34th EGOS Colloquium

  • The deadline for submission of short papers for this Colloquium is Monday, January 8, 2018, 23:59:23 CET.

Surprise in and around Organizations:
Journeys to the Unexpected

July 5–7, 2018

Tallinn, Estonia


The capacity to surprise, the experience of being surprised, and the ability to cope adequately with, and respond to, surprises are important aspects of organizational life, especially as organizations face the unexpected in the environments and societies they are embedded in or are exposed to. Surprise can, of course, mean many different things, ranging from new discoveries and openings, to shocks and ruptures. It can be good or bad, triggering amazement and astonishment, as well as confusion and consternation. Overall, when something surprising happens in and around organizations, it opens up a journey to the unexpected, bringing about challenges but also opportunities for learning. Unpleasant surprises, however, can also lead to learning blocks and emotional traumas, restraining creativity and adventure, and making us opt for the tried and tested.

Just as individuals and organizations create and/or react to surprises in different ways, so do organizational scholars approach the phenomenon of surprise from many different perspectives. Surprise can be viewed as endogenous or exogenous, positive or negative, man-made or nature-driven, etc. Some organization theories suggest that people and organizations are limited in the ways in which they can address and handle surprise, while others treat surprise as an essential part of organizational life, bringing about unlimited possibilities for renewal, innovation and knowledge.

Surprise, in its popular conception, has a largely unplanned and non-deterministic character. Yet, surprises can be, and at times are, meticulously planned and staged (from surprise celebrations for colleagues and surprising experiences for customers, to surprise attacks to adversaries), thus perceiving surprise to be manageable and placing it in the domain of organizational strategy. Surprise, however, can equally arise from the natural world (e.g., as an act of God) and other uncontrollable events (e.g. wars and terrorist attacks). In that, organizational members may not be able to resort to routines or customary ways of control, and may have to come up with new ways of collaboration and of dealing with the resulting ruptures and disorder. It is this ambivalent and complex nature of surprise that makes it worthwhile to explore further.

The 2018 EGOS Colloquium will be hosted in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, a highly liberal market economy and home of innovators, with a variety of world-scale contributions, such as Skype, TransferWise, or novel e-government practices. Estonia, however, is also a country that has itself experienced, over the last 30 years, manifold surprises. From being part of the Soviet Union to joining the European Union, it has been on a journey of the unexpected. Its organizations (be they public, business or non-profit) have had to cope with major transformations and transitions.

Sub-themes: Call for Short Papers

Please note:

  • Short papers should focus on the main ideas of the paper, i.e. they should explain the purpose of the paper, theoretical background, the research gap that is addressed, the approach taken, the methods of analysis (in empirical papers), main findings, and contributions. In addition, it is useful to indicate clearly how the paper links with the sub-theme and the overall theme of the Colloquium, although not all papers need to focus on the overall theme. Creativity, innovativeness, theoretical grounding, and critical thinking are typical characteristics of EGOS papers.
  • Your short paper should comprise 3,000 words (inc. references, all appendices and other material).
  • If you intend to submit a short paper, please first take a look at the Guidelines and criteria for the submission of short papers at EGOS Colloquia.

Time period for submission of short papers:

  • Start: Sunday, September 17, 2017
  • End:  Monday, January 8, 2018, 23:59:59 CET

For any questions re. the 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018 in Tallinn, please contact 

List of Sub-themes

Convenors: Katharina DittrichMartha S. FeldmanBrian T. Pentland
Convenors: Consuelo VásquezFrançois CoorenJeanne Mengis
Convenors: Silvia DoradoDror EtzionMarc J. Ventresca
Convenors: Shiko M. Ben-MenahemGeorg von KroghUriel Stettner
Convenors: Janet MerkelFrançois-Xavier de VaujanyStefan Häfliger
Convenors: Israel (Issy) DroriJochen KochMike Wright
Convenors: Lotte HolckPatrizia ZanoniLaurence Romani
Convenors: Christine CouplandLeanne CutcherAndrew D. Brown
Convenors: Lars EngwallMatthias KippingBehlül Üsdiken
Convenors: Emilio J. CastillaIsabel Fernandez-Mateo
Convenors: Ariane Berthoin AntalAnna A. SvirinaAndré Sobczak
Convenors: Gina DokkoCandace JonesAmit Nigam
Convenors: Maike AndresenSvetlana N. KhapovaThomas M. Schneidhofer
Convenors: Charmi PatelShay S. TzafrirPawan Budhwar
Convenors: David ChandlerRicardo G. FloresPursey P.M.A.R. Heugens
Convenors: Cristina BesioAttila BruniCornelius Schubert
Convenors: Steffen RothRalf WetzelMonika Kostera
Convenors: Wolfgang H. GüttelMoritz LoockMadeleine Rauch
Convenors: Patrick CohendetElke SchüßlerJörg Sydow
Convenors: Christina E. ShalleyBarbara ImperatoriRita Bissola
Convenors: Paul W. ChanAnette HallinChristine Räisänen
Convenors: Paula JarzabkowskiEmilio MartiDaniel Beunza
Convenors: Satu TeerikangasPhilippe VéryMélanie Hassett
Convenors: Patrick HaackAlexandre B. BitektineAnastasiya Zavyalova
Convenors: Joseph LampelAdam LeaverMarius T.H. Meeus
Convenors: Joep P. CornelissenCurtis LeBaronMatthias Wenzel
Convenors: Paul S. AdlerChristopher Nyland
Convenors: Regine BendlInge L. BleijenberghAhu Tatli
Convenors: Tor HernesJuliane ReineckeElden Wiebe
Convenors: Thomas B. LawrenceNelson PhillipsStephanie J. Creary
Convenors: Jeffrey LoewensteinWilliam OcasioEero Vaara
Convenors: Simone Schiller-MerkensPhilip BalsigerSébastien Mena
Convenors: Liudvika LeišytėVilmante Kumpikaitė-ValiunieneChristine Teelken
Convenors: Rómulo PinheiroMitchell YoungUyarra Elvira
Convenors: Andrew DaviesJonas SøderlundPaolo Canonico
Convenors: Dimitrios SpyridonidisDavide NicoliniJean-Louis Denis
Convenors: Pierpaolo AndrianiFrancesco P. AppioGino Cattani
Convenors: Zlatko NedelkoTiit ElenurmThomas Steger
Convenors: Hugo LeticheJean-Luc MoriceauGeoffrey M. Lightfoot
Convenors: Mikko VesaHarald WarmelinkJanne Tienari
Convenors: Daniele MasciaFederica AngeliAmerico Cicchetti
Convenors: Karl-Heinz PognerGianluca MiscioneNils Wåhlin
Convenors: Liv EgholmFilip WijkströmMichael Meyer
Convenors: Andreas PekarekRick DelbridgeMarkus Helfen