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published by
Collective for Alternative Organisation Studies (CAOS)
Launch Event:
Opening Up The Future
Wednesday 23 June, 2004
Leicester, UK

What is CAOS?
The Collective for Alternative Organisation Studies is based in the University of Leicester's Management Centre (ULMC) and draws upon ULMC's commitment to develop critical approaches to management research and teaching. Its aim is to move beyond critiques of modern organisations, towards envisaging and enacting alternatives guided by values such as social justice and environmental sustainability. We are moved by a politics of recognition‚ and aim to recover a sense of organisational diversity and possibility by:

• (Re)contextualising organisational practices. In our view, attending to the historical, geographical, social and political conditions within which organising takes place is essential to free organisation from some universalising or inevitable trajectory, and open up a sense of possibilities.
• (Re)conceptualising - organisation‚ in order to open up the space within which we can represent organisational difference and make out alternative modes of organising.
• Conducting empirical research documenting the wide range of organisational forms that have existed throughout history, and highlighting the significance of their contribution.
• Adopting multi-disciplinary approaches and re-emphasising the perspectives of history, geography, politics, political economy, anthropology and sociology in the study of organisation.
• Foregrounding ethical issues such as social justice, environmental sustainability and responsibility in the study and practice of organising.

Through this, we hope to generate public debates about the possibility of alternatives, as well as support organisational practices that seek to challenge dominant models. This involves engaging in various activities, including research, teaching, the development of collaborative relationships, seminars and workshops, with other academics, students, and those actively participating in creating alternatives. For our official launch on June 23rd, we are hosting a one-day programme of speakers who are actively involved in the pursuit of alternative organising and organisations in different capacities.

Programme and Speakers
10 Arrival and coffee: Belvoir Suite, City Side, 2nd floor Charles Wilson Bldg
10.15 Opening remarks from Professor Martin Parker, ULMC
10.30 - The development of alternative organisations and practices: some experiences from NEF‚, Andrea Westall, Deputy Director of New Economics Foundation.
11.30 - The Tower Colliery Cooperative: an alternative organisation?‚ Tom Keenoy, Len Arthur, Russell Smith, Molly Scott-Cato, Welsh Institute for Research into Cooperatives, UWIC, Cardiff.
12.30 Lunch until 2pm, Belvoir Suite, City Side, 2nd floor Charles Wilson Bldg
14.00 - The Politics of Thinking in Hierarchic Organisation‚, Ricardo Blaug, University of Leeds.
15.00 - The Organization of Resistance‚, Steffen Böhm, University of Essex and André Spicer, University of Warwick.
16.00 Concluding remarks

The event will take place in the Belvoir Suite (park side) on the 2nd floor of the Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester. There is no registration fee but the number of places is limited. To register, please return the following information by June 18th to Professor Colin C. Williams, CAOS, University of Leicester Management Centre, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH. Tel: 0116 252 5387. Fax: 0116 252 5515. E-mail: c.williams@le.ac.uk

Name: Title/Position: Employing Institution: Contact Address:
Phone Number: Email Address: Do you have any specific dietary requirements? (e.g. vegan)

Professor Colin C Williams
The Management Centre
University of Leicester
Leicester LE1 7RH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5387

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