Call for Papers: Special Issue - Imagination and organizational lives: Exploring the liminality of the human experience

Inviting original manuscripts for a Special Issue on “Imagination and Organizational Lives: Exploring the Liminality of the Human Experience”

In this special issue of the Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, we invite conversations on the significance of imagination as an essential human need and as an essential human capability. This need and capability, we argue, enable individuals to shape and understand their experiences in work organizations as well as social communities.

Imagination defines human possibility more than the qualities of reason and logic. It provides ways to regenerate our ethical engagements and to re-instil much-needed spiritual meaning when organizations and institutions fail to serve humanity. When the imagination is present and engaged, boundaries shift and thresholds appear, opening a space for individuals to meet with one another in different ways.

This liminal “in-between” quality of the imagination makes it a precious, yet under-researched and possibly under-appreciated, resource for the development of soulful, dynamic, nurturing and resilient organizations and organizational members.

We encourage researchers and practitioners to share their imaginative explorations of what it means to be human in the context of organizations. We seek to engage with the richness and diversity of imagination to help organizations understand complex realities and transcend what may be perceived as limitations. We especially invite contributions that situate, explore, and/or discuss the following:

  1. How imagination is experienced and manifested in organizations and social communities.
  2. How imagination contributes to our understanding of ourselves and of our lives as organizational agents and as social change agents.
  3. How imagination informs reflections on spiritual aspects of management and leadership.
  4. How imaginative stories are expressed and manifested in organizations and/or communities, and what role they play in these contexts.

We welcome manuscripts that explore the imagination in a variety of formats, including creative writing, poetry, visual arts, embodied practice, sonic and musical performances, improvisation and more. We encourage submissions that reflect on practice as well as concepts.

Call for Papers: Special issue - The Economy of Francesco Process: ongoing perspectives for a new economy

As COVID-19 strikes globally, causing an economic slowdown and forcing even the most resilient to move to online platforms, global virtual teams are growing and establishing themselves permanently. This requires greater inclusivity, authenticity, active listening, and, mostly, effective collaboration through different timezones, cultures, organizational behaviors, topics, emotional strain and diversity, leaving no one behind.

Economy of Francesco (EoF), a call made by Pope Francis to gather young changemakers, entrepreneurs and researchers to brainstorm ideas for a new economy, has been working for over a year to introduce collaborative solutions to plant the seeds for a new mindset. With an overarching spiritual framework following the teachings of Saint Francis, it has done so by mixing in its 12 thematic villages apparently contrasting themes such as work and care, finance and humanity, profit and vocation, and agriculture and justice, just to mention a few. As the pandemic caused the event to be postponed in-person, EoF began to move to an online platform via Mighty Networks becoming an online Transformative Community of Change (TCoP).

The process of shifting to an online/offline hybrid reality raised various issues on how to collaborate with a heterogeneous group of constituents who look, think, and act differently from one another (Chrobot-Mason, Ruderman, and Nishii 2013). Participants who are different in terms of race, gender, culture, geographic origin, first language, and other factors (Wasserman and Blake-Beard 2010, 202) but work toward the same goal and follow the same vocation. As empathy requirements and the emotional connection began to grow, diversity and the vast interdisciplinary nature of candidates was integrated and used to rethink markets, strategies, and business practices (Walker 2020) in ways that will advance EoF’s mission.

In particular, the work in the thematic villages raised many potential avenues for research in different disciplines, which find a common ground in the EoF process. We believe that bringing this perspective may enhance the recent economic, managerial, and sociological theories. We therefore invite contributions to the special issue to explain and export this process on the following (non-exhaustive) topics:

  • Laudato Si: Sustainability, SDGs and value chains. Papers may examine the unique attributes or ways of working of business models that foster inclusivity, participation and love in organizations, what motivates them, what constrains their actions, and how they can grow. Work deploying a humanities approach are encouraged. Contributions might also focus on particular demographic groups e.g. women or young entrepreneurs; company forms e.g. benefit corporation, social enterprises, or cooperatives, including corporates with a strong CSR focus.
  • Hybrid Organizations: Business for the common good. Hybridity is often a central feature of current organizations which aim to pursue dual or even triple missions, including economic, social and environmental objectives (Doherty et al. 2014). The pursuit of such multiple objectives can cause tensions and challenges which constraints the effective operations of for-purpose businesses (Battilana and Lee, 2014). In turn, such new organizational forms (such as B Corps, benefit corporations, social enterprises, etc.) are becoming crucial in addressing grand challenges of today’s societies, creating new opportunities to alleviate poverty, contributing to gender equality, solving hunger and energy gaps, and so on. We therefore welcome works which address issues of hybridity and multiple missions in organizational forms, and the ways actors navigate these dynamics. In doing so, research which grounds in EoF may reveal interesting contributions to the overall role of enterprises and new organizational forms toward sustainability and societal issues.
  • Finance for Inclusivity. The ‘good finance’, as Zamagni states, allows to aggregate savings and use them efficiently. It transfers the value of assets into space and time, creates insurance mechanisms that reduce exposure to risks, and allows ideas and capital to meet. We welcome studies exploring relationships between finance and humanity – both in developed, and emerging and developing economies. We further welcome studies that compare within country differences and more regional, local and traditional institutions and their influence on microcredit, investments, and ethical banking.
  • Relationship, Network and Community. Networks of relationship play an important role within social, political, economic and cultural processes as they represent precious resources for the access and mobilization of material and immaterial resources, for the improvement of value and symbolic reference frameworks, for obtaining and maintaining legitimacy, and for the achievement of strategic objectives. We welcome documents adopting network and system perspectives and theories, such as social network theories applied to business ecosystems, economic networks, organizational and inter-organizational networks, network governance, policy networks, community building networks, Third Sector networks, networks and religion, and leadership.
  • The Civil Responsibility Approach. No new methodologies can be introduced without a deep knowledge of the past. Humanities today are being recognized as a fundamental cultural baggage necessary for a better future, especially philosophy and the history of economic thought. To this end, submissions are welcome that compare and/or combine wider theoretical lens, or that provide new theoretical insights.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 30th December 2020.

Important dates:

  • 30 December 2020: Deadline for receiving abstract by the SI's guest editors;
  • 15 January: Feedback provided to authors inviting them to submit full papers;
  • 15 May: Full paper received by SI's guest editor;
  • 30 June: Feedback from SI's editors to authors following review;
  • 30 August: Revision papers submission;
  • 15 September: feedback to authors
  • 30 September: Final Version submitted to SI guest editors;
  • 9 August: Editorial comments;
  • 15 October: Final Version Alf papers + editorial submitted to Journal of Management Spirituality and Religion;
  • 30 October 2021: online pre-publication.

Submitted papers should follow the guidelines for JMSR: XXX

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and Full Papers no longer than 8,000 words excluding figures, abstract and references.

Submissions should be written in English. Submitted papers will go through a blind peer-review process. Submissions to the special issue should be sent first to the special issues guest editors. Please email submissions to: eofworkandacare [at]

The special issue editors will also be running a special stream during the Economy of Francesco Event the 21st of November 2020 (11-13) with founding editor Prof. Yochanan Altman. Submitters to the special issue are encouraged to connect for more information on the journal, although this is not compulsory.

Please see the full Call for Papers, including information about the guest editors, linked below.

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