Area of Expertise
- Entrepreneurial Studies
- Institutional Change
- Organizational Strategy
- Organizational Theory
- Social Innovation
- Social Organization
- Strategic Management
I conduct research on the dynamics of social change at organizational, industry and societal levels. I am especially interested in how people and organizations deploy cultural resources to bring about or resist social change. I have studied the role of emotions in social change, the role of social movements in creating popular support for local products, and organizations’ efforts to promote new ideas. I am currently conducting several projects that examine the role of authenticity in business and in society at large. I am also studying organizational and societal responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. My work appears or is forthcoming in such leading management journals as Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, and Harvard Business Review, among others.
I am a Senior Editor at Organization Studies. I am also currently serving on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, and Research in the Sociology of Organizations. I also review for a variety of other leading scholarly journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and American Sociological Review.
2022 Best Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review, August 2022
2021 Schulich Research Excellence Fellowship
2020 Mike Wright Prize for Best Journal of Management Studies Reviewer
2020 Best Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Journal, August 2020
2020 Best Developmental Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Review
2018 Best Reviewer Award, Journal of Management Studies
2015 Distinguished Researcher Award, Goodman School of Business, Brock University
2015 Emerald Citations of Excellence
2014 Best Developmental Reviewer, CMS Division of the Academy of Management
2012 Finalist, Best Published Paper in Organization and Management Theory
2010 Best Paper Award from CMS Division of the Academy of Management (with Russ Vince)
2009 Best Paper of 2009 from International Small Business Journal (with Dirk De Clercq)
Voronov, M., Foster, W.M., Patriotta, G. and Weber, K. (Forthcoming), "Distilling Authenticity: Materiality and Narratives in Canadian Distilleries’ Authenticity Work", Academy of Management Journal.Keywords
Authenticity is increasingly seen as a source of competitive advantage in many industries. Accordingly, authenticity work, the organizational efforts to develop and sustain believable authenticity claims, has emerged as an important organizational practice. We examined the interplay of materiality and narratives underpinning producers’ authenticity work in the context of incumbent and micro-distilleries operating in the Canadian whisky industry. We found that producers’ material endowments, especially central product features, anchored what authenticity claims they could credibly narrate. Other material endowments, such as key people and architectural design, were used to reinforce the integrity of authenticity claims. Our study extends our understanding of authenticity as a valued organizational resource. First, we identify two mechanisms, anchoring and reinforcement, through which materiality both constrains and facilitates organizations’ authenticity narratives. Second, our research brings to the fore how audience members’ experiential closeness to producers colors their perceptions of authenticity, and we show how material artifacts can enhance such closeness. Third, our findings enrich the understanding of competitive value of authenticity in the context of strategy by unpacking how producers’ material endowments may constitute a resource or a liability.
Ruebottom, T., Buchanan, S., Voronov, M. and Toubiana, M. (Forthcoming), "Commercializing the Practice of Voyeurism: How Organizations Leverage Authenticity and Transgression to Create Value", Academy of Management Review.
Voyeurism violates dominant moral codes in many societies. Yet, for a number of businesses, including erotic webcam, reality television, slum tourism, and mixed martial arts, voyeurism is an important part of value creation. The success of such businesses that violate dominant moral codes raises questions about value creation that existing theory in management cannot adequately answer. To help advance our understanding, we theorize how businesses commercializing voyeurism create value for audiences. Conceptualizing voyeurism as a social practice, we identify two dimensions of voyeurism—authenticity and transgression—that help create value by generating desirable emotional responses that facilitate a distinctive experience for audiences. However, we further argue that these same dimensions can also hinder value creation by generating undesirable emotional responses that may lead audiences to disengage from the practice. Accordingly, we contend that businesses’ ability to deliver value to audiences hinges on effective emotional optimization—efforts to reduce undesirable emotional responses by dampening the authenticity or transgression in the voyeuristic practice, while reinforcing the associated desirable emotional responses. We contribute to the literature by advancing a novel theory of the commercialization of voyeuristic practice. In doing so, we also enrich our understanding of both authenticity and transgression.
Trish Ruebottom, Madeline Toubiana, Maxim Voronov, and Sean Buchanan (2022), "Selling Voyeurism: How Companies Create Value From the Taboo", The Conversation.
What do reality television, slum tourism, erotic webcam and mixed-martial arts have in common? They all rely on voyeurism to entertain their audiences. Voyeurism provides a glimpse into the private life of another person to give audiences a revealing and entertaining experience.
In mixed martial arts (MMA), for example, it provides a close-up look at the violence of a no-holds-barred fight. On reality television shows, like Survivor and Big Brother, voyeurism creates the excitement, thrills and shock that entertainment-hungry consumers crave.
In most societies, voyeurism is taboo. Yet a growing number of businesses across a wide range of industries are successfully selling voyeurism to a growing audience.
As management researchers, we study the intersection of organizations and society. In our recently published research, we explain how businesses use two key dimensions — authenticity and transgression — to create a commercial opportunities from voyeurism.
Voronov, M., Glynn, M.A., and Weber, K. (2022), "Under the Radar: Institutional Drift and Non-Strategic Institutional Change", Journal of Management Studies, 59(3), 819-842.
Although researchers have acknowledged that not all institutional change results from the intentional efforts of relatively reflexive actors, we lack an explanation of how mundane interactions between actors can result in non-strategic institutional change. To address this, we advance the theory of institutional drift that reveals how the practice deviation(s) that occur between interaction partners in an institutional order, transformed into tolerable deviations by the self and others, can lead to the non-strategic transformation of that institutional order. Our framework extends the interactionist perspective in organizational institutionalism by showing how interpersonal interactions are animated and constrained by people’s passionate attachment to the fundamental sacred ideals, or ethos, underlying institutional orders. It is this connection with ethos that animates the interactional processes tied to both maintaining and disrupting institutions.
Marianne Cooper and Maxim Voronov (2021), "Why Business Leaders Need to Mandate the Covid-19 Vaccine", Harvard Business Review.
To bring the pandemic under control, almost everyone needs to come to see getting vaccinated as the unquestioned, right thing to do for themselves and for others. What business leaders decide about Covid-19 vaccine mandates will go a long way toward fostering the social norms that can either mitigate or exacerbate this pandemic. When a company mandates Covid-19 vaccinations, the normative information they provide is that these vaccinations are safe and effective and that getting vaccinated is widely accepted and done. As more companies mandate vaccines, over time this becomes the shared understanding, and getting vaccinated becomes the default choice for employees and customers. Conversely, when companies don’t mandate vaccination, it delegitimizes the Covid-19 vaccines by suggesting that the science is unsettled and that waiting to get vaccinated is prudent. By establishing and diffusing social norms that uphold science, company vaccine mandates can help get the pandemic under control.
Voronov, M. and Weber, K. (2020), "People, Actors, and the Humanizing of Institutional Theory", Journal of Management Studies, 57, 873-884.
In much contemporary institutional scholarship, the term ‘actor’ is used as a shorthand for any entity imbued with agency. Talking about actors in institutions thus serves the necessity of allocating agency before returning to the analysis of institutional structures and processes. We find this approach to actorhood limiting, conceptually and normatively. Grounded in the perspective of pragmatist phenomenology, we assert the need for distinguishing between persons and actors, and the value of integrating the person into institutional analysis. We conceive of persons as humans with a reflective capacity and sense of self, who engage with multiple institutions through the performance of institutional roles. People may acquire actorhood by temporarily aligning their self with what is expected from a particular actor‐role in an institutional order. Conversely, institutions enter people’s lifeworld as they are personified in people’s social performances. We outline this perspective and examine conceptual and normative implications that arise from the integration of human experience in institutional analysis.
Zietsma, C., Toubiana, M., Voronov, M. and Roberts, A. (2019), "Emotions and Organization Theory", Cambridge University Press.
Emotions are central to social life and thus they should be central to organization theory. However, emotions have been treated implicitly rather than theorized directly in much of organization theory, and in some literatures, have been ignored altogether. This Element focuses on emotions as intersubjective, collective and relational, and reviews structuralist, people-centered and strategic approaches to emotions in different research streams to provide one of the first broad examinations of emotions in organization theory. Charlene Zietsma, Maxim Voronov, Madeline Toubiana and Anna Roberts provide suggestions for future research within each literature and look across the literatures to identify theoretical and methodological considerations.
De Clercq, D., Thongpapanl, N. and Voronov, M. (2018), "Market Turbulence and Sustainable Behavior: The Critical Roles of Network Embeddedness and Innovative Orientation", Journal of Business Ethics, 148(2), 437-455.
Drawing from research on strategic choice, this study investigates the relationship between market turbulence and firms’ sustainable behavior, in the context of sustainability-related institutional adversity. It argues that the relationship between market turbulence and sustainability is mediated by network embeddedness, and this mediating role in turn is moderated by a firm’s innovative orientation. Data collected from a sample of Ontario restaurants inform predictions about firms’ propensity to adopt local wines in their portfolios, despite the limited market and normative support that these wines receive compared with imported wines. The study shows that market turbulence enhances sustainable firm behavior, through the development of strong network relationships. Furthermore, the mediating effect of network embeddedness is particularly salient among firms that exhibit a stronger innovative orientation. These findings reveal how and when turbulent market conditions can contribute to a firm’s sustainable behaviors in the presence of limited institutional support for such behaviors.
Lok, J., Creed, D., DeJordy, R. and Voronov, M. (2017), "Living Institutions: Brining Emotions into Organizational Institutionalism", The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (2nd Ed), 591-620.Keywords
The historical development of organizational institutionalism has been marked by the so-called cognitive turn (DiMaggio & Powell, 1991), with a particular theoretical emphasis on people as cognitive ‘carriers’ of taken-for-granted institutional ‘schemas’ or ‘scripts’. This emphasis on cognition as the primary modality of institutional processes has recently been challenged as a result of a reinvigorated effort to develop institutional theory’s microfoundations. This has produced a view of institutions not only as cognitively ‘carried’ by people in organizations, but as ‘inhabited’ (Hallett, 2010; Hallett & Ventresca, 2006) by people who can actively engage in the work of maintaining, creating, or disrupting institutions (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006). These recent developments have triggered increasing attention to a modality of institutional life that has largely been ignored in the literature on organizational institutionalism until very recently: emotions. Institutions help to make our lives orderly and predictable. They spare us the need to rethink every encounter and every situation, and they enable us to operate relatively smoothly as citizens, employees and family members. But why do we heed institutional norms and conform to institutional prescriptions? And why do we, on occasion, rebel against them and seek to transform or overthrow them? Until the recent turn to institutional theory’s microfoundations, people did not figure prominently in neo-institutional research, and these kinds of questions did not arise. In fact, as we argue in this chapter, people – as opposed to ‘individuals’, ‘actors’, or ‘agents’ – are still largely absent from neo-institutional analysis. Our primary motivation for considering the role of emotions in institutions is therefore animated by the fundamental question that Hallett and Ventresca (2006: 214) posed to contemporary institutionalism: ‘What are we to do about people?’ Over the past three decades organizational institutionalism’s increasing theoretical and methodological sophistication in its treatment of institutions has not been matched by its conceptualization of people, who have traditionally been characterized in a rather flat and one-dimensional manner, either as cognitive misers driven mainly by habit, or as interest-seeking agents. In this chapter, we will prompt scholars who agree that this mismatch presents a serious theoretical challenge to consider possible paths to better understanding institutional processes as ‘lived’; as animated by persons with emotions, social bonds and commitments, by persons to whom institutional arrangements matter ([C22Q1]Sayer, 2011). In order to better understand why some people engage in particular forms of institutional work and not others, ‘we need to understand how people experience the institutional arrangements that not only shape the resources available to them, but also make their lives meaningful and prime how they think and feel’ (Voronov & Yorks, 2015: 579). Thus, our focus is on ‘the socially embedded, interdependent, relational, and emotional nature of persons’ lived experiences of institutional arrangements’ (Creed, Hudson, Okhuysen, & Smith-Crowe, 2014a: 278). A more sophisticated theoretical treatment of people in organizational institutionalism has the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of the social processes producing institutional stability and change; this project necessarily involves a systematic integration of emotions into our theorizing. In their essence, institutions condition not only how we think and what actions we consider appropriate in a particular situation, they also condition how we feel about various people, events, practices and rules in our lives. We need to study why people care about certain institutions and despise others. We need to understand how they come to not only understand themselves as particular kinds of institutional ‘actors’, but also how they come to feel like those actors in particular settings, because at no time are institutions more fragile than when people no longer feel what institutions prescribe them to feel (e.g., Creed, DeJordy, & Lok, 2010).
Massa, F., Helms, W., Voronov, M. and Wang, L. (2017), "Emotions Uncorked: Inspiring Evangelism for the Emerging Practice of Cool Climate Winemaking in Ontario", Academy of Management Journal, 60(2), 461-499.
This paper examines how organizations create evangelists, members of key audiences who build a critical mass of support for new ways of doing things. We conduct a longitudinal, inductive study of Ontario’s cool-climate wineries and members of six external audience groups who evangelized on behalf of their emerging winemaking practice. We found that wineries drew from three institutionalized vinicultural templates—“provenance,” “hedonic,” and “glory”—to craft rituals designed to convert these audience members. These rituals led to inspiring emotional experiences among audience members with receptive gourmand and regional identities, driving them to engage in evangelistic behaviors. While a growing body of work on evangelists has emphasized their individual characteristics, the role of emotions in driving their activities, as well as how they advocate for organizations, our study demonstrates how evangelism can be built through ritualized interactions with organizations. Specifically, we reveal how organizations develop rituals that translate emerging practices into inspiring emotional experiences for particular members of audiences. This suggests that rituals can be used not only to incite dedication within organizational boundaries, but to inspire members of external audiences to act as social conduits through which emerging practices spread.
Voronov, M. and Weber, K. (2017), "Emotional Competence, Institutional Ethos and the Heart of Institutions", Academy of Management Review, 42(3), 556-560.
Voronov, M. and Weber, K. (2016), "The Heart of Institutions: Emotional Competence and Institutional Actorhood", Academy of Management Review, 41(3), 456-478.
We develop the concept of emotional competence, which refers to the ability to experience and display emotions that are deemed appropriate for an actor role in an institutional order. Emotional competence reveals a more expansive view of emotions in institutional theory, where emotions are central to the constitution of people as competent actors and lend reality and passionate identification to institutions. We distinguish two facets of emotional competence—private, which is needed to engage in self-regulation, and public, which is needed to elicit other-authorization—and two criteria for assessing emotional competence—the deemed naturalness and authenticity of emotions within an institutional order. These distinctions delineate four processes through which emotional competence ties personal experience and social performance to fundamental institutional ideals, the institution’s ethos. We discuss theoretical and methodological implications of this model for researching institutional processes.
Voronov, M. and Yorks, L. (2015), "Did You Notice That? Theorizing Differences in the Capacity to Apprehend Institutional Contradictions", Academy of Management Review, 40(4), 563-586.
Over the past decade, institutional researchers have relied extensively on the premise that institutional contradictions are key drivers of institutional instability and institutional change. In this article we argue that apprehending institutional contradictions—that is, experiencing institutional arrangements as provisional and potentially changeable upon encountering the contradictions—is more problematic than typically acknowledged. Drawing on insights from constructive developmental theory, we develop an individual-level theory that seeks to explain the differences in people’s capacity to apprehend institutional contradictions. The resulting framework proposes that there are important differences among people with respect to the nature of their investment in institutional arrangements that correspond to the differences in both blockages and facilitators of apprehension. The framework contributes important insights to the study of embedded agency and inhabited institutionalism, as well as strategic change.
Voronov, M. (2014), "Toward a Toolkit for Emotionalizing Institutional Theory", Research on Emotion in Organizations, 10, 167-196.
As institutional theory increasingly looks to the micro-level for explanations of macro-level institutional processes, institutional scholars need to pay closer attention to the role of emotions in invigorating institutional processes. I argue that attending to emotions is most likely to enrich institutional analysis, if scholars take inspiration from theories that conceptualize emotions as relational and inter-subjective, rather than intra-personal, because the former would be more compatible with institutional theory’s relational roots. I review such promising theories that include symbolic interactionism, psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspectives, moral psychology, and social movements. I conclude by outlining several possible research questions that might be inspired by attending to the role of emotions in institutional processes. I argue that such research can enrich the understanding of embedded agency, power, and the use of theorization by institutional change agents, as well as introduce a hereto neglected affective facet into the study of institutional logics.
De Clercq, D., Thongpapanl, N. and Voronov, M. (2014), "Explaining SMEs’ Engagement in Local Sourcing: The Roles of Location-specific Resources and Patriotism", International Small Business Journal, 33(8), 929-950.
This article draws upon the attention-based view when investigating how local sourcing is influenced by the personal resources and values of key decision makers within small firms. We argue that such firms are more likely to engage in local sourcing when key decision makers have access to location-specific human and social capital and strongly identify with their country. Using data from 204 Ontario-based restaurants regarding their decision to source local wines, we find evidence for the enabling role of location-specific resources and patriotism. In addition, we find that patriotism invigorates the effect of location-specific social capital such that local sourcing is stronger when key decision makers exhibit higher levels of patriotism.
Voronov, M., De Clercq, D. and Thongpapanl, N. (2013), "The Ontario Wine Industry: Moving Forward", The World of Niagara Wine, 97-108.
Voronov, M., De Clercq, D. and Hinings, C.R. (2013), "Institutional Complexity and Logic Engagement: An Investigation of Ontario Fine Wine", Human Relations, 66(12), 1563-1596.Keywords
We contribute to research on institutional complexity by acknowledging that institutional logics are not reified cognitive structures, but rather are open to interpretation. In doing so, we highlight the need to understand how actors engage with institutional logics and the creativity that such engagement implies. Using an inductive case study of the Ontario wine industry, we rely on the notion of scripts to explicate how actors engage with the aesthetic and the market logics that are entrenched in their field. Our findings reveal two scripts that are used to adhere to the aesthetic logic (farmer and artist) and one that is used to adhere to the market logic (business professional). We find that not only can actors enact two different scripts to adhere to an institutional logic, but also that flexible script enactment takes place within interactions with specific audiences. Thus, we found no unique match between particular logics and specific audiences, but rather that the aesthetic and the market logics, and their underlying scripts, are relevant in the interactions with each of the audience groups, albeit to varying degrees. These findings have important implications for research on institutional complexity.
Voronov, M., De Clercq, D. and Hinings, C.R. (2013), "Conformity and Distinctiveness in a Global Institutional Framework: The Legitimation of Ontario Fine Wine", Journal of Management Studies, 50(4), 607-645.
The study investigates how local actors pursue two paradoxical aspects of legitimacy in a global institutional framework: the need for global conformity and the need for local distinctiveness. Drawing on the notion of glocalization, it explicates how this pursuit is accomplished by actors’ selective fidelity to global norms and adaptation of these norms to local conditions. The empirical work consists of a five‐year qualitative case study of the Ontario wine industry. It provides empirical evidence for the presence of several non‐mutually exclusive paths through which local actors seek legitimation in a global context. The study offers important implications for future research on legitimation and globalization.
Hills, S., Voronov, M. and Hinings, C.R. (2013), "Putting New Wine in Old Bottles: Utilizing Rhetorical History to Overcome Stigma Associated With a Previously Dominant Logic", Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 39B, 99-137.
In this paper, we seek to highlight how adherence to a dominant logic is an effortful activity. Using rhetorical analysis, we show that the use of rhetorical history provides a key mechanism by which organizations may convince audiences of adherence to a dominant logic, while also subverting or obscuring past adherence to a (currently) subordinate logic. We illustrate such use of rhetorical history by drawing on the case study of Ontario wine industry, where wineries use rhetorical history to demonstrate adherence to the logic of fine winemaking, while obscuring the industry’s past adherence to the now-subordinate and stigmatized logic of alcohol making. Implications for future research on institutional logics are discussed.
Voronov, M. and Vince, R. (2012), "Integrating Emotions into the Analysis of Institutional Work", Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 58-81.
We argue for the importance of including analyses of emotional and unconscious processes in the study of institutional work. We develop a framework that integrates emotions and their connection to domination, and we offer a typology of interactions between the emotional and cognitive antecedents of institutional maintenance, disruption, and creation. We conclude by discussing the implications of paying closer attention to emotions for future institutional research, including questions regarding reproduction versus change, intentionality, and rationality.
- Finalist for the Best Published Paper in Organization and Management Theory Award, OMT Division of the Academy of Management, August 2013
- Emerald Citations of Excellence for 2015 Award
De Clercq, D. and Voronov, M. (2011), "Sustainability in Entrepreneurship: A Tale of Two Logics", International Small Business Journal, 29(4), 322-344.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the role and meaning of sustainability in business practice, it is important to explore the legitimacy drivers that newcomers (entrepreneurs) to a field derive from balancing sustainability and profitability. Drawing on the institutional logics literature and Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, this article theorizes how the characteristics of the field, as well as entrepreneur characteristics and actions, influence the legitimacy derived from adhering to the field-prescribed balance between sustainability and profitability. First, regarding the role of field-level factors, we discuss how the impact of field-imposed expectations on entrepreneur legitimacy may be amplified for dominant and mature fields. Second, regarding the role of micro-level factors, we highlight that whilst previous experience of the field-prescribed balance between sustainability and profitability may amplify the impact of field-imposed expectations on legitimacy, strategic actions can suppress this impact.
De Clercq, D. and Voronov, M. (2009), "Toward a Practice Perspective of Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial Legitimacy as Habitus", International Small Business Journal, 27(4), 395-419.
We argue that entrepreneurship research would benefit from a practice perspective, and drawing from Bourdieu’s work, we envision entrepreneurship as a profoundly socially embedded process connected to entrepreneurs’ positions in structures of power relations. In taking an initial step in the development of a practice perspective of entrepreneurship, we focus on one domain of entrepreneurial action, that is, the gaining of legitimacy by newcomers entering a field, which we conceive as the enactment of entrepreneurial habitus. We question the assumption that a newcomer entering a field automatically is deemed an entrepreneur and instead argue that he or she must be ‘legitimized’ as an entrepreneur by enacting taken-for-granted yet conflicting expectations about ‘fitting in’ with field rules and ‘standing out’ as a rule breaker. We discuss how newcomers’ cultural and symbolic capital shape their ability to attain legitimacy and, in turn, how the interplay between newcomers’ legitimacy and success influences the extent to which the structure of fields becomes reinforced or transformed.
De Clercq, D. and Voronov, M. (2009), "The Role of Cultural and Symbolic Capital in Entrepreneurs’ Ability to Meet Expectations about Conformity and Innovation", Journal of Small Business Management, 47(3), 398-420.
We conceptualize entrepreneurs’ success in acquiring resources as the outcome of a socially embedded process of pursuing legitimacy, which in turn encompasses their ability to meet field incumbents’ expectations about conformity and innovation. Drawing from Bourdieu’s theory of practice, we specifically discuss entrepreneurs’ ability, when entering a business field, to simultaneously conform to existing field arrangements (i.e., to “fit in”) and to be perceived as innovators (i.e., to “stand out”). A possible paradoxical relationship marks entrepreneurs’ ability to meet both of these expectations; we discuss the role of entrepreneurs’ cultural and symbolic capital in this process. In addition, two contingency factors may influence how entrepreneurs’ ability to fit in and stand out affects their resource acquisition. First, the contribution of the two facets of legitimacy to resource acquisition is influenced by the maturity of the field the entrepreneur enters. Second, entrepreneurs’ resource acquisition may be enhanced by their ability to artfully navigate the possible conflicting demands to fit in versus stand out through impression management.
De Clercq, D. and Voronov, M. (2009), "The Role of Domination in Newcomers’ Legitimation as Entrepreneurs", Organization, 16(6), 799-827.
Drawing on Bourdieu’s social theory, we theorize two facets of legitimacy bestowed upon newcomers entering a field: institutional legitimacy, which represents the extent to which newcomers conform with the field’s current power arrangements (‘fit in’) and innovative legitimacy, which pertains to the extent to which newcomers challenge these arrangements (‘stand out’). We conceptualize newcomers’ ability to be endowed with these two facets of legitimacy by field incumbents as a necessary condition to be legitimized as ‘entrepreneurs’ and highlight the forces of domination inherent in this process. We further discuss the intricate and possibly conflicting relationship between incumbents’ expectations about the need for newcomers to fit in and stand out and how newcomers can artfully navigate between these two demands by artfully managing the meaning associated with their and others’ activities. Finally, we discuss the relationship between newcomers’ endowment with legitimacy and the reproduction or transformation of the field’s power arrangements.
Voronov, M. (2009), "From Marginalization to Phronetic Science: Toward a New Role for Critical Management Studies", Journal of Organizational Change Management, 22(5), 549-566.
The purpose of this paper is to explore how critical management studies’ (CMS) awkward relationship with the world of practice may have allowed it to become a dominated field in academia, which features a nearly exclusive focus on research for theory’s sake, a lack of interest or discomfort with practical applications, and a devaluing of non‐academic pursuits. Despite research on oppression, resistance, and emancipation, CMS scholars do not tend to focus on the field’s own domination or to ensure that its emancipatory agenda offers any practical impact. The paper loosely draws on Bourdieu’s notions of habitus and symbolic violence to make sense of his experience of attempting to fit in the CMS community as a scholar interested in practical applications of CMS insights. The paper argues that CMS is uniquely positioned to help organization studies become a phronetic science, both practical and capable of addressing questions of power and values, essential to management practice. The estrangement between theory and practice in CMS is symptomatic of the same phenomenon in the broader organization studies community. The paper addresses not only how CMS can become a more phronetic science but also the benefits of phronetic research for the broader organization studies.
Voronov, M. (2008), "Toward a Practice Perspective on Strategic Organizational Learning", The Learning Organization, 15, 915-221.
“The purpose of this paper is to add to the emerging literatures on organizational learning and strategic management by developing a practice perspective on strategic organizational learning (SOL). While the literature on SOL has been growing, much of it has targeted exclusively practitioners and has not yet elaborated the mechanics and the micro‐dynamics of SOL. This paper is an initial attempt at exploring two important aspects of SOL: deep‐structure politics, and sensegiving.
The paper reports a qualitative case study of a major construction project undertaken by a mid‐size urban university as a part of its strategic change initiative.
Several ways in which deep‐structure politics shaped SOL at the research site are highlighted. The findings suggest that deep‐structure politics and sensegiving can shape identity processes in the context of SOL in important ways, such as dramatically altering the identity of the project team and symbolically separating it from the host institution.
The paper enriches the predominantly practitioner literature on SOL with empirical examination of the practices of SOL.”
Voronov, M. (2008), "Toward Engaged Critical Management Studies", Organization, 15(6), 939-945.
Voronov, M. and Yorks, L. (2005), "Taking Power Seriously in Strategic Organizational Learning", The Learning Organization, 12, 9-25.
“This paper argues that failing to grasp thoroughly the influence of power on the strategy‐making process can severely inhibit the potential of strategy making as a vehicle of organizational learning.
First the organizational learning perspective on strategic management is sketched and an attempt is made to show how it takes the social aspects of organizing more seriously than earlier perspectives on strategy. It is also noted how this iteration responds or at least has the potential to respond to some of the critiques directed at earlier thinking on strategy from critical management studies (CMS). Then CMS’s critique of organizational learning theories is noted and the critiques to re‐conceptualize blockages to learning and knowledge creation are built on.
An attempt has been made to show that, as in earlier perspectives on strategy, there is still insufficient attention being paid to the role of power in strategic change. This places severe limitations on strategic learning that is possible.
Concludes by joining other writers in calling for a less managerialist research in strategy.”
Voronov, M. (2005), "Should Critical Management Studies and Organization Development Collaborate? Invitation to a Contemplation", Organization Management Journal, 2, 4-26.
In this article, the author argues that despite important differences between Critical Management Studies (CMS) and Organization Development (OD), there is enough common ground to make a dialogue worth-while for both fields and for management practice. The author outlines some major “objectives” of each field, noting some important but frequently overlooked similarities and complementarities between them. Power and empowerment are offered as examples of focal topics around which the two disciplines could have a productive discussion, suggesting that such an exchange would help CMS’ important insights about power to have more of an impact on organizational practice while enhancing OD’s ability to tackle issues of power, domination, and politics. Such a conversation can eventually result in improved management practice – more mindful of issues of power and domination-with benefits for both organizational performance and employees’ well-being.
Voronov, M. and Coleman, P. T. (2003), "Beyond the Ivory Towers: Organizational Power Practices and A “Practical” Critical Postmodernism", Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 39, 169-185.
The aim of this article is to consider how the important insights offered by critical management studies (CMS) can be made more accessible to wider audiences and used to inform organizational practice. The authors start by briefly discussing the main ideals and aims of CMS, touching on the heterogeneity of the field and focusing on the issues that CMS scholars have had to address to find receptive ears among non-CMS scholars and practitioners. They then proceed to suggest how CMS may become better able to reach those audiences by offering more accessible concepts and methodologies. The notion of organizational power practices is introduced as a way to facilitate that task by making CMS-inspired investigation of power more accessible and relevant to everyday organizational concerns.
Voronov, M. and Singer, J. A. (2002), "The Myth of Individualism-Collectivism: A Critical Review", Journal of Social Psychology, 142(4), 461-480.Keywords
The authors critically assess the dimension of individualism-collectivism (I-C) and its various uses in cross-cultural psychology. They argue that I-C research is characterized largely by insufficient conceptual clarity and a lack of systematic data. As a result, they call into question the utility of I-C as an explanatory tool for cultural variation in behavior, suggest alternative dimensions for cross-cultural research, and interpret the weaknesses of research on I-C as illustrative of a general trend in social psychology.
Logics of Social Research (Ph.D.)
Theorizing and Theoretical Contribution (Ph.D.)
Resilience to Catastrophic Failure in Organizations (Undergraduate)
Organizations and Their Environments (Undergraduate)
Project Title Role Award Amount Year Awarded Granting Agency Project TitleCanadian Public Sector's Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Conflicting Logics, Emotions and Rhetoric RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$281,111.00 Year Awarded2022 Granting AgencySocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Project TitleInstitutions, movements and emotions: re-building local food RoleCo-Applicant Award Amount$195,980.00 Year Awarded2017 Granting AgencySocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Project TitleDefining rhetorical history: Exploring the work of corporate archivists and historians RoleCo-Applicant Award Amount$332,746.00 Year Awarded2013 Granting AgencySocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Project TitleCreating symbolic value in commercial cultural production: The Ontario wine industry RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$85,024.00 Year Awarded2009 Granting AgencySocial Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Lok, J., Creed, D., DeJordy, R., & Voronov, M. (2017). Living institutions: Brining Emotions into Organizational Institutionalism. In Greenwood, R., Oliver, C., Lawrence, T.B., & Meyer, R.E. The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism (2nd Ed), pp. 591-620. London: Sage.
De Clercq, D., & Voronov, M. (2011). Entrepreneurial Legitimacy as a Set of Discursive Practices. In E. Bonet, & G. Ilipiniar (Eds.), Rhetoric and Management Research. Copenhagen Business School Press.
Voronov, M., & Woodworth, W.P. (2011). OD Discourse and Domination. In D. Boje, B. Burnes, & J. Hassard (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Organizational Change. London, UK: Routledge.
Voronov, M., Wolfram-Cox, J., LeTrent-Jones, T.G. and Weir, D. (2009). Introduction: Intersections of Critical Management Research and Practice: A Multi-Domain Perspective. In J. Wolfram Cox, T.G. LeTrent-Jones, M. Voronov, and D. Weir, (Eds.), Critical Management Studies at Work: Negotiating Tensions between Theory and Practice. Edward Elgar.