Call for papers: Organizing Outside Organizations

Guest editors: Barbara Czarniawska – University of Gothenburg

Gianluca Miscione – University College Dublin

Elena Raviola – University of Gothenburg

Rafael Alcadipani da Silveira – EASP-FGV

Emre Tarim – Lancaster University

For any queries please contact the editors at

We have been studying formal organizations for at least a century, if not longer, and there is not much that we do not know about them. A recent phenomenon – the digital transformation of contemporary organizations – has also attracted much attention, and great many studies were done, with interesting results. But digitalization opened also wide doors to organizing outside, oftentimes in spite of, and against, formal organizations. How do people organize demonstrations in Belarus, in Poland, or, for that matter, how do The Proud Boys do it in the USA?  Indeed, there is no need for an a priori moral evaluation, although a posteriori one is always welcome. We simply need to know more about such informal organizing, which was always present, but now has become widespread thanks to globalization and digitalization. After all, it is connecting collective actions, or “doings” to one another, which is the main trait of organizing. Organizations are legal units; a “network” can exist, yet do nothing; in order to accomplish anything, good or bad, “doings” are necessary, and they have to be coordinated, connected, and stabilized – temporarily or for good. So, to use Bruno Latour’s (2013) vocabulary, how are scripts written and dispatching performed, or in that of Annemarie Mol (2010), how is ordering (aligning) and coordination done, in informal organizing?

In this Special Issue we invite all texts based on studies that can throw some light on the phenomenon of organizing outside organizations – both fieldwork and culture studies are welcome.

Deadline: 30 September 2021

More details



Czarniawska, Barbara (2013) Organizations as obstacles to organizing. In: Daniel Robichaud and François Cooren (eds) Organizations and organizing: Materiality, agency, and discourse. New York: Routledge, 3–22.

Czarniawska, Barbara (2018) On meshworks and other complications of portraying contemporary organizing. In: Levi Gårseth-Nesbakk and Frode Mellemvik (eds), Dealing with expectations and traditions in research. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 109–127.

Dibbel, Julian (2012) Internet freedom fighters build a shadow web. Scientific American, 16 February.

Harré, Rom and Secord, Paul F. (1972) The explanation of social behaviour. Oxford: Blackwell.

Jemielniak, Dariusz (2014) Common knowledge? An ethnography of Wikipedia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Latour, Bruno (2013) An inquiry into modes of existence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Mol, Annemarie (2010) Actor-network theory: Sensitive terms and enduring tensions. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 50(1): 253–269.

Scott, James C. (2012) Two cheers for anarchism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Shirky, Clay (2008) Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. London: Allen Lane.

Taylor, James R. and Van Every, Elizabeth J. (2000) The emergent organization. Communication as its site and surface. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Weick, Karl E. (1979) The social psychology of organizing. New York: Addison-Wesley.

Wiener, Norbert (1948) Cybernetics: or the control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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