Schlagwort-Archiv: Emancipation

CfP – CMS 2019 Sub-theme 2: Between subjugation and emancipation: Recognizing the power of recognition

We are pleased to announce that our Call for Papers for the CMS Conference 2019 is now online. Deadline for Abstracts is the 31st January 2019:

The 11th International Critical Management Conference 27th – 29th June 2019, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK

SUB-THEME 2: Between subjugation and emancipation: Recognizing the power of recognition


Gabriele Fassauer (Dresden University of Technology, Germany)

Ronald Hartz (University of Leicester, UK)

Gazi Islam (Grenoble Ecole de Management, France)


Recognition is an important factor shaping individual and collective well-being, dignity and flourishing, both within organizations and in society more generally (Honneth 1996; Fraser and Honneth 2003; Sayer 2007a, 2007b). For many researchers on management and organizations, recognition is an implicit “affirmation of the social-affective bond between members” (Islam, 2012: 38). Recognition is constitutive for people’s identity-building, their sense of dignity and corresponding self-respect (Grover, 2013; Hancock, 2016; Holtgrewe, 2001; Islam, 2013; Sayer, 2007a). Considered as fundamentally interdependent, people are viewed as “needy beings” that are capable of suffering and flourishing depending on other´s recognition (Sayer, 2007b: 23). Recognition is understood as the intersubjective acknowledgement of value of a person´s behaviours, actions and identities, which supports “a feeling that one is living a worthwhile life and a confidence in one’s ability to do what one considers worthwhile” (Sayer, 2005: 954). Recognition is thus inevitably aligned with a moral dimension of society, economy and organizations as it refers to basic notions of how people should treat each other (Honneth 1996; Sayer, 2005). One of the most elaborated ways to anchor the idea of recognition in social theory was provided by Axel Honneth (1996), an intellectual successor of the Frankfurt School and critical theory. For Honneth, the struggle for recognition, as both a cognitive source for subjectivity and an affective basis of self-esteem, is part of the human condition and one of the drivers of social progress and betterment (Honneth 1996; Fraser and Honneth 2003).

However, recognition is also discussed in the French tradition of structuralism and poststructuralism, which conceptualizes recognition as basis of the development of self-consciousness and identity-building inescapable linked to forms of subjugation and power (e.g. Althusser, 2014 [1970]; Foucault, 1982; Butler, 1997). From this perspective, people’s desire for recognition is intermingled with power and control mechanisms that serve the perpetuation of societal as well as organizational power structures and domination. Organizations are one of the important economic and social formations “[w]here social categories guarantee a recognizable and enduring social existence” (Butler 1997: 20). But, as Butler continues, “the embrace of such categories, even as they work in the service of subjection, is often preferred to no social existence at all” (ibid.). Giving voice to the complexities arising from these two traditions of thinking about recognition, our stream aims to develop a more fully-fledged notion of recognition at the workplace. We welcome conceptual and empirical papers that deal with questions of recognition at the societal, organizational or individual workplace level and which pay tribute both to the emancipatory and subjugating character of recognition. Related topics can be various and could address, but are not restricted to the following questions:

  • What are the potentials of different contexts of work and forms of organizing in terms of people´s emancipation and subjugation through recognition? What roles, for example, do people´s age, gender, sexual orientation or cultural background play in recognition dynamics?
  • How is recognition played out at the workplace? What are the desires, practises, and conflicts of recognition? Which consequences can be observed for people´s well-being and suffering?
  • How do issues of recognition relate to current debates around identity-based politics in organizations and society? How can a recognition lens help develop a critical theory to understand diverse forms of domination and resistance?
  • What are the complementarities and/or contradictions between struggles for recognition and struggles for redistribution? How can recognition theorizing help understand tensions between economic and symbolic forms of politics at work?
  • Which differences exist between alternative organizations and conventional forms of organized work in terms of recognition?
  • How do new technologies and emerging forms of organizing work change established orders of recognition?
  • What are the historical paths of struggles for recognition in organizations? How are they related to societal shifts and developments?
  • What are the potentials as well as limits of consolidating different theoretical angles of recognition, especially regarding the ‘camps’ of critical theory and poststructuralism?

Submission of abstracts:

Please send abstracts or any questions to Gabriele Fassauer (

Abstracts should be a maximum 1000 words, A4 paper, single spaced, 12-point font.  Deadline 31st January 2019.

Notification of paper acceptance: 1st March 2019.

Full papers will be expected by 1st June 2019.


Your abstract should include:

– Title

– The focus and objectives of the paper

– How the paper will contribute to the theme



Althusser, L. 2014. On the reproduction of capitalism. Ideology and ideological state

apparatuses. London, New York: Verso.

Butler, J. 1997. The psychic life of power. Theories in subjection. Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press.

Foucault, M. 1982. The subject and power. Critical Inquiry 8 (4), 777-795.

Fraser, N., & Honneth, A. 2003. Redistribution or recognition? Verso, London, NY.

Grover St. L. 2013. Unraveling respect in organization studies. Human Relations 67 (1), 27-51.

Hancock, P. 2016. Recognition and the moral taint of sexuality. Threat, masculinity and Santa Claus. Human Relations 69 (2), 461-481.

Holtgrewe, U. 2001. Recognition, intersubjectivity and service work: Labour conflicts in call centres. Industrielle Beziehungen 8 (1), 37-55.

Honneth, A. 1996. The struggle for recognition. Polity Press, Cambridge (MA).

Islam, G. (2012) Recognition, reification and practices of forgetting: Ethical implications of

human resource management. Journal of Business Ethics, 111 (1), 37-48.

Sayer, A. 2005. Class, moral worth and recognition. Sociology 39 (5), 947-963.

Sayer, A. 2007a. Dignity at work: Broadening the agenda. Organization 14 (4), 565-581.

Sayer, A. 2007b. Moral economy and employment. In S. C. Bolton and M. Houlihan (eds.), Searching for the human in human resource management, (pp. 21-40). Palgrave, London.