In memoriam

Barbara Czarniawska


The EGOS community is deeply saddened by the loss of Barbara Czarniawska, a cherished and long-standing EGOS Honorary Member.

At this time, the EGOS Executive Board extends its gratitude to Elena Raviola and Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist for their heartfelt words in remembering Barbara.

A Book of Condolences has been opened for those who would like to leave their thoughts of remembrance.


Professor Barbara Czarniawska, born in 1948 and living in Göteborg, passed away on 7th April 2024, after a period of illness at the age of 75.

Barbara was born in Bialystok, Poland, and took her PhD in Psychology at the School of Economics in Warsaw. After postdoctoral studies at MIT in the US in 1981, she joined the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden, in 1984. In 1990, she moved to Lund, becoming the second woman in Sweden to be appointed a professor of business administration. In 1996, she moved to the Gothenburg Research Institute (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg), which became her home, significantly shaped by her generous and visionary scholarship.

With inspiration from literature, anthropology and science and technology studies, Barbara opened the boundaries of our disciplinary and significantly contributed to develop it methodologically and theoretically over the last 50 years. Her work on narratives, her processual  and feminist understanding of organizing and her interest for technology’s actions have transformed our way of doing organization studies. Together with Guje Sevón, she has given us a language to narrate how ideas travel the world and are translated locally, which renewed our understanding of institutions and institutionalization.

During the course of her long career, Barbara has published more than 40 books, 30 edited volumes and special issues, 100 chapters and 120 journal articles in different social sciences.   Her work was published among other journal in Organization, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Gender, Work and Organization, Culture and Organization, Accounting, Organization and Society, Accounting, Auditing and Society, and Scandinavian Journal of Management. Her writing, serious and humorous, rigorous and novel, has inspired generations of organization scholars.

Her scholarly achievements were recognized through membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, the Societas Scientiarum Finnica, and the British Academy. Barbara received also six honorary doctorates in four countries, a honorary fellowship at EIASM and the Edith Penrose Award at EURAM. In 2011, she became EGOS Honorary Member.

Barbara will be remembered not only for her sharp intellect and unique industriousness, but also and perhaps especially for her hospitality, her unwavering way of practicing and teaching collegiality in academia, her direct humous and above all, her boundless care.