Call for Papers: Research Methods for the Performative and Communicative Study of Organizing and Organizations


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A growing number of organizational studies adopt performative and/or communicative approaches, suggesting that organizational phenomena do not pre-exist the actions and communicative practices through which they are enacted (Bencherki et al., 2022; Cooren et al., 2011; Schoeneborn et al., 2019; Schoeneborn and Vásquez, 2017). Indeed, communicational approaches are now widely recognized as essential for accessing the empirical phenomena necessary for developing our understanding of managing and organizing (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2000). Such work has successfully demonstrated how hierarchy, authority, routines, strategy, membership, and other facets of our collective actions are not given, but rather the outcome of our interactions with each other, as well as with technology and other non-human actants (Bencherki et al., 2021; Cooren et al., 2015; Del Fa, 2017; Wright, 2016, 2019). 

However, these approaches espouse a diversity of methods and analytical standpoints with seemingly little coherence with their theoretical ambition (Bencherki, 2016; Wilhoit, 2016). So far, few studies have formulated a genuinely performative and communicative methodological, affective and analytical agenda (exceptions including Basque, Hirsto, et al., 2022; Nathues et al., 2020; Nathues and van Vuuren, 2022). 

Performative and communicative research that focuses on investigating organizing and organizations is yet to seriously consider how the methods of inquiry adopted produce the results and contributions claimed. This is particularly important when we consider which methods and analytical strategies allow us to speak to issues of impact and relevance for practitioners, partner organizations, and students. Indeed, translating research into practical advice, as well as into a tangible curriculum for training, is an ongoing concern for a number of researchers in the field (see Kuhn and Schoeneborn, 2015; van Vuuren and Knoers, 2022). This is particularly important when we recognise research’s non-representational quality, where it performatively constructs what we investigate and thus plays a part in changing the status quo. Indeed, performativity implies a commitment to change and emancipation from hegemonic power (Butler, 1988), and it is through such acts that alternatives to usual forms of organizing can be crafted (Cruz, 2017; Del Fa and Kärreman, 2022; Del Fa and Vásquez, 2019). It is therefore necessary to think about the critical, engaged and performative methods that best allow us to study—but also act within—our communities (Madison, 2011). 

This special issue aims at providing an overview of the existing methods and analytical strategies that performative and communicative approaches employ, and to reflect on the challenges those approaches pose for empirical research and intervention in organizations.


Key Topics


  • What are the implications of performative and communicative perspectives for data collection and analysis?
  • How do ethical considerations for conducting research from a performative and communicative perspective impact what is produced? 
  • How have current methods and analytical strategies impacted performative and communicative theorizing on organizing and organizations? 
  • What new insights and concepts could emerge from changing methods and analytical stances? 
  • What new terrains and empirical phenomena could performative and communicative scholarship tackle if it changed its methods and analytical stances? 
  • How can/do performative and communicational perspectives act as drivers for change and produce alternative organizing and critical thinking? 
  • How might performative and communicational perspectives recast our understanding of research methods and approaches? 
  • How is reflexivity accomplished in communicative and performative ways, and with what affects? 
  • How might our understanding of the research process be challenged and affected by greater appreciation of communication's performative role in research? 
  • How are our empirical investigations authored, and what affect does this authoring have?



Submit your paper here!

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Key Dates

Submissions close: 01/01/2024