Invisibilities of Business Violence seminar

On Monday September 23, from 09:00 to 12:00 at Hanken School of Economics, Auditorium Futurum


A Responsible Organising seminar:

Invisibilities of Business Violence

Monday September 23 2019, 09:00-12:00

Auditorium Futurum, Hanken School of Economics






Critical essay: (In)sensitive violence, development, and the smell of the soil: Strategic decision-making of what? - Rashedur Chowdhury,


Within business schools, violence is rarely mentioned as an outcome of business activities. Yet in contemporary studies from various fields, a number of connections between business and violence have been made increasingly explicit, from the expulsions caused by global market dynamics (cf. Sassen 2014), to violence associated with gendered globalization (Hearn et al. 2017), to the violent outcomes of firm activities in various developing contexts (e.g. Chowdhury in press; Varman and al Amoudi 2016), to intra-organizational emotional abuse (Penttinen et al. 2019). While violence in these contexts takes different shapes, a seemingly common feature is the role of invisibilities: of violence itself, of those people (and sometimes non-human animals) on whom violence is perpetrated, and of the role that business directly or indirectly plays in this.

In this seminar, we invite four expert scholars on the question of business and violence to present and discuss insights from some of their recent and ongoing work.

Rashedur Chowdhury: (PhD) Associate Professor at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, and a Batten Fellow at Darden School of Business, University of Virginia (UVA). Prior to working in Southampton, he was an Assistant Professor at Michael Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin (where he is now a Visiting Scholar). His thesis “Reconceptualizing the Dynamics of the Relationship between Marginalized Stakeholders and Multinational Firms Opens in new window ” received the Society for Business Ethics Best Dissertation Award in 2014. He has been invited as a Visiting Scholar by INSEAD Business School; Darden, UVA; Faculty of Business and Economics, HEC Lausanne, Switzerland; Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of the Western Cape; School of Government, Peking University; School of Social Sciences, University of California, Irvine; and Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. His most recent works focus on the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh and the Rohingya and Syrian refugee crises.

Jeff Hearn: Professor Emeritus, Management and Organisation; Research Director, GODESS Institute Opens in new window (Gender, Organisation, Diversity, Equality, Social Sustainability), Hanken. He has been involved long-term in international research and policy development around both (anti-)violence, and gender and diversity in organisations and management, e.g. the books, Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Organizations Opens in new window 2001, and Unsustainable Institutions of Men Opens in new window 2019.

Marjut Jyrkinen: Associate Professor in Working Life Equality and Gender Studies, University of Helsinki, and director of research consortium on sustainable working life ( Opens in new window ), funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. Her research on gendered violence and violations in and outside organizations, leadership, and gendered ageism has been published in Gender, Work and Organization, Journal of Business Ethics, Gender in Management, and Work, Employment and Society. Her latest book, with Elina Penttinen and Elisabeth Wide, is Emotional Workplace Abuse. A new Reseach Approach Opens in new window ,  published in 2019 by Palgrave MacMillan.

Rohit Varman: Professor of Marketing and Consumption at University of Birmingham. He uses interpretive methodologies and his current inter-disciplinary research focuses on structures of subalternity, market violence, and modern slavery. He has published in leading journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing, Organization Science, and Human Relations.
Rohit’s research was awarded Emerald Citation of Excellence in 2015. He is also President of the International Society of Marketing & Development. He is currently an associate editor of Consumption, Markets & Culture and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Macro Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. He has also co-edited books published by Cambridge University Press on alternative organizations in India Opens in new window and on critical marketing Opens in new window published by Routledge.

Chowdhury, R. (in press). (In) sensitive violence, development, and the smell of the soil: Strategic decision-making of what?. Human Relations.
Hearn, J., Ratele, K., & Shefer, T. (2017). Gendered globalization and violence. Social Work in a Glocalised World, 42-58.
Penttinen, E., Jyrkinen, M., & Wide, E. (2019). Emotional Workplace Abuse. Palgrave Pivot, Cham.
Varman, R., & Al-Amoudi, I. (2016). Accumulation through derealization: How corporate violence remains unchecked. Human Relations, 69(10), 1909-1935.