Panel at 8th International Conference in Critical Management Studies, Manchester
Thursday 11th July 6.00-7.30pm, Room H1


Recently the debates regarding the potentials and pitfalls of open access publishing have become increasingly fierce in critical management studies, drawing much of their fervour from public discussion in response to the Finch report. So, for example, two contributions to a recent ‘speaking out’ section of Organization effectively called for the abandonment of commercial publishers in favour of alternatives such as university presses, scholarly associations and independent publishing. Especially the contribution by David Harvie et al. (2012) also caused a stir elsewhere, e.g. in the pages of the Times Higher Education (Lilley, 2012; see also Böhm, 2013), as well as on email lists such as the JISCM@il Critical-Management list, where amongst others the current editors of Organization, Robyn Thomas and Craig Prichard, outlined Organization’s position vis-à-vis their publisher, Sage.

Much of this discussion remains inconclusive and indecisive. While there are certainly many who at least practically if not always openly continue to support commercial publishing, only few alternative options for publishing are emerging. Some open access journals such as ephemera exist, but due to their reliance on free labour – and notwithstanding their contribution to the field – it is not evident they can serve as scalable models for journal publishing in CMS. Meanwhile commercial publishers are offering ‘gold’ open access solutions (i.e. publication in open access journals or books), mostly funded via ‘author processing charges’ (e.g. currently £500 for publication in Organization), while the ‘green’ option (i.e. making published materials available in repositories etc.) is only slowly gaining ground ((For legal info on author rights to distribute and store their own work, see

The question this panel addresses is whether this state of affairs is satisfactory or whether the CMS community could and should do more to influence publishing strategies. Specifically, the question will be raised if the CMS community, organised amongst others in the CMS Division at the AOM and CMS Board that organizes this conference, should devise its own publishing strategies and fund and found its own publishing outlets. Short interventions will debate the merits of commercial publishing, discuss the benefits of a publicly funded journal publishing platform, and propose the founding of new CMS journals.

Contributions by: Ziyad Marar, Global Publishing Director, SAGE; Janneke Adema, Coventry University / Directory of Open Access Books – OAPEN; Simon Lilley, Head of the School of Management, University of Leicester; Sueli Goulart, Escola de Administração – UFRGS; Steffen Böhm, Essex Business School, University of Essex.

Coordinator: Armin Beverungen, Hybrid Publishing Lab, Leuphana University Lüneburg. 


Böhm, S. (2013) ‘Open-access initiatives to benefit the academy’, Times Higher Education, 30 May. Available at

Beverungen, A., S. Böhm and C. Land (2012) ‘The poverty of journal publishing’, Organization, 19(6): 929-938.

Harvie, D., G. Lightfoot, S. Lilley and K. Weir (2012) ‘What are we to do with feral publishers?’, Organization, 19(6): 905-914.

Lilley, S. (2012) ‘How publishers feather their nests on open access to public money’, Times Higher Education, 1 November. Available online at

Armin Beverungen


Armin Beverungen is Junior Professor for Organisation in Digital Cultures at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and has held previous research and teaching positions at the University of the West of England, Leuphana University and the University of Siegen. His research takes place at the interstices of media and organization studies, and is currently focused on the phenomenon of algorithmic management. His most recent publications include Markets (with Jens Schröter/Phil Mirowski/Edward Nik-Khak, meson press and University of Minnesota Press) and an edited issue of Organization on the theme of “the organizational powers of digital media” (with Lisa Conrad/Timon Beyes).

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