Feminist Theories and Organization Studies: Critical debates and practices

Time and place: June 10-12th 2020, University of Lapland, Faculty of Social Sciences, Rovaniemi.

Learning goal and objectives

This course focuses on contemporary feminist theoretical debates in the field of organization and management studies. The aim is to enable students to develop a critical appreciation of different feminist approaches to the study of organization, organizing and social relations at work. During the course, central feminist theories will be scrutinized to see how they are able to theorize power differences and processes of inclusion and exclusion, discrimination, and emancipation in contemporary organizations. To address and challenge inequalities in organizations students will be acquainted with new theorizing on connections between contemporary feminisms and different forms of ethics, including moralities, which are based on affective solidarity, ethics of care and recognition-based ethics.

After completing the course, students will be better able to:

  • create dialogue and compare different streams of feminist theorizing in the field of management and organization studies.
  • analyse power differences and processes of inclusion and exclusion, discrimination, and emancipation in contemporary organizations.
  • generate contemporary, innovative research questions within the framework of current feminist debates.
  • handle theoretical topics orally and in a written form, at a level appropriate for a doctoral students.

Instruction and examination: The students will write a 10-15-page final research report and submit it one month after the intensive course. Active participation in discussions during the intensive 3-day period is expected.

Credits: 6 ECTS

Grading: Five-level grading scale (0-5): sufficient, satisfactory, good, very good, or excellent. The instructor of the course makes the evaluation based on the final research report written after the course.

Prerequisites: Required readings.Students are required to read all the assigned journal articles (ca. 10-15) and submit a 1-page summary report of each article before the course. Active student engagement is essential and the readings are critical to developing individual ideas and contributing to discussions in the class.


Maximum number of participants is 25.

Deadline for course applications: March 13, 2020. Applications should be sent by email to the course coordinator: Pauliina Jääskeläinen (pauliina.jaaskelainen@ulapland.fi) Students will be notified of acceptance March 31, 2020.


Alison Pullen PhD is Professor of Management and Organization Studies at Macquarie University, Australia  https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/persons/alison-pullen

Professor Pullen is Editor-in-Chief of Gender, Work and Organization. She has held academic positions at the universities of Leicester, Essex, Durham, York and Swansea in the UK and UTS and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and numerous visiting professorships including the Otto Mønsted Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School. Over the course of her career, Alison’s work has been concerned with analyzing and intervening in the politics of work as it concerns gender discrimination, identity politics, and organizational injustice. An internationally renowned researcher, Alison is a prolific contributor to leading journals in the fields of organization theory, gender studies, and management studies. Her recent books are Diversity, Embodiment and Affect (2019, with Marianna Fotaki), Feminist and queer theorists debate the future of Critical Management Studies (2017, with Nancy Harding and Mary Phillips) and The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organization (2015, with Carl Rhodes). She is Series Editor with Robert McMurray of the Routledge Focus Women Writers in Organization Theory series and is currently editing The Routledge Companion of Gender, Work and Organization (with others). Alison is Management Reviews and sits on the editorial board of Organization Studies amongst several other journals. She has organized major conferences including the Gender, Work and Organization conference held in Sydney in 2018 and frequently convenes international colloquium streams. Alison is currently working on an Australian Research Council funded project on leadership diversity. In 2018 she was named Australia’s leading Gender Studies researcher by The AustralianOzan Nadir Alakavuklar and Alison Pullen have been elected as the Academy of Management Critical Management Studies Division Co-Chairs Track (2019-24).

Susan Meriläinen PhD is Professor of Management at University of Lapland, Finland  https://lacris.ulapland.fi/fi/persons/susan-merilainen(a0690308-b69a-4626-9234-5c231a3f9339).html

Susan’s main area of research is feminist theorizing of organizations and management, with a particular focus on feminist activism at work. She has, for example, intervened in the gendered practices of her own work community. Detailed accounts of her joint interventionist work with Saija Katila have been published in Gender, Work and Organization. Hegemonic Academic Practices: Experiences of Publishing from the Periphery, a journal article written together with Janne Tienari, Robyn Thomas and Anette Davies is another good example of her interest in changing the taken-for-granted practices in academia. Susan’s current projects relate to the embodied and material aspects of feminist knowledge production practices and their potential to challenge the patriarchal social formations of academic work.Her work has been published in organization and management journals, such as Human Relations; Organization; Management Learning; Gender, Work and Organization and Journal of Management Inquiry. Professor Meriläinen has served as an academic leader of two Executive MBA programmes for women managers at the University of Lapland. She has also been a member of the Evaluation Panel for Economics and Business in the Finnish Publication Forum since 2014.

Guest lecturers:

Janne Tienari, professor, Hanken

Anu Valtonen, professor, University of Lapland

Course coordinator and contact information: Pauliina Jääskeläinen (pauliina.jaaskelainen@ulapland.fi)

Course application template:

University, faculty and department :
Officially accepted as Ph.D. student (when and where?):
Are you a member of a graduate school, where?:
Completed methodology studies:
Research field:
Subject or title of dissertation:
Methodological approach of the study:
Phase of the dissertation (do you have own empirical data, have you analyzed it and if yes, how?):
Summary of the objectives, research questions and methodologies (approx. 500 words):
Your own objectives for participating the course: