Call for papers for a special Issue in ‘Studi Organizzativi’

Call for papers for a special Issue in ‘Studi Organizzativi’, on the topic: Still in Search of Organizational Democracy: New Opportunities and Constraints (call).

Deadline for submitting manuscripts is 30th September 2022

In the past few years, there is a growing movement among scholars around the world to promote the topic of the democratization of work (, revitalizing a long-standing debate through scholarly discussions as well as public engagement events in many different countries. The publication and spread of the democratizing work manifesto, which has been supported by more than 6,000 signatures to date, made it salient that the success of such initiative is doubted without democratizing the very structures in which work is executed i.e., organizations.

Despite growing consensus among scholars that more organizational democracy is needed and that organizational democracy likely bears positive impact on the general well-being and democratic functioning of society (e.g., Budd et al., 2018; Butera, 2021; Timming and Summers, 2020; Weber et al., 2009), there is still debate around the ways in which organizations can best realize democracy.

The main objective of this Call for Papers on organizational democracy is to invite a conversation with the international scientific community, as well as with articles previously published in Studi Organizzativi (e.g., Sacconi et al., 2019; Butera, 1999; Butera, 2020) which have auspicated a fundamental reconfiguration of current modes of organizing and of their governance. Furthermore, the current Call for Papers is intended as a continuation of a previous Special Issue on ‘New Trajectories in Workplace Cooperation’ (see Signoretti et al., 2022), given that a substantial degree of cooperation around commonly agreed rules is deemed necessary to realize democracy, in organizations and society.

In light of these considerations, this Call for Papers not only asks whether organizational democracy is possible, but also how it can be realized, as we aim to discuss various forms of organizational and workplace democracy, while also recognizing potential advantages and constraints, the conditions that can sustain democracy in organizations, as well as its effects at the individual, organizational and-or societal level outcomes. Interdisciplinary as well as disciplinary based papers from organization and management studies, economic sociology, industrial relations or political sciences are welcome, addressing questions including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Are there different types of organizational and workplace democracy or is it, perhaps, a matter of degree of democratization?
  • Which internal (within organizations) and external (related to the organizational environment) conditions favor the emergence and persistence of organizational democracy?
  • What are the fundamental freedoms and rights (e.g., the possibility to ‘speak  up’, policies to promote inclusion and equality, other labour and social rights etc.), that have to be guaranteed to realize more democratic organizations?
  • Is there a role for social movements, unions and civil society organization in democratizing workplaces?
  • How is it possible to conciliate democratic organizations with the growing inequality in the distribution of resources in organizations and societies?
  • How organizational politics can be steered in favor of an increased participation of voiceless and marginalized organizational actors, rather than supporting powerful ones?
  • What are the implications of internal democracy for organizations, workers, and the broader society?
  • Could it be that certain ways in which ‘democracy’ is conceptualized make organizational democracy problematic, or perhaps even impossible, and why?

The special issue welcomes both qualitative and quantitative theory-driven studies, as well as conceptual articles. Essays and narrative illustration of cases that depart from the traditional shape and structure of scientific articles will also be taken into consideration, as far as they are guided by theoretical insights and puzzles. Also consider the possibility to contact one of the members of the guest editorial team in advance to discuss your paper proposal for the special issue.

Papers will go through the standard review process of the journal and should be 8,000 words (maximum) in length, including abstract, tables, figures and reference section.

For more detailed information, please visit the journal’s submission center (click on the upper left corner of the page to turn it to English) and the Editorial guidelines

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