‘A manifest absurdity’ - The genesis and development of English wine as a field of cultural production Event as iCalendar

(Management and International Business)

07 December 2018

10 - 11am

Venue: The University of Auckland Business School, Level 3, Room 321, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland, 1010

Presenter: Dr Sarah Robinson (University of Glasgow), Dr Ron Kerr (University of Edinburgh)

This paper serves two main purposes. Firstly, it tracks the development of the sub-field of English wine production and conceptualise the roles played by historically-identifiable individuals who, starting in the 1940s, contributed to the genesis of what is now a distinct field position, that of ‘English wine’ . In so doing, it provides a history of field-formation, showing how this is interwoven with UK social history post WW2. Methodologically, our approach draws on recent work on Bourdieu and history (Calhoun 2013, Gorski 2013, Bourdieu 2012). This historical and conceptual approach allows us to track the process of field formation from pioneering group, to proto-field, to a distinctive sub-field that integrates into and occupies a position within the wider globalised field.  

Secondly, we show that English wine is primarily a field of cultural production not an economic field; that is, an economy of symbolic goods in which the enduring ethos is a rejection or negation of the economic imperative (Bourdieu 1993).  Our contributions to organisational studies are therefore: (1) to provide a new way of theorising the genesis, emergence and development of a sub-field; (2) to reactivate the concept of ethos to understand what continues to draw social agents into the field. In so doing, we also (3) challenge the dominant narratives of economic rationality in field development by identifying the cultural and symbolic dimensions of the process and how these are interwoven with wider British social history from 1945 until the present day.

Dr Sarah Robinson is Reader in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Glasgow. Previously, she has worked  at the University of Leicester, the Open University and Lancaster University.  Her research interests relate to learning in its many forms, both personal and organisational. She is also interested in developing visual, digital and hermeneutic research methodologies for organisational research and in applications of Pierre Bourdieu’s work to organisation studies. Her current projects include: a study of the learning and development of early career academics in contemporary business schools; the origins and development of the English wine industry; the genesis of women as political leaders in Scotland; and the development and organisation of political space. She has published in a broad range of journals including Human Relations, Organization Studies, British Journal of Management, Organization, Business History, Management Learning, Leadership and International Small Business Journal. Sarah is currently Co-editor of the European Management Journal and Associate Editor of Management Learning. 

Dr Ron Kerr is Senior Lecturer in Management and current Head of the Strategy Subject Group at the University of Edinburgh Business School. He has held previous academic posts at the University of Lancaster, the Open University, and Newcastle University Business School. He joined the University of Edinburgh in September 2014. Ron’s main research interest is extending the application of the work of Pierre Bourdieu in the study of management and organisations, with a particular focus on symbolic power and symbolic violence. His recent research has focused on the failures of leadership and corporate culture that contributed to the global financial crisis and on the relationship between corporate architecture and power. Currently he is focusing on research in the connections between political organising and corporate power. Ron’s work has been published in journals including Organization Studies, Human Relations, Organization, Leadership, and Management and Organizational History and the British Journal of Management.

For more information contact:
Helen Delaney
Email: h.delaney@auckland.ac.nz
Ext. 82507