February 27, 2014
In her latest column for FT, Gillian Tett highlights the work of legal scholar and anthropologist of finance Annelise Riles. The topic is regulatory harmonization, the attempt to make financial regulation the same across all nations. Since complete harmony is next to impossible, Annelise has been arguing that financial regulators should consider applying a old and established body of law called ‘conflict-of-law’, to finance.
Annelise is making a technical argument which may feel a bit obscure at first to social scientists without legal training. For those who do not have access to FT, you can find a brief explanation of the paper in Risk & Regulation Magazine, which I’m currently editing for CARR at LSE.
According to Annelise:
Unlike the harmonization paradigm which pursues legal uniformity, the “conflicts approach” accepts that regulatory nationalism is a fact of life, and sets for itself the more modest goal of achieving coordination among different national regimes.
Under the conflicts approach the point is not to define one set of rules that apply for all, as is the case in public international law –the law of international organizations such as the UN or the WTO. Rather, it is simply to define under which circumstance should a particular dispute or problem be subject to one state’s law or another.
Thinking in terms of ‘conflict of laws’ changes the debate over global financial regulation because it raises an altogether different set of questions that are largely being ignored. For example: How far does each regulatory jurisdiction extend, and what should be done when there is overlap? When should so-called host regulators of a global, systemically important financial institution defer to so-called home regulators. Thinking about conflicts between laws encourages us to more carefully examine how we allocate authority across the existing regulatory regimes. The approach gives us another way of examining, and therefore of challenging, the scope of national, international, and non-state regulation. After all, when regulators or market participants make a claim about the application of one or another body of laws to a given party or transaction, they are effectively making an implicit claim about what the scope of their national law should be.
Gillian comments that, “In the near future, such radical ideas are unlikely to fly.” But she also notes that”some regulators do now appear to be privately conceding Ms Riles’ point – namely that co-ordination is an unworkable fantasy – and quietly hunting for alternatives.“
January 30, 2014
Special Issue Guest Editors:
Laure Cabantous, Cass Business School, City University London
Jean-Pascal Gond, Cass Business School, City University London
Alex Wright, The Open University Business School
Deadline for submission of 1000-word long abstracts: 30 September 2014
Deadline for submission of papers to the Special Issue: 15 March 2015
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Performativity of Strategy
Although it is widely acknowledged that strategy matters to society and has multiple effects on organizations and markets, the processes whereby strategic ideas, theories and models influence individuals, organizations and markets remain under-studied. In addition, despite extensive research on strategy, we still know little about how strategy theories “work” in practice. This special issue is a forum to study the performativity of strategy and to answer the following questions: How and why are strategy theories and concepts used and “performed” in practice? What are the implications and impact of the performativity of strategy?
We would like management scholars to engage thoroughly with Michel Callon’s idea that economics and management theories are performative, that is they perform and shape the external world. However, we also consider that other conceptualizations of performativity – such as the conceptualization developed by the Communicative Constitution of Organization perspective, Barad’s post-humanist approach to performativity, or the concept of performative praxis – offer promising avenues to address these questions. The purpose of this Special Issue is to engage scholars who have an interest in the discursive, social-material or practice-based dimensions of the performativity of strategy. We will therefore consider conceptual and empirical manuscripts as long as they explicitly mobilize one (or several) conceptualizations of performativity and they seek to create a new body of knowledge concerning the relationships between strategy theories and practice. We also welcome manuscripts that critically reflect on strategy theories’ influence on organizational reality.
We encourage papers from researchers and practitioners that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
* How and to what extent does strategic management acquire the power to shape organizational life and the organizational field? Are strategy theories self-fulfilling prophecies? Can strategy be approached as performative praxis—a set of activities that contribute to turning a theory into social reality?
* How are some strategic management frameworks and tools such as Porter’s five forces framework, Barney’s VRIN model or Freeman’s stakeholder theory more performative than others?
* How do performativity struggles between alternative models or theories of strategy in organizations emerge? For instance, how do strategy theories compete with economic representations of the firm, financial models (e.g., real option modelling) and theories, models and concepts from other disciplines (e.g., decision theory, sociology, ecology) to shape organizational strategies?
* How do academics and practitioners interact (or compete) when designing or diffusing innovative strategic concepts, such as the Bottom of the Pyramid, Blue Ocean Strategy, Coopetition or the Red Queen Effect?
* If business models are models encapsulating an organization’s strategy, to what extent are these models “performative”? Where does the performative power of business models come from?
* How are strategy and management consultants, and other professionals involved in the performativity of strategy?
In responding to this call, we particularly welcome empirical contributions that document the concrete and practical effects of strategy theory. In terms of methodology, we welcome submissions in which a variety of research strategies and methods for collecting and analysing data are used.
Process and Deadlines
Stage 1: Submission of a 1000-words abstract by 30 September 2014
Please submit an extended abstract or a clear expression of interest to the guest editors by 30 September 2014 at the email address that follows: email@example.com. All abstracts will receive a first screening and feedback by the guest editors who will encourage authors of promising abstracts to submit full manuscripts to the Special Issue.
Stage 2: Papers for the special issue will have to be sent by 15 March 2015
Papers for the special issue should be prepared according to LRP’s guidelines for authors (www.lrp.ac). Papers will undergo a normal reviewing process. Please submit full manuscripts to the online submission system of LRP before 15 March 2015:
Should you have any questions about the Special Issue process and deadlines, please contact the guest editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
30 September 2014 Submission of abstract
15 October 2014 Notification to authors regarding their abstract submission
15 March 2015 Submission of full paper to Long Range Planning
Winter 2016 Intended publication of Special Issue
Barad, K. 2003. Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(3): 801-831.
Barad, K. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning: Duke University Press.
Cabantous, L., & Gond, J.-P. 2011. Rational decision-making as a ‘performative praxis’: Explaining rationality’s éternel retour. Organization Science, 22(3): 573-586.
Cabantous, L., Gond, J.-P. & Johnson-Cramer, M. 2010. Decision theory-as-practice: Crafting economic rationality in organizations. Organization Studies, 31(11): 1531- 1566.
Callon, M. 1998. The Laws of the Markets. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Callon, M. 2007. What does it mean to say that economics is performative? In D.MacKenzie, F. Muniesa, & L. Siu (Eds.), Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Princeton University Press.
Cochoy F., Giraudeau M., McFall L. 2010. Performativity, economics and politics: An overview, Journal of Cultural Economy, 3(2): 139-146.
Cooren, F. 2004. Textual agency: How texts do things in organizational settings. Organization, 11(3): 373-393.
Doganova, L., & Eyquem-Renault, M. 2009. What do business model do? Innovation devices in technology entrepreneurship. Research Policy, 38(10): 1559-1570.
Ferraro, F., Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. 2005. Economic language and assumptions: How theories can become self-fulfilling. Academy of Management Review, 30(1): 8-24.
Ghoshal, S. 2005. Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(1): 75-91.
Hardy, C., Palmer, I., & Phillips, N. 2000. Discourse as a strategic resource. Human relations, 53(9): 1227-1248.
MacKenzie, D., & Millo, Y. 2003. Constructing a market, performing a theory: the historical sociology of a financial derivatives exchange. American Review of Sociology, 109(1): 107-145.
Orlikowski, W., J., & Scott, S. V. 2008. Sociomateriality: Challenging the separation of technology, work and organization. Academy of Management Annals, 2(1): 433-474.
Vaara, E., Sorsa, V., & Pälli, P. 2010. On the force potential of strategy texts: A critical discourse analysis of a strategic plan and its power effects in a city organization. Organization, 17(6): 685-702.
Call for Applications for 4-year Doctoral Studentship at Cass Business School, City University London
January 29, 2014
By: Paula Jarzabkowski
Applicants with excellent research potential are invited to apply for two fully-funded, full-time, 4-year Doctoral Studentships to commence in October 2014, working under the lead supervision of Professor Paula Jarzabkowski. These studentships will cover tuition fees and provide an annual bursary.
Cass Business School, City University London is one of Europe’s leading providers of business and management education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is fast developing into the intellectual hub of the City of London. The School is renowned worldwide for its extensive and high quality research and The Financial Times has ranked our PhD offering in the top 40 in the world every year since 2007.
Proposals are invited on the topic of practice theory approaches to strategy and organization. While the research context and topic is open, candidates taking an explicitly strategy-as-practice approach, and those with an interest in studying finance industries and/or financial risk are particularly welcome.
One studentship is specifically open for those with a particular interest in the area of video ethnography. The successful applicant would take part in an existing video-ethnographic programme of research examining trading of risk in the reinsurance industry. Applicants for this studentship will join a team and an ongoing programme of research into the reinsurance industry at Cass.
We invite applications from students who have (or can show evidence that they reasonably expect to have) a Masters degree from a leading university with top grades in business, sociology, anthropology or a relevant discipline for the topic areas. Only applicants interested in pursuing an academic career will be considered.
How to apply: Applicants should contact Professor Paula Jarzabkowski directly to discuss their interest via email onP.Jarzabkowski@city.ac.uk. All applicants will also need to fill out the PhD application form, which may be accessed on the Cass Business School website: http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/courses/phd/how-to-apply.
January 27, 2014
Everyday Debt and Credit: Special Issue of Cultural StudiesCULTURAL STUDIESSpecial Issue: Everyday Debt and CreditCo-edited by Gregory J. Seigworth (Millersville University) and Joe Deville (Goldsmiths, University of London)Call for PapersHow do ordinary matters of credit and debt circulate through the space-times of the everyday and the intimate? How has their manner of circulation and the nature of their saturation into the lives of borrowers changed in the age of the app, of the mobile interface, of social media? What are the new technologically enabled effects of debt and credit? Where and how is everyday indebtedness felt by its users and inflected in and through the architectures and atmospheres surrounding them? And, further, what are these postures and practices of our emerging economy of debt and credit pointing toward? From the advent of digitally mediated peer to peer lending to credit scores consulted on first dates (calculating risk before date #2), from cloud-connected loyalty cards to mobile payment and wallet technologies, from the multi-pronged and carefully designed affective tactics of debt collectors to the strategies of gamification for savings and personal finance and more – the material and immaterial articulations of debt and credit have woven themselves ever more ubiquitously into the ecologies of the everyday. If the sheer pervasiveness of credit and debt has become a defining feature of our era, we argue that their omnipresence cannot be confronted as merely one more topic for consciousness-raising and ideology critique. From the data-defined subjectivities of instantaneous algorithmic calculations to those age-old debates over the moralities and immoralities of debt to the emergence of redrawn bodily capacities (extended? shrunken?) and institutional/networked accesses (granted? denied?) that arise with evermore technologically-mediated credit/debt relationships, our contributors will reveal how matters of credit and debt must be met in their myriad relational entanglements with both the fine-grained and roughhewn practices of daily life.Thus, we welcome essays that provide an empirics of indebtedness as it traverses this varied social and material terrain of the everyday. This includes a contextual focus on the specific apparatuses, devices, encounters, dispositions and affects of routine indebtedness and how different forms of credit reach into and attach themselves to domains often coded, as private, domestic, mundane, and non-economic. In attending to the particularities of daily intersections with credit and/or debt contributions might also consider how these mundane mediations of the economic connect to and shape apparent contextual commonalities, how the politics of ubiquitous credit is distributed, and where and in what form resistances, hacks and new debtor publics might be found. The issue aims to be disciplinarily diverse, to potentially include sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, political economists, cultural theorists, critical analysts of finance, and those working in science and technology studies, while also inviting contributions from designers, architects, managers and activists. We welcome diverse and innovative takes on everyday indebtedness, ranging from (but not limited to) auto-ethnographic accounts to those investigating through a mix of sensory and/or digital approaches to credit & debt practices.Please contact the editors with a proposal of 500 words presenting an orientation/overview of your angle of approach to this topic by February 15, 2014. Finished articles are also welcome at anytime but of course slight revisions to better address our issue’s themes should be expected.Final full paper submissions are due no later than July 15, 2014. Articles are generally between 5000-8000 words (double spaced, size 12 font), including abstract and references. An abstract of 300 words (including 6 keywords) must be included for purposes of journal review. Please supply an email address and other relevant contact information with your submission. Multi-author works should clearly designate a corresponding author. Manuscripts must conform to the Harvard reference style. Consult the journal’s Taylor and Francis website for further specifics on formatting and author guidelines.
January 23, 2014
Christian Borch at Copenhagen Business School has announced the speaker schedule for his Research Colloquium on ‘Crowd Dynamics and Financial Markets’.
The aim of this research colloquium is to explore crowd dynamics, financial markets and possible links between the two. For further information, please contact Professor Christian Borch (email@example.com) or visit http://info.cbs.dk/crowds.
Venue: Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Porcelaenshaven 18A, Room 3.135, DK–2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
List of Spring 2014 talks after the jump:
Tenure-track opportunity in social and political studies of financial markets at the University of Edinburgh
January 21, 2014
From Frances Burgess:
The University of Edinburgh is advertising for tenure-track Chancellor’s Fellows, which are fellowships intended to support outstanding candidates at the start of their independent academic careers. Successful candidates will initially concentrate mainly on research, but will gradually build up a teaching portfolio. Subject to satisfactory review at the end of three years, the Fellow will move to an open-ended contract. One of the priority areas for these Fellowships in the School of Social and Political Science is social and political studies of financial markets.
University-level web page on Chancellor’s Fellowships in general:
Information for potential candidates:
SPS’s priority areas (see page 3).
Vacancy details for candidates, including where to apply.
January 20, 2014
By Peter Wissoker
Last week The New York Times ran an obituary for Thomas Chrystie, the person at Merrill Lynch who recognized the value of idea of a cash management account (C.M.A.) and sold it to Donald Regan, then the head of the firm (as written about in Joe Nocera’s book, A Piece of the Action, who used Chrystie as a source as well).
It is to be expected that Chrystie’s death would probably be of some interest to readers of this blog (as well as a reminder for those of us with an interest in the economic history of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that we better do our interviewing sooner than later). But it is the material at the end of the obituary that really lifts the piece from memorial to story, and serves as a timely reminder that the notion of a single organizational identity is highly suspect. It reads:
“Mr. Chrystie was involved in other Merrill Lynch initiatives, but the C.M.A. was what he was most widely known for in the financial world, though not always with unalloyed gratitude. At a company awards ceremony soon after it was introduced, Merrill’s brokers, mourning what they saw as lost future earnings, presented him, good-naturedly, with a gold-plated casting of a human (or possibly canine) dropping.”
Readers will be pleased to know that according to his family: “The trophy…remained one of Mr. Chrystie’s most prized possessions.”
Peter Wissoker is a PhD student in Regional and Urban Planning at Cornell University
Call for papers: pre-SASE mini-conference, “Opening the Black Box of Financial Institutions.” Chicago, July 2014
January 16, 2014
The deadline for submissions is January 20th 2014.
The recent financial crisis has furthered a growing interest in sociology of finance. Studies have focused mainly on the causes or consequences of the crisis, investigating issues related to sociology of knowledge or to the functioning of financial institutions and their regulation. In the proposed session, we would be interested in contributions that open the black box of financial institutions, studying financial actors at work. Who are those “greedy bankers” who triggered so much public anger during the crisis? How are they recruited, trained, and promoted? How is their work environment organized? What is the ethos prevailing in financial institutions and their sub-divisions? We welcome studies that illuminate financial actors’ personal and professional trajectory, their status hierarchies, their norms and modes of cooperation and restraint, and their worldviews more generally. Financial actors could belong to different kinds of institutions, from investment banks to credit rating agencies to regulatory agencies. We welcome both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Papers for this session could address questions such as the following:
- A. Value and values on Wall Street
- How is economic cooperation and restraint enforced on Wall Street?
- How do financial actors frame their obligations towards their peers, their clients, and/or society in general?
- B. Personal and professional trajectories
- How do career paths and compensation practices on Wall Street affect individuals’ conception of their work? How is compensation distributed and perceived internally?
- The revolving door and its consequences on regulation: myth or reality?
- C. The organization of the work environment
- How is the work of valuation (in its various manifestations) organized?
- How do spatial and technological arrangements shape interactions and coordination?
Submissions for panels will be open to all scholars on the basis of an extended abstract. The mini-conference will be composed of 2 to 3 panels, depending on the quality of the submissions. Selected participants must submit a completed paper to discussant and organizers by June 1, 2013. If a paper proposal cannot be accommodated within the mini-conference, it will be forwarded to the most appropriate research network as a regular submission.
Organizers: Olivia Nicol and David Stark
January 4, 2014
In her latest column, Gillian Tett’s shines a spotlight on the role of IT specialists in the universe of finance. Risk management requires information -> Information is produced through technical systems -> Systems are built by IT specialists. Bingo!
Investment bankers, traders, financial theorists, hedge fund managers, and so on are all alluring figures whom we love to study. But none of them fully defines the anthropos – the kind of human being – that creates the financial system.
Finance is enabled by a growing network of faceless information systems providers who design and build the infrastructures in which financial activities exists. (You can’t trade in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin without invisible nerds like Satochi!)
As Gillian underscores, however, in major financial institutions the relationship between finance and IT is fraught with tension. The members of these groups do not speak the same languages and do not automatically share objectives.
The deeper message is that the stakes of finance are being negotiated at the point where managers, users and regulators meet with a gaggle of IT companies and consultants. Glitch or no glitch, how these groups interact and what they agree to implement, has a profound impact on outcomes.
Gillian’s conclusion speaks volumes to researchers interested in our current financial moment:
we need to ask challenging questions, admit that we do not understand “gobbledegook” and demand answers. And that applies whether you are a humble journalist, a consumer or a CEO – or even the US president.
January 3, 2014
For the next SASE Meeting (2014, Chicago) Jeanne Lazarus, Mariana Luzzi, and José Ossandón are organizing a mini-conference “Domesticizing Financial Economies: Knitting Fibers of Transaction, Algorithm and Exchange”.
Deadline for submission, January 20, 2014.
Social scientists looking for the institutional foundations of capitalism have often missed the way in which market economies, of all sorts, rely on the particular ways in which monetary transactions are knitted together with a range of other agents. This mini conference focuses its attention on the everyday encounters with monetary devices, commercial circuits, algorithms and financial assessment and exchange. By doing so it aims to bridge two stimulating areas in current social research. The first is the move within the social study of finance away from the trading floor to the highly specific ways in which monetary transactions are made, thought about and experienced. The second includes studies following how “big” transactional data is not only becoming a means for visualizing, assessing and targeting specific groups, but is also enabling the transaction itself to become a crucial site of global economic production.
Papers with varied disciplinary backgrounds discussing the following issues are welcome:
- The intimate dimensions of monetary and financial transactions, whether in the moment of exchange itself, or before and after;
- The ways in which household finances become entangled with and affected by a range of socio-technical devices;
- Emerging financial products and services (e.g. subprime lending, credit score management services, department store credit cards, pawn shops and new way of banking) targeting domestic finance that are re-shaping the financial ecologies faced by consumers;
- New transactional technologies (e.g. algorithms, databases, payment cards) and their new ways of sorting, screening and valuing financial consumers;
- Domestic financial products and their entanglement with “high” finance and broader economic chains;
- Controversies, matters of concern, new affected groups, publics and commercial circuits being co-produced with contemporary domestic financial landscapes.
Mini-conferences are based around a selected number of focused themes, and have open submissions for panels and papers, based on an extended abstract (approx. 1000 words). Each mini-conference will consist of 2 to 6 panels. Each panel will have a discussant, meaning that selected participants must submit a completed paper by June 1st. If a paper proposal cannot be accommodated within a mini-conference, organizers will forward it to the program committee, who will pass it on to one of the networks as a regular submission. Click the title of each mini-conference for a full description of the theme. Submissions to the SASE conference must be made through one of the Mini-Conferences below (or through a research Network). Paper and session abstracts, as well as full papers for grant, prize, and stipend applications, must be submitted to a Network or Mini-Conference by January 20, 2014. Candidates will be notified by February 17, 2014. Please note that Mini-Conferences require an extended (~1,000 word) abstract, and ask that you submit a full paper by March 31, 2014. For further information, please contact the organizer of the mini-conference to which you are submitting.