Sub-Plenary 2-3

The Context of Context:
Facing Antisemitism at the Workplace

When:  Friday, July 8, 2022, 16:00–17:30 CEST
Where: WU Vienna {building/room: tba}

Context is a key construct in organization studies. Current times call us to go beyond the well-scripted, though not always adhered-to, understanding of context and context-driven behaviour. A hallmark of the past two decades has been the advance of populism and autocracy in Europe across the political spectrum, from the extreme right to the far left and a parallel decline in the values of democracy. Applebaum and Snyder among others believe we evidence the twilight of democracy as we knew it. And it is the twilight zone that gives rise to dark ur-myths and tropes, none more poignant than the belief that Jews are the source of all that is wrong in our lives, re. Antisemitism (negative stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and hostility towards Jews).
 
Current circumstances and the times we live in require us to take into account the widest and deepest contexts in understanding the day-to-day, and that necessarily applies to organizations, too. Social heuristics “are widely distributed among members of a culture through memetic transmission”, culminating in innate intuitive thought and behaviour patterns. Antisemitism is such a heuristic, and while as yet under-researched in an organizational context and not fully appreciated, may have substantial impact on working lives.
 
By introducing the idea that the widest context has to be taken into account in order to comprehend societal phenomena of relevance to work and organisations, we hope to encourage discussion on the ways to research such deep-rooted dark phenomena. In directing a spotlight on Antisemitism and its relevance to the workplace, we aim to encourage reflection on a topical and painful issue, widespread also in universities, thereby facilitating the sharing of participants’ experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

ORGANIZER / Panelist:

Yochanan Altman

Professor
WU – Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

ORGANIZER:

Wolfgang Mayrhofer

Professor
WU – Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

Panelist:

Mustafa Özbilgin

Professor
Brunel University, United Kingdom

 

Panelist:

Ruth Wodak

Professor
University of Vienna, Austria