.

Birch, K. (2017). “Towards a theory of rentiership.” Dialogues in Human Geography, 109-111.

Denegri-Knott, J., & Molesworth, M. (2013). Redistributed consumer desire in digital virtual worlds of consumption. Journal of marketing management, 29(13-14), 1561-1579.

Duffy, BE and Pruchniewska, U (2017) Gender and self-enterprise in the social media age: a digital double bind. Information, Communication & Society, 20(6): 843–859.

Jane, E. A. (2014) ‘Back to the kitchen, cunt’: speaking the unspeakable about online misogyny. Continuum, 28(4): 558-570.

Lanier, J. (2010). You are not a gadget: A manifesto. Vintage.

Martinez Dy, A. M., Marlow, S., & Martin, L. (2017). A Web of opportunity or the same old story? Women digital entrepreneurs and intersectionality theory. Human Relations, 70(3), 286-311.

Michaelsen, M. (2018) Exit and voice in a digital age: Iran’s exiled activists and the authoritarian state. Globalizations, 15(2): 248–264.

Moore, P. V. (2017). The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, technology and what counts. Routledge.

Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of Oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. NYU Press.

Wajcman, J. (2015) Pressed for time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism. London: University of Chicago Press.

Smith-Prei C and Stehle M (2016) #AwkwardPolitics: #Technologies of #Popfeminist #Activism. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Papacharissi, Z. (2002). The virtual sphere: The internet as a public sphere. New media & society, 4(1), 9-27.

Tavia Nyong’o (2013) Situating precarity between the body and the commons, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 23:2, 157-161

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.