SEMINAR 27/11 with Professor Robert Gephart on “Narratives of resistance to the oil and gas industry”

We, TripleEd and the research profile “Leadership, Organization and Working life” @ the Department of Pedagogy, are excited to welcome Professor Robert Gephart from University of Alberta to Umeå. Professor Gephart is an extremely well-known professor in the broad field of organization studies, with a particular interest in crises and qualitative methods. You find his biography below. We really hope that you take the opportunity to attend the two events. There will be one seminar and one workshop. Please see information below.





SEMINAR – Narratives of resistance to the oil and gas industry

WHERE: Hörsal C

WHEN: 27th of Nov

TIME: 10.15-12

Signing up is not required but appreciated;



Robert P. Gephart is Professor of Business at the University of Alberta and Chercheur associé at Institut de socio-économie des entreprises et des organizations, Magellan, IAE Lyon, Université Jean Moulin.  Dr. Gephart is an internationally recognized scholar whose research has contributed important advances in qualitative research methods for the social and management sciences.  His substantive research has also provided important insights into the management of organizational risks, crises and emergencies.  Dr. Gephart served for over 10 years as Associate Editor of the Organization Research Methods journal.  He has published in a number of highly visible journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Management Organization Studies, and Organizational Research Methods.  Dr. Gephart is the author of Ethnostatistics: Qualitative foundations for qualitative research (Sage, 1988), co-editor of Postmodern Management and Organization Theory (Sage, 1996, with D. Boje and T. Thatchenkery) and lead editor of The Routledge Companion to Risk, Crisis and Emergency Management (2019 with C. C. Miller and K. Svedberg Helgesson). Dr. Gephart received the 2015 Sage/Research Methods Division Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Management for his contributions to organizational research methods and launching the field of ethnostatistics.

Please distribute freely!

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PUBLISHED: Buchanan & Hällgren – “Surviving a zombie apocalypse: Leadership configurations in extreme contexts”

David Buchanan and Markus Hällgren have their leadership article based on the zombie classic “Day of the Dead” by George Romero published in pre-print. Available at the journal of “Management Learning”. If you´d like a copy drop any of the authors an email.


What can the classic zombie movie, Day of the Dead, tell us about leadership? In our analysis of this film, we explore leadership behaviours in an extreme context – a zombie apocalypse where survivors face persistent existential threat. Extreme context research presents methodological challenges, particularly with regard to fieldwork. The use of films as proxy case studies is one way in which to overcome these problems, and for researchers working in an interpretivist perspective, ‘social science fiction’ is increasingly used as a source of inspiration and ideas. The contribution of our analysis concerns highlighting the role of leadership configurations in extreme contexts, an approach not previously addressed in this field, but one that has greater explanatory power than current perspectives. In Day of the Dead, we observe several different configurations – patterns of leadership styles and behaviours – emerging, shifting and overlapping across the phases of the narrative, each with radically different consequences for the group of survivors. These observations suggest a speculative theory of leadership configurations and their implications in extreme contexts, for exploring further, with other methods.

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First ODD seminar – Ulrica Nyhlen opens up with ”The history of a paper”

Today we had the pleasure of having the first ODD seminar of the semester. Ulrica told the story about the paper “Multi-professional teamwork in human services: The mutual shaping of professional identity and team activities” ( she have just published. A story of the ups and downs of academia, and the benefits of collegial feedback.

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Today Professor Stewart Clegg at UTS, Sidney visited TripleEd and USBE. As part of the activities he gave a talk based on the paper “EMERGENT COORDINATION FAILURES IN FREELANCE IMPROVISATION: LESSONS FROM THE “ROAD OF DEATH”. Unfortunately the paper was so interesting that no photo was taken. The paper is based on a wildfire in Portugal that caught several people at a bad spot, that eventually killed them. The paper is an example of the darkside of improvisation and its consequences.

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Seminar with Professor Ann Cunliffe on “Wayfaring: A Scholarship of Possibilities. Or Let’s not get drunk on abstraction”

Today Ann gave her second seminar at USBE. This time it was a seminar titled “Wayfaring: A Scholarship of Possibilities. Or Let’s not get drunk on abstraction.” Ann argue that our academic work is becoming increasingly normalized through the gatekeeping activities of journal editors, funding bodies, ranking systems, and so on. This is resulting in a narrowing of scholarship: of methods, of theorizing, and of ways in which we write our accounts. She suggest that one way of addressing this situation is to build a more pluralistic scholarship of possibilities, one that requires us to humanify ourselves and others. Ann draw on anthropologist Tim Ingold’s notion of ‘wayfaring’ as a metaphor for re-thinking how we might conduct our research as a scholarship of possibilities, and suggest this involves foresight, imagination and reflexivity.

Quite obviously this topic a very relevant for studying extreme contexts that by definition, is extreme, challenging what is taken for granted.

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This track will address a major gap in our understanding – organising for resilience in contexts that are abnormal, exceptional, or extreme. This can involve the processes of anticipating, preparing for, responding to and learning from disruptive events in order to survive and prosper.

Our specific focus is on in extreme contexts where risks of severe physical, psychological harm or material consequences threaten the viability of an organisation and the safety and well-being of its organisational members. We will explore the theoretical, methodological and practical dimensions of the topic.

Track organizers: Professor David Denyer (Cranfield University); Professor Markus Hällgren (Umeå university); Professor Martina Linnenluecke (Macquarie University); Doctor Elmar Kutsch (Cranfield University); Dr Mark Hall
(Birmingham University); Doctor Hugo Marynissen (Antwerp Management School)


The Euram website

Hope to see you in Lisboa!”

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Workshop with Professor Ann Cunliffe on Publishing in top-tier journals

Today we had the pleasure of having Professor Ann Cunliffe giving a seminar on Publishing in top tier journals, specifically how to deal with reviewers’ comments. A number of different take aways but among those the Golden rule of writing: “Tell them what you are going to say—>TELL THEM—>Tell them what you have said”

We will have the pleasure of enjoying Ann’s company and great mind for a week!

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Markus presenting the Annals paper on extreme contexts at the R3 research seminar

The R3 research group stands for Risk, Resilience and Reliability. It is a newly formed interdisciplinary network that currently is organized by Amy Fraher and Mark Hall at Birmingham University. Markus was invited to present his and Linda Rouleau´s and Mark de Rond´s Annals paper on extreme contexts. It was a great seminar with plenty of interesting thoughts and discussions following presentations by senior and junior scholars alike.

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How to survive a zombie infection – and other minor disasters

Today I, Markus, had the pleasure of listening to Herman Geijer. The expert on how to survive a zombie infection. Herman has written two books about the phenomena and now is giving talks all over Sweden about how to best prepare. It was a pleasure to listen to him, giving examples that are highly relevant to our behaviors and contemporary examples of disasters, such as 9-11, Hurricane Sandy, Forest fires in Sweden and bridges that breaks and people keep driving off from. I should nuance this slightly, Herman is indeed talking about zombies, but as a metaphor for understanding society´s preparedness level for more common disasters. From a extreme context point of view, it is yet an example of what we can learn when we apply such a empirical lens! Btw, the photo do not show it, but the room was packed!

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