Call for Papers


for publication in a scholarly book and presentation in associated paper development workshop


July 11-12, 2020 at Hyderabad, India

Abstract Deadline - January 15, 2020



Arjun Bhardwaj, University of British Columbia, Canada

MP Ganesh, Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad, India

Israr Qureshi, Australian National University, Australia

Dhirendra Shukla, Indian Institute of Management-Udaipur, India

Babita Bhatt, Australian National University, Australia

Suhaib Riaz, University of Ottawa, Canada


Our societies are increasingly being polarized across divides of politics, values, identities and interests. Polarization is a serious societal challenge, involving problems such as conflicts, exclusion, marginalization, targeted violence, and extremism. The social divides generated by polarization may potentially undermine modern institutions and stall socioeconomic progress in many countries across the world. 

The social systems, organizations, and technologies that shape social life in current times may also contribute to generating and exacerbating such social divides. These enable people to remain in their own preferred worlds by more easily surrounding themselves with others who share similar views, and by limiting interactions with less similar others. While such gatherings around similarities can bring together people to work on collective goals at a large scale more easily than before, they also facilitate putting people into tight echo chambers of shared ideology, interests, and beliefs. In workplaces, social inclusion can be severely affected by drift of people into such polarized echo chambers. Such polarization raises troubling questions for multicultural societies. As a society with very high level of diversity in terms of languages, castes, religions, and ethnicities, Indian society has often been challenged by polarization of various kinds. Increasingly, polarization has become a global phenomenon and has exacerbated in both physical and virtual forms, leading to problems like ghettoization and cyber-balkanization.

A societal challenge of this complex nature and large scale requires the development of systematic knowledge, with a view to facilitate deeper understanding of associated problems and to develop potential solutions. In particular, systematic knowledge about social bridging efforts is particularly limited, and yet is much needed in current times by multiple societal stakeholders. Furthermore, knowledge of social bridging may exist in bits and pieces in multiple disciplines and sub-disciplines, and is in need of integration. 

We seek to better understand how social bridging takes place in such contexts of polarization. Such research could focus on the people, organizations, or other organizing efforts involved in bridging social divides, including the skillsets, capabilities, practices and tools used (e.g., language, symbolic actions, substantive actions) to organize such initiatives. Developing a systematic understanding of such bridging initiatives is important and would be valuable for developing interventions to reduce unhealthy social divides that manifest in organizations, communities and society at large. The knowledge will provide insights to citizens, organizational leaders and policy makers to develop and improve initiatives for addressing the challenges of increased polarization in societies. 

Our focus is on the India context, but we are also open to submissions based on other contexts that may hold significance for the India context, for example, in terms of comparison and learning from challenges and solutions in other contexts that may be relevant to India and may spark a broader conversation on the topic. In this regard, in addition to the India context, given the social, cultural, administrative, and colonial shared histories we particularly encourage work from the surrounding contexts of South Asia. Similarly, we are interested in work that covers the Indian diaspora, which comprises one of the largest diaspora groups in several countries across the globe and has important points of intersection with historical and new types of polarization in India.  

The potential audience for the book comprises those with an interest in developing deeper and broader understanding of social bridging initiatives. These include scholars from various disciplines, along with engaged organizational leaders, activists, policy makers, and common citizens. The book will be published by an internationally respected publisher of scholarly work.

 We invite papers on such inter-related questions as below (but not restricted to these questions):

Paper Development Workshop

The editors will organize a workshop on July 11-12, 2020 at Hyderabad, India. To be considered for the workshop, please submit an extended abstract (maximum 2000 words excluding references, figures, and tables) by the deadline January 15, 2020. Upon receiving an accept decision in February 2020, full papers (maximum 10000 words excluding references, figures and tables) for the workshop will be due by June 15, 2020. Participation in the workshop is highly encouraged to develop the papers but is neither necessary nor a guarantee of acceptance for the book. All submissions must be made to 



This workshop is related to a project supported by the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, SPARC Grant No. SPARC/2018-2019/P1042/SL

About the Editors

Arjun Bhardwaj

Arjun Bhardwaj is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. He received his PhD at the Ivey Business School, Western University, and completed Post Doctoral training at Harvard University. His current research interests include social networks, status hierarchies, and the interplay of social networks and diversity (e.g., caste, gender, race). His research has been supported by apex level funding agencies in Canada and India and has been published in the Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Group and Organization Management, Journal of Business and Psychology, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, and Management International Review.  

MP Ganesh

MP Ganesh is an Associate Professor at the Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad. His received his PhD in the area of virtual team dynamics from IIT Bombay. He has earlier worked as an Assistant Professor at IIT Madras. He has a varied range of research interests and has published in areas like teacher leadership, cross-cultural virtual teams, mentoring and coaching in workplace, eco-friendly behaviour, workplace bullying, gender in workplace, etc. He has received research grants from the topmost funding programmes in India, including from the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development, India) and ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research). He is a passionate teacher and has won many awards for his teaching.

Israr Qureshi

Israr Qureshi is a Professor at Research School of Management, Australian National University. He is engaged in projects that investigate various aspects of social value creation through sustainable development, social intermediation, social entrepreneurship, and ICT. He is also engaged in various initiatives to address climate change. He has been published in Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Organization Behavior, MIS Quarterly, Organization Studies,Research in the Sociology of Organizations among others. Israr has chaired panels and delivered keynote speeches on emerging business models to address social and environmental issues.

Dhirendra Shukla

Dhirendra Mani Shukla is an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Management Udaipur. He received his doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Management Lucknow. His research interests include social networks, strategic alliances, interorganizational relationships, and social entrepreneurship. His work has been published in Journal of Business Research, Management Decision, and Journal of Management & Organization. His projects on social networks and entrepreneurship have received funding from MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development, India) and ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) under prestigious granting initiatives such as SPARC and IMPRESS. His work on interorganizational relationships and innovation received the Scholars Exchange Grant from ICSSR under Indo-Swiss joint research programme in social sciences.

Babita Bhatt

Babita Bhatt is a Lecturer at Research School of Management, Australian National University. She earned her PhD from Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Her research interest lies at the intersection of community, civil society and organizations. She applies social capital theory and capability approach to understand how social impact is achieved by organizations engaged in poor communities. Her work has been published in Organization Studies and Journal of Business Ethics, and has received funding from IDRC, Canada and RGC, Hong Kong. Her work on social cohesion and social entrepreneurship has been recognized with a grand challenge grant of about A $3 million.

Suhaib Riaz

Suhaib Riaz is an Associate Professor of Management at University of Ottawa, Canada. His research is focused on grand challenges of current and future global significance. His research has been published in journals such as  Organization Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Human Relations, Journal of World Business, Organization, Research in the Sociology of Organizations and as chapters in Springer and Routledge books. His work has also appeared in Harvard Business Review online, The Conversation, Academy of International Business Insights and has been republished or cited in Businessweek, Huffington Post, Forbes and other outlets. Dr. Riaz has been an invited speaker for showcase symposiums and panels at Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society, and European Group for Organizational Studies, and a keynote speaker at Boston Field Research Conference. He edited a special issue on economic inequality at Human Relations and currently serves as editor for Global Issues and Business Ethics section at the Journal of Business Ethics.