Call for Papers
COVID-19 had a profound impact on the global workforce in terms of the digitalization of the work processes and the ways employees interact with each other. The need for distant working in organizations has forced most employees to have a certain level of familiarity with information technologies.
Organizational scholars have tried to address multiple problems such as alienation, stress, social isolation, adaptation, fear and uncertainty that emerged during the period of the pandemic. Some employers considered this trend as an opportunity to benefit from decreasing operating costs. Likewise, employees save their energy, time and money that they normally would have spent on their daily routines. This digital transformation of work seems like a fair treaty between employees and employers.
However, all these benefits seem to be valid only for the white-collar workers, most of whom are able to work from home providing a working environment that is safe and less risky. The issue here is that a significant proportion of the global workforce hasn’t got a chance to conduct their jobs remotely.
The workers who have the responsibility of providing fresh water, electricity, environmental hygiene, transportation, health care services, or food and security services have directly been exposed to the risk of being infected. There will be no civilization for us without the access to these key utilities even if we are able to work remotely using information technologies. Despite its significant role in modern society, the short and glorious story of digital transformation during the COVID-19 period, has not involved much care about the conditions of blue and grey collar workers. In the future, this group of employees providing the essential services to the economies may be replaced by machines with artificial intelligence, but it seems that this transformation will take a considerable amount of time and may not occur simultaneously in all countries. Therefore, it is possible to state that the pandemic period has deepened the gap between white and blue-grey collar workers in terms of status and working conditions.
It is quite evident from the relevant literature that the tendency to neglect blue and grey collar workers is not peculiar to the pandemic period – human resource management literature has mainly focused on white-collared workers and managerial positions. For example, when we searched the articles having the term “blue – collar” in their titles on the Web of Science – management, psychology/applied, sociology, business -, only 165 publications appeared in the journals. It seems that the literature has mostly dealt with the broad group called “employees” and hasn’t empirically or theoretically defined specific contingencies concerning the blue and grey collar workers. Although the line managers and the directors of HR departments have to cope with multiple challenges introduced by this group of workers, the relevant literature does not offer sufficient blue & grey specific research outcomes or conceptual models. Unfortunately, scholars working on management and organizational studies have spent most of their efforts studying leaders/managers and white-collar workers. The intellectual production tells us how to manage engineers in a mining company but provides insufficient information about how to handle the problems of 1000 lorry drivers or 2000 miners.
This congress aims at starting an intellectual movement to fulfill the huge gap in the academic literature – both local and international – concerning blue and grey collar workers. There are multiple aspects to studying these groups of workers. Micro and mezzo level popular concepts such as motivational factors, leadership styles, group dynamics, power, culture, job satisfaction, commitment, citizenship, conflict, learning, decision-making, organizational justice, teams, and deviant workplace behavior should be reconsidered for blue & grey collar workers. The methodology may also provide a new avenue to better analysis and diagnosis because most of the measurement tools and scales have not been developed specifically for these groups of workers. Macro – level organizational studies are also required to examine the contextual factors affecting blue & grey collar workers. Strategic management literature should involve studies taking into account this group, especially in labor – intensive sectors. Regulations, unions, industry relations, communication, political science and labor economics are other disciplines that can also make important contributions to this area of study.
Therefore, we invite academics, management practitioners, specialists, policymakers and union leaders from all around the world to be a part of this intellectual movement by submitting their papers and ongoing research findings.
Some dates are extended due to Ukrania-Russia conflict.
First Announcement of Call for Papers
⮞ 7 February 2022
Start of the Submissions
⮞ 20 March 2022
Deadline for Paper Submission
⮞ 01 June 2022
Notification of Acceptance
⮞ 15 June 2022
Early Bird Registration
⮞ 20 June 2022
⮞ 30 July 2022