Organization theory is a vast domain in research and practice where different elements interact, originating a unique setting for multidisciplinarity. Organizations are convenient microcosms where we can observe economic, social, political, and technological dynamics unfold and interact.
As scholars and artists alike have noted in the past, organizations are the fabrics of social life; according to Chester Barnard, the very way in which our species progresses in its evolution. As organization theorists affiliated with ASSIOA, we have grown into a vast community of ideas and approaches to reflect the multiplicity of interests, issues, and dilemmas to be explored within and across organizations.
Our journey toward ever greater richness is continuing and our WOA is a recurring landing point to share what puzzles us and recognize the existence of a community of interests and practices which is lively and supportive. Our conference is a chance to know what others are working on, to develop new ideas and create commitments in order to promote new research together.
Alongside these elements common to any conference, our WOA is an occasion to reflect on what we share, our identity as scholars and reinforce it by being aware of where we come from and where we are heading.
The twentieth WOA will engage scholars in a conversation on the interplay between identity and pluralism at a time when many changes are challenging what we know. Technology is reshaping the meaning of division of work and coordination, and even the borders of what is human in and around organizations, anticipating the emergence of robots and machine-based agents. Global socio-demographic processes are leading to massive migration processes and changes in the focus of economic processes. Societal values are changing the habits and patterns of consumption and the use of resources. Many other challenges are waiting for us to consider them in our theorizing and researching.
The next WOA will explicitly invite each of us to reflect on identity and pluralism both across our paper tracks and in selected panels where we will discuss what lies ahead of us in the light of where we have come from.