In the Midst of a Storm: Forging Future Paths for Bourdieu-inspired Organizational and Management Studies

Kristian Larsen, Jette Ernst, Ole Jacob Thomassen, Sarah Robinson

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The chapters in this volume have shown how organizations and their internal dynamics are related to the broader fields surrounding them at specific moments in history. Building on their contributions, the aims of this chapter are to offer examples of the interconnectedness of the COVID-19 crisis as it relates to key management and organization studies (MOS) themes. In particular, the concepts of transnational field, crisis and hysteresis are applied as central tools in studying the limits of strict organizational and meso-level analysis and offering MOS scholars Bourdieu-inspired alternatives for studying the affects of COVID-19 and the ways forward.

We argue that the COVID-19 pandemic, as a major crisis across transnational fields, serves as a window offering insights into the multiple dimensions and interconnectedness of organizational life in relation to broader changes in society. We demonstrate how such crisis challenges or changes the rules of the game, doxa and the nature, distribution and conversion of cultural, social and economic capital within organizational and professional fields. The COVID-19 crisis has led to increased mortality rates in most countries, widespread unemployment and increased issues of inequality and precarity. But simultaneously the crisis has produced new and innovative job types and mass employment. We offer some suggestions as to how Bourdieu-inspired research can investigate the impact of such changes on organizations in the longer term in fundamental areas such as culture, leadership, communication, digitalization and working conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPierre Bourdieu in Studies of Organization and Management : Societal Change and Transforming Fields
EditorsSarah Robinson, Jette Ernst, Kristian Larsen, Ole Jacob Thomassen
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9780367893354 (hbk), 9781032107509 (pbk)
ISBN (Electronic)9781003022510
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesRoutledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society

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