I joined Utrecht University, School of Governance in July 2019 from Massey University, Massey Business School (Aotearoa New Zealand). With my research, I attempt to access, support and work with/for activist communities that address the most urgent and current issues of our contemporary society concerning unsustainable practices and socio-ecological crises. In particular, I study activist (postcapitalist) organisational practices as the main drivers of bottom-up social change that potentially transform institutions. Drawing arguments from critical political economy, I problematize hegemonic power relations leading to economic inequalities and social exclusion at the organizational and societal levels, and focus on theories of postcapitalism to offer ecologically sustainable and socially just alternatives.
I am involved in various research projects:
1. Postcapitalist mapping for sustainable futures in the Utrecht Region. This project is about building a network of community-based initiatives and grassroots organisations that offer an alternative to sustain communities and transform society towards sustainability. It was funded by the 'Transforming Cities' hub (strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability). For more details, please see AndersUtrecht and ''Anders Utrecht’: A Collaboration for Bottom-up Change'. As a case of co-production of sustainability transformation knowledge, you can also listen to our podcast episodes on Soundcloud bringing activists and scholars together.
2. Organizing Food, Faith and Freedom: Imagining Alternatives. This book examines how alternative economies, relations and subjectivities emerge from community solutions, and how these could be used to think, act and organize differently within and against dominant capitalist dynamics. Based on an autoethnographic study about a free food store in Aotearoa New Zealand, the book will present a first-hand account of how a community is organized around surplus food to deal with food poverty, while also helping the reader to see through the complexity that brings the free food store to life. The book will be published in 2024 as a part of the book series Organizations and Activism (Bristol University Press)
3. Postcapitalist organisation theory: Following recent multidisciplinary theoretical debates envisioning alternative economic practices, social relations and subjectivities within/beyond dominant capitalist relations, with my colleague Patrizia Zanoni, we develop a new theoretical approach and conceptual framework to study alternative organisations.
I defend the alignment of teaching, research and community service roles with the purpose of social change as 'critical praxis'. As a part of this agenda, I initiated the ‘Social movements, resistance and social change conference’ in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2014, which was held in a row until 2020 and acted as a bridge between academics and activists. In our school, as the Organization Studies Chair, we have just launched a new Master's program 'Organising Social Impact' that offers an innovative approach on theory and practice integration.
I held visiting scholar and visiting PhD student positions at Massey University Business School (2019-2021) and the University of Leicester School of Management (2009-2010), respectively. I am a member of the editorial collective of ephemera: theory and politics in organization, an advisory board member for Counterfutures, editorial board member of Organization and a former team member of CMS InTouch. I also held the book review editor role for Labour & Industry between 2018-2020. With Professor Alison Pullen, I am the Division (co)chair (2022-2023) of the Academy of Management (AoM) Critical Management Studies (CMS) Division.
My research, usually a product of collegial and collective scholarship, was published in ephemera, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Business Ethics, Gender, Work and Organization, Culture and Organization, Industrial Relations Journal and Relations industrielles/Industrial Relations.
I was awarded the ‘Early Career Award for Distinction in Research’ by Massey Business School in 2019 and ‘Best Paper in Critical Business Ethics: Chicago 2018’ by the AoM CMS division for our co-authored study with Dr Fahreen Alamgir.
I co-supervised two PhD students upon completion
Omer Nazir: Critical insights into modern slavery: Case of debt bonded labour in Indian brick kilns (2021, Massey University, School of Management, NZ)
Steve Scott: Running Amok - The Diary of the Hysteric: business education, the Self, & other oxymorons (2021, Massey University, School of Management, NZ)