About the Podcast

Meet the People Behind the Microphone!

Dmitrijs Kravcenko

A philosophically inclined social epistemologist, Dmitrijs is primarily interested in how people in organizations enact memory, temporality and collective knowledge. His latest study was an empirical re-conceptualization of the ideas and concepts to do with the practical performance of organizational memory.

Dmitrijs holds a PhD from the University of Warwick Business School, where he also maintains affiliation with the IKON Research Unit. He is currently Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University of Sussex, UK. 

Before joining the academic world full-time, he spent two years working in underwater technology as well as briefly trying out management consultancy. Typically unwilling to settle for a manageable load of activities, Dmitrijs is continuously looking to follow his curiosity and begin/join various enterprises of interest (starting an amazing new podcast, for example!).

Dmitrijs is the creator and founding member of the podcast, as well as a regular host of the show.

Pedro Monteiro

Pedro is an ethnographer of work and organizations whose research agenda focuses on bureaucracy/formal organizational structures and their implications for cross-expertise collaboration, learning, innovation, and knowledge work.

He is particularly interested in overcoming the tendency to only focus on the negative aspects of bureaucracy and in unpacking its nature and implications for work practices and organizational processes in the contemporary workplace. He is also interested in classic organizational scholarship, ethnographic methodology, and using the arts to expand our interpretive research abilities.

Pedro is also an avid baker, a strong supporter of equality and diversity, and loves dancing.

Pedro is founding member of the podcast and a regular host of the show.

Ralph Soule

Ralph (also known as “Rafael”) Soule is a retired United States Navy Captain. He holds a Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

In the Navy, Rafael was a nuclear engineer for over 29 years, leading large and small teams of engineers, white-collar workers, and craftsmen in technically complex repairs and construction of nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines. In his Navy service, he observed that organizing, teaching, motivating, and leading people presented far more interesting challenges than the equipment. For this reason (and his anti-positivist views), Rafael is considered slightly (okay, a lot) off-center by his former colleagues. This may also be related to the different color hats he wears.

His research interests include adult learning, accelerating expertise, organizational culture, and high reliability organizing. Rafael really enjoys traveling, meeting new people, mentoring and working on interesting projects so this podcast is a great fit for him.

Ralph is founding member of the podcast, a regular host of the show and Season Leader (our version of CEO) for Seasons 4 and 5.

Tom Galvin

Dr. Tom Galvin is an Assistant Professor of leadership studies at the U.S. Army War College, and is the managing editor of WAR ROOM, the War College’s online journal. He teaches strategic leadership and defense management courses for the resident class and also courses in leading organizational change and strategic communication, the latter two being the subject of a how-to books he is currently writing. His primary academic interests are organizational identity and institution theory, which both feed into his strategic communication model. His dissertation was in identity transition, focused on military officers leaving unit-level leadership positions and moving into management positions.

During his 29-year military career, he acquired the callsign of “Neo”, a la the Matrix character (he goes by either Tom or Neo interchangeably just to confuse people!). He is also a fiction writer, He is married to Veronica, who hails from Jakarta, Indonesia, and together they have three boys.

Tom joined TAOP as semi-regular host starting Season 3. He is now a regular host of the show.

Jarryd Daymond

Jarryd is a Research Associate and PhD student in Work and Organisational Studies at The University of Sydney Business School.

His research examines strategy practices in organisations and collaborative work across boundaries, which are areas he first became interested in while consulting on immersive workshop processes. He has a particular interest in how materiality and discourse combine in the strategy process, and how multimodal materiality enables, constrains and links strategy work. He has a passion for qualitative research methods including video ethnography. 

Jarryd used to enjoy rowing and triathlons, but now he spends most of his time rolling on the floor with his young son (which is a lot more fun!). One day soon he will return to the pleasure and pain of endurance sports.

Jarryd is a full-time member of the podcast, responsible for our social media and the newsletter.

Miranda Lewis

After achieving a Bachelor and Master degree in Business studies in Italy, Miranda decided to pursue an academic career in the field of entrepreneurship.

Currently a PhD student at Warwick Business School in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation group, her research looks at top management teams and the nexus between cognition and growth literature. More specifically, she focuses on what entrepreneurial teams think about growth on a deeper level in terms of implicit motivations and how these affect growth ambitions and intentions at the venture level.

Miranda is founding member of the podcast, currently participating in semi-regular capacity.

Ella Hafermalz

Ella is Assistant Professor of Digital Innovation with the KIN Research Centre at VU Amsterdam, NL

Formerly at University of Sydney Business School, her Doctoral research looked at how people who work from home are included in organisational activities and how remote workers use technology to stay connected. Ella’s background is multidisciplinary – she has degrees in Media and Communications, Cultural Studies, Work and Organisational Studies and Teaching. Her main research interest is how technology is being integrated into the workplace and how we maintain a sense of belonging when we work together digitally.

Ella joined TAOP as semi-regular host starting Season 3. Listen to her on Episodes 27, 28, 31, 32, 35 and 41.

Greetje Corporaal

A sociologist of work and organizations, Gretta’s academic interests center around the future of work and how digital technologies enable new models of work and organizing to emerge. Her current research is an ethnography of the creation and adoption of online labour platforms.  

Gretta completed her doctoral studies in Organization Sciences at VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For her thesis she studied how managers, research scientists, and engineers inside a Japanese multinational experimented with cross-boundary collaboration to realize innovation and execute technical and strategy work. She currently works as postdoctoral researcher in Organization Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where she also teaches Digital Technology and Economic Organization. 

She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, taking care of her plants, and playing the violin. 

Gretta joined TAOP as semi-regular host starting Season 5. Listen to her on Episode 43

Former Members


Joe Bradley

Dr. Bradley (Joe) has had an extensive career in ship operations, maintenance, repair and organizational design. Repeatedly called upon to start new activities for the United States Navy, he successfully met a succession of unique challenges.

Respected for his technical skill, leadership, innovative solutions and focus on personnel and organization development, he led the initiatives that resulted in the broad adoption of Theory of Constraints within the Navy’s ship maintenance community, efforts to improve quality performance, and developed educational programs to improve individual and organizational performance. Joe’s research has led to the creation of a wholly new approach to the creation, development, assessment and transformation of competency models, a vital management element in any large technical organization seeking long term viability.

Joseph founded Leading Change, LLC as a vehicle to continue research and consulting to industry and government. Immediately in demand, he is assisting several organizations in what can only be characterized as global, long term complex, problems. 

Joe joined TAOP as semi-regular host for Seasons 3 and 4, leaving after Season 4. Listen to him on Episodes 24, 26, 30, 33, 34 and 36.

Yousaf Nishat-Botero

Yousaf graduated with a BS degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2008 and an MSc degree from ESADE Business School in 2013. Although Yousaf studied at business schools and has only worked in business contexts, he is inspired by, to paraphrase Edward Said, an amateurism propelled by the imperative to move beyond narrow specializations, making connections across lines and barriers, not for profit or reward but by a love for and an unquenchable passion for the larger picture. This philosophical inclination combined with a background in management, makes questions of theory and politics in Organization, usually explored within what is known as Critical Management Studies, Yousaf’s main preoccupations.

Yousaf joined TAOP as social media editor during Season 3, and made a guest appearance in Episode 30.

Meet Our Guests

Peter Adamson

Peter is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU in Munich.
He attended Williams College and then the University of Notre Dame, where he received his PhD in 2000. From then until 2012 he worked at King’s College London before moving to the LMU in 2012. He has written two monographs about early Arabic philosophy, and edited many books including “The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy.” His articles on philosophy in the Islamic world have been collected in two volumes in the Variorium series, available from Ashgate press. He is also the host of the History of Philosophy podcast which appears as a book series with Oxford University Press.
Peter was our special guest on Episode 37, where we discussed Oeconomicus by Xenophon

Mats Alvesson

Mats holds a chair in the Business Administration department at Lund University in Sweden and is also part-time professor at University of Queensland Business School.
He has done extensive research and published widely in the areas of qualitative and reflexive methodology, critical theory, organizational culture, knowledge work, identity in organizations, gender, organizational change, management consultancy etc. He has published 20 books with leading publishers and hundreds of articles, many of which are widely cited and used on higher levels in university education. 
Mats was our special guest on Episode 28, where we discussed his JMS Classic on organizations as rhetoric, and on Episode 32 – the OLKC2017 Special!

Emma Bell

Emma is a Professor of Organisation Studies at the Open University. Her approach to understanding management draws on insights from the social sciences and humanities to critically explore meaning-making in organizations. 
She is current Co-chair of the Academy of Management CMS Division and joint Editor-in-Chief of the Management Learning journal. Recently, Emma has been involved in projects related to visual organizational analysis, understanding craft work, and the production of management knowledge on the periphery.
Emma was our special guest on Episode 12 – the OLKC Conference Special, also featuring Paul Duguid!

Deborah Brewis

Deborah is a Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Kingston University having previously completed her Ph.D at Warwick Business School.
She remains affiliated with the Institute of Advanced Studies at University of Warwick, as an Associate Fellow. Her broad interests are in exploring organisation, identity, and (in)equality and her approach to these ideas draws on theories from the social sciences, humanities as well as on philosophical ethics. She has previously worked on research with diversity practitioners to investigate the relations of knowledge and power that are involved in their work. She is currently developing a project on work that centres around digital labour, in particular the phenomenon of ‘Social Talent’.
Deborah has collaborated with artists on experiments in critical-creative practice, organised events to engage public audiences with research. She is also Social Media Assistant for the journal Management Learning.
Deborah was our Special Guest on Episode 17, where we discussed Tokenism.

Katharina Dittrich

Katharina is an Assistant Professor (Oberassistent) at the Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich in Switzerland, where she also holds a Ph.D. in Management Studies from.
Her research interests include organizational routines and strategy, with a particular emphasis on practice-theoretical approaches and qualitative research methods. Thanks to a scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), Katharina has recently been a visiting scholar at the University of California at Irvine, USA and at the University of Warwick Business School, UK.
Katharina was our special guest on Episode 4, Supplement to Episode 4, and a bit later on Episode 21!

Paul Duguid

Paul is an adjunct full professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. He was formerly Professorial Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, and has held visiting positions in Denmark and France as well as honorary positions at the universities of York and Lancaster.  
From early work on formal education, to studies of organizational learning, through historical investigation of trade marks, to recent work on the concept of ‘information’, Paul has sought to investigate problems that arise from reducing human communication to the mere exchange of information.
Paul was our special guest on Episode 12 – the OLKC Conference Special where we discussed the value of conferences, also featuring Emma Bell!

Marianna Fotaki

Marianna holds degrees in medicine, health economics, and a PhD in public policy from London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining academia in 2003 she has worked as a medical doctor in Greece, China, and the UK, as a volunteer and manager for humanitarian organizations Médecins du Monde and Médecins sans Frontiers in Iraq and Albania, and as the EU senior resident adviser to governments in transition (in Russia, Georgia and Armenia). Marianna is at present a Senior Editor for Organization Studies, and co-directs pro bono an online think tank Centre for Health and the Public Interest a charity that aims to disseminate research informing the public and policy makers (http://chpi.org.uk). Marianna is a Network Fellow at the Edmond J Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University in 2014-2015.
Marianna joined us in Episode 45, where we discussed C. Fred Alford’s book on the tragic stories of whistleblowers.

Barton Friedland

Barton works in the Chief Data Office at Deutsche Bank based in London. He supports the bank in developing and implementing a coherent data strategy and human-centred practices that result in innovation.
Barton has recently completed a Doctorate in the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management group at the University of Warwick Business School. His area of research interest is in the relationships people in organisations form with computational objects and the ways in which these relationships affect team performance and communication.
Having had the privilege to work at both Apple and NeXT, Barton worked with and implemented leading edge technologies for over 25 years for companies such as American Express, JP Morgan, New York Life, British Telecom, and McCann Worldgroup. He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the Association of Computing Machinery
Barton was our special guest on Episode 22, where we discussed the relationship between organization and technology!

Sarah Kaplan

Sarah is Professor of Strategic Management Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
She is a co-author of the bestselling business book, Creative Destruction. Her research explores how organizations participate in and respond to the emergence of new fields and technologies, with a particular focus on the role of interpretive practices. Her studies examine biotechnology, communications, financial services, nanotechnology and most recently, the field emerging at the nexus of gender and finance.
Sarah is Senior Editor at Organization Science, Guest Editor of a special issue on new research methods at Strategic Management Journal, and formerly Associate Editor for The Academy of Management Annals.
Sarah was our special guest for Episode 25, where we discussed cognitive communities (Porac et al. 1989)

Ann Langley

Ann is Professor of Management at HEC Montréal and Canada Research Chair in strategic management in pluralistic settings.
Her research focuses on strategic change, leadership, identity and the use of management tools in complex organizations with an emphasis on processual and qualitative research approaches. In particular, she had a vital role in fueling an interest for process research in the management and organization studies field.
Ann was our special guest on Episode 31: the PROS Special.

Thomas Mercer

Thomas Mercer is a retired US Navy Rear Admiral and one of the foremost proponents of the High Reliability approach to organizing. He initiated the studies of High Reliability when he invited academicians from the University of California, Berkeley, to study his crew with the goal of improving their performance. These academics were Karl Weick and Karlene Roberts, and the resulting studies are some of the best-known work in management theory.
Thomas is a distinguished naval officer, whose awards include the Defense Distinguished Medal, Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Distinguished Flying Cross (three awards), four individual Air Medals, 25 Strike Flight Air Medals, and six Navy Commendation Medals.
Thomas was our Special Guest on Episode 20, where we discussed his practical experience of High Reliability

Henry Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg is is an internationally renowned academic and a prolific business and management author.
He is currently the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Much of Henry’s work is concerned with developing new approaches to management education and reflecting on the actual managerial practices and organization of work. He has published around 170 articles, 17 books (all available for reference on his website), and holds a great number of significant honours and awards.
Most recently, Henry shifted towards more general writing, including commentaries, short stories and blogs. He is currently completing a monograph entitled Managing the Myths of Health Care
Henry was our special guest on Episode 14, where we discussed his 2013 book Simply Managing

Bjørn Erik Mørk

Bjørn Erik is an Associate Professor of Innovation at Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, BI Norwegian Business School. He is also an Associate Fellow at the IKON Research Unit. He holds a PhD in organisational sociology from the University of Oslo, and has been a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and Warwick Business School.
In his research he draws upon practice-based approaches to cross-disciplinary collaboration, organising, innovation, learning and change in organisations. He is particularly interested in how processes of developing and adopting new technologies and practices in healthcare unfold, and is currently involved in an international multi-site study on this topic. In addition to being an academic, Bjørn Erik is also an Executive Director for EY (Ernst & Young) Advisory.
Bjørn Erik was our special guest on Episode 32 – the OLKC2017 Special!

Brian Pentland

Brian Pentland is a Professor of Accounting and Information Systems at the Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University.
He received his PhD in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and SB in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. Brian is a prolific organizational scholar, having published in Academy of Management Review, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Administrative Science Quarterly, and elsewhere.
In addition to being a brilliant scholar, Brian is also a musician, known by his stage name of Doctor Decade! Check out his music here.
Brian was our Special Guest on Episode 21, where we discussed relationship between micro and micro research!

Andrew Pettigrew

Andrew is Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Saïd Business School and Senior Golding Fellow at Brasenose College, both at the University of Oxford.
He is a leading expert on strategy and change in both the public and private sectors. Andrew’s background in sociology and anthropology, where contextual and historical study are vital, informs his research methodology. Andrew’s work has covered a broad range of sectors, both public and private, but it has consistently concentrated on the contextual study of corporate evolution, decision-making, strategy and governance. His approach emphasises the environmental and historical factors that work alongside quantitative economic issues to shape an organisation. Andrew is recognised within the management community as one of the foremost researchers and practitioners in strategy and change management.
Andrew was our special guest for Episode 27, where we discussed his JMS Classic on context and action.

Trish Reay

Trish is Professor in Strategic Management and Organization at Alberta School of Business and Distinguished Research Environment Professor of Organization Studies at Warwick Business School.
Her work explores themes related to organizational and institutional change, organizational learning, professions and professional work, and identity and role identity.
Trish was our special guest on Episode 31 – the PROS Special on Institutional Theory

Thomas Roulet

Thomas is an organization theorist based at King’s College London and an International Research Fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, as well as a Faculty Affiliate at the Society and Organizations Research Center, HEC Paris.
His work is rooted in economic sociology, organization theory and ethics, and focuses on negative social evaluations (stigma and disapproval) and ethics in the context of professional service firms (investment banking, audit firms) and cultural industries.
He is the co-editor in chief of M@n@gement, the free of charge open-access journal of the French Academy of Strategic Management
Thomas was our special guest for Episode 26, where we discussed Karl Weick’s JMS Classic on enacted sensemaking.

Denise M. Rousseau

Denise M. Rousseau is the H.J. Heinz II University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College and the Tepper School of Business. She is the faculty director of the Institute for Social Enterprise and Innovation and chair of Health Care Policy and Management program.
Denise’s research focuses upon the impact workers have on the employment relationship and the firms that employ them. It informs critical concerns such as worker well-being and career development, organizational effectiveness, the management of change, firm ownership and governance, and industrial relations. Recognized in particular for developing the theory of the psychological contract, her work addresses the powerful reach individual employee’s understanding of the employment relationship has on work groups, firms, and society.
Denise was our special guest on Episode 29, where we discussed Herbert Simon’s JMS Classic on Business Schools.

Jörgen Sandberg

Jörgen Sandberg is Professor in the School of Business at the University of Queensland, Australia.
His research interests include competence and learning in organizations, leadership, practice-based research, theory development, qualitative research methods and philosophy of science. His work has appeared in several journals, including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Organization Behavior, Harvard Business Review, and Review of Educational Research.
He is currently carrying out research on professional practice and its development, frameworks and methodologies for developing more influential and relevant theories and sensemaking in organizations.
Jörgen was our special guest on Episode 15, where we talked about topics from his 2013 book – Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research!

Bill Starbuck

William Starbuck is visiting professor at the Lundquist College of Business of the University of Oregon and professor emeritus at New York University.
He received his MS and PhD in industrial administration at Carnegie Institute of Technology, after receiving an AB in physics at Harvard. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates by universities in Stockholm, Paris, and Aix-en-Provence.
He has published over 170 articles on accounting, bargaining, business strategy, computer programming, computer simulation, forecasting, decision making, human-computer interaction, learning, organizational design, organizational growth and development, perception, scientific methods, and social revolutions. He has also authored two books and edited seventeen books, including the Handbook of Organizational Design, which was chosen the best book on management published during the year ending May 1982.
Bill was our special guest on Episode 24, where we discussed his work – Learning by Knowledge-Intensive Firms!

Adrianni Tassinari

Arianna is a PhD student in Industrial Relations at Warwick Business School, and a keen trade union and labour rights activist. A political scientist by training, her current research interests focus on the evolution of welfare and labour market institutions in European economies in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and on the role of trade unions and employers’ organisations in public policy.
Arianna holds a BA in Politics and Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, and an MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining WBS, she worked as a researcher at the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Condition (Dublin, Ireland) and at the Institute for Employment Studies (Brighton, UK).
Arianna was our Special Guest on Episode 18 and Summary of Episode 18 where we discussed Gig Economy and Algorithmic Management!

Haridimos Tsoukas

Hari is a Greek organization and leadership theorist. He is currently the Columbia Ship Management Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Cyprus, and Distinguished Research Environment Professor of Organization Studies at the Warwick Business School.
He is best known for his contributions to understanding organizations as knowledge and learning systems, for re-viewing organizational phenomena through the lens of process philosophy, for exploring practical reason in organizational contexts as well as the epistemology of reflective practice in management, and for bringing insights from philosophy to organization and management studies.
Hari was our special guest on Episode 31: the PROS Special.

Mike Wright

Mike is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London, where he also directs the Centre for Management Buy-out Research.
Mike has written over 40 books and more than 300 papers in academic and professional journals on management buy-outs, venture capital, habitual entrepreneurs, academic entrepreneurs, and related topics. He served two terms as an editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (1994-99), was a joint editor of the Journal of Management Studies until 2009 and is editor elect of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. He is a member of the BVCA Research Advisory Board and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Ghent. Quite impressively, Mike was recently ranked #1 worldwide for publications in academic entrepreneurship!
Mike was our special guest on Episode 23, where we discussed his JMS Classicarticle on emerging multinationals and the influence of institutions and factor markets!

Tammar Zilber

Tammar Zilber is Professor of Organizational Behavior at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
She was trained in social psychology, anthropology and qualitative methodologies and her research interests include the symbolic aspects of institutional processes, organizational identity, narrative constructions of organizational realities, and qualitative methods in organizational studies.
Tammar was our special guest on Episode 31 – the PROS Special on Institutional Theory


What is the podcast? 

Talking About Organizations is a weekly conversational podcast about management and organization studies, brought to you with the kind support of the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex, UK. Delivered in a format best described as somewhere between a reading group and a panel discussion, the podcast tackles one book/journal article/idea per episode. It is free, not-for-profit and publicly available for all to enjoy!

During the first 32 episodes, Talking About Organizations was supported by the wonderful people from the IKON Research Centre at the University of Warwick Business School (esp. Jacky Swan, Davide Nicolini, and Dawn Coton), to whom we are forever grateful for placing their trust (and money!) into something as unconventional as an organization studies podcast at the time. 

Visit our About the Podcasters page to learn more about the team. 

What is the purpose of this podcast? 

The purpose of the podcast is two-fold: (1) to make conversations about management and organization studies widely available, and (2) to spark further discussions, ideas, and dialogue around the fundamental ideas on which contemporary management science and practice are based. 

Well, on the one hand we are eager to open up the field of organization and management studies to as many people as possible. Not only are we passionate about the research we do, we feel that there is not enough awareness of what organizational scholarship does and the insights it contributes to the understanding and everyday conduct of work in organizations. First, we really believe that there is some incredible stuff happening in this field and would like to have this podcast make it accessible to everyone else. Second, we hope people will find what we talk about interesting enough to share their problems and questions. This could give us ideas for research that others might find useful and allow us to better engage with a broader audience. We might not be able to answer all the questions we get, but we will definitely have ideas about them that you may find useful. Finally, making this podcast gives us the opportunity to read all kinds of amazing texts and discuss them in detail with friends and informed colleagues. It deepens our learning in a way that is both enjoyable and purposeful. And the best part is that you get the full effect of this learning by just listening in! (also it lets the geeks in our group play around with technology and recording equipment – yay!)

“This is a delightful way to introduce people to important organizational literature with minimal time investment. I look forward to future installments. My compliments”

— W. Earl Carnes, Senior Adviser to U.S. Government (retired)

“I thought the dialogue was both sophisticated and natural; so a great accomplishment. Plus, I think you all four achieved a fair assessment of the Taylor; he is often maligned and not put in his proper historical context. Great coverage”

— Dr. Paul R. Carlile, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of Innovation at Boston University, US

Why should I listen to the podcast?

Our aims are to be both educational and entertaining! The four people on this podcast have a degree of knowledge/familiarity with the topics we will be discussing and will bring their own personal perspectives to the table in an interactive and dynamic exchange of ideas. We hope that anyone listening to the podcast will learn interesting things without otherwise having to sit through actual lectures or seminars. That being said, if you are a student, combining your curriculum with our podcast will certainly yield superior results! Another benefit of the podcasts is that you don’t have to say ‘no’ to what you are doing in order to say ‘yes’ to this podcast – you can listen to us at a time and place of your choosing, like driving or jogging (watch out for traffic!).

Who are the target audience?

Ideally, anyone should be able to listen to this but due to the nature of what we do for a living (all of us are, after all, full-time academics) it is plausible that a basic level of background knowledge may be required. We think that our peers, industry practitioners as well as students of management, organizations, sociology, and philosophy of all levels are probably the main target audience.

What is the format of the episodes?

It’s atomistic. While there may be topical sequences of episodes covering some large or particularly interesting topics, each episode is self-contained and is focused on an isolated reading or set of readings. We break the episode into parts to keep them at a reasonable length (some as short as 20 minutes, others are longer). Through Episode 34, most episodes included a “supplement” or “summary” as the final release, but since Episode 35 we follow a three-part format where we simply break the conversation into three segments — usually Part 1 is about the reading, Part 2 goes into more depth and brings in other literature, and Part 3 provides implications and future research directions. But we only use that as a target — the conversation goes wherever we wish to take it!

“I found the podcast refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable. The conversation was insightful, instructive and the comments often sharp and perceptive. I am really impressed.”

— Dr. Davide Nicolini, Professor at University of Warwick Business School, UK

“I really enjoyed this podcast. The discussion hit on all the aspects of the book that are both good and troubling.”

— Dr. Janice Tolk, Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Tennessee Space Institute, US

How are the “Event” episodes different from regular episodes?

As academics, we naturally attend or host a lot of conferences and related events, and these are often ripe for excellent dialogue on current research directions around contemporary problems. So we decided to host “Event” episodes based on topics generated at those venues as opposed to our “regular” episodes that are centered on one of eight themes.  We record these in order to share with you interesting conversations, cutting-edge thinking, leading practices and opinions etc. Special episodes always involve a guest or two. 

What are the supplements?

Supplements are brief recordings by one of us, or one of our guests, that introduce additional information on the subject of the accompanying episode. Supplements can be historical background, summary of a reading, commentary… basically anything we may think will enhance the value you get from listening to the actual longer episode. After Episode 4, we replaced the supplements  Summaries in our ‘regular scheduling’. This is because we feel that supplements are best done by our special guests; and we intend to release them for those episodes only.

“This is a brilliant podcast, building upon the idea that a lot of management scholars actually have no time to read the original masterpieces in their field. Here, we get them presented in a neat package, including a critical analysis of content as well as applicability and relevance. What I like the most is that the discussants do not leave out the social and historical background of the readings as well as the authors. Listening to the podcast will help you better understand the foundational concepts of management and organization theory as well as help develop an instrumentarium for how to read and properly understand such texts.”

— Dr. Daniel Semper, Research Fellow at Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

“Talking About Organizations strikes the balance between acumen and accessibility.”

— Philipp Hukal, PhD Student at University of Warwick Business School, UK

What are the summaries?

Summaries are brief segments aimed to summarize the preceding episode for the benefit of our time-strapped listeners. The idea was to provide an overview of the main episode (so you can decide whether you’d like to go back and listen to the full conversation). However, we found that it was better to replace our two-part-plus-summary format with full three-part episodes starting in Episode 35, so future episodes will not have summaries.

What about the Appendices?

In our original site, we included a separate blog that allowed podcasters and guests to post on topics inspired by an Episode. In the new site, we decided that it was better to incorporate those extra posts as part of the associated Episodes. 

“For sophisticated and engaging discussions of organization theory, look no further than the Talking About Organizations site. Highly recommended.”

— Dr. Chris Grey, Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

“I really enjoyed the Taylor podcast. It was informative, helps you understand the man, his book and bring them to life. Nice to have a range of perspectives too.”

— Dr. Gerald McGivern, Professor at University of Warwick Business School, UK

Do I have to do the reading for each episode?

You don’t have to… It will, however, make help the podcasts make sense in terms of understanding what we are talking about on a qualitatively different level. In addition to this, you may be surprised how much of what you experience in everyday life today originated from ideas expressed in the texts we intend to cover.

How do you decide on topics?

This is a two-fold, very serious process. One, we will try to start at the beginning of organizational science (at least in the early days of this podcast) and two, we will choose to read what we are interested in. Where there is common ground between these two variables, our topics will emerge. We also aim to explore topics suggested to us by listeners, so do contact us with any ideas.

Can I get involved?

Sure – just get in touch with us and say hello! We always have things we want to do but are unable to due to time constraints so initiative and enthusiasm from our listeners is super great news!

“TAOP blends the best of modern technology with the joys of the old-fashioned conversation. It gave me permission to slow down, pour a glass of sherry, snuggle in a comfortable chair, listen in and take an occasional note, knowing I could share my thoughts later on its blog.”

— Albie M. Davis, Writer and former Director of Mediation for the Massachusetts District Courts, US

“I found the TAO-podcasts an excellent and very engaging way of introducing both classical and contemporary organization and management theories. So keep up the good work!”

— Dr. Jörgen Sandberg, Professor at University of Queensland Business School, Australia

“Here is a very worthwhile initiative – an impressive number of podcasts about organizational theory conducted by PhD students and junior faculty. Some big names in org theory make guests appearances…”