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Centre for Critical and Historical Research on Organisation and Society

Centre for Critical and Historical Research on Organisation and Society

We are a multidisciplinary group of researchers and educators at Royal Holloway.

The Centre for Critical and Historical Research on Organisation and Society (CHRONOS) actively provides an interdisciplinary, international and inclusive forum to discuss and develop the plurality of ways in which ‘critical’ and ‘historical’ research into organizations, markets and society can be conducted, led by Professor Elena Giovannoni and Dr Giulia Achilli, Centre Co-Directors.

The guiding belief of critical research is that it should uncover the social and cultural dimensions and implications of any subject matter, interrogating and questioning mainstream approaches and practices as a way to make a positive difference for organisations, markets and society. This, in turn, needs to be grounded in an in-depth awareness of the origin, historical heritage and evolution of social phenomena, using historical perspectives as a way to delve into present and future trajectories of organisation and society. In this way ‘critical and historical’ research prompts social and cultural awareness and wise judgement among policymakers, organisational leaders and employees while informing public debate within broader society. What is therefore excluded is research concerned with purely technical, asocial and/or a-historical approaches to organisation and management.

Our strengths and key research areas

  • Interdisciplinary perspectives on space and time within and across organisations, researching the material, spatial, visual, and temporal/historical nature of organisation and organising phenomena
  • Research into identity and working life, as a way to reconceptualise differences, categories and divisions, and provide fundamental critique of work / life balance
  • Research into critical consumption and politics of markets, including, studies on consumer activism; geopolitics; marketplace cultures; socio-historic patterning’s of consumption; classed resistance; business-politics relations; justice, law and markets
  • Research into accountability and control in diverse settings (global market, corporations, NGOs, charities, arts organisations and creative industries, education, etc).
  • Silent Voices: Feminist and Subaltern Perspectives


Upcoming Events

Please see details below of our latest events:

CHRONOS distinguished seminar - ‘A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH’ - Prof. Oana Branzei, Wednesday 30th November 2022, 2-4pm.

Location: FOUNDERS-E139, Founder’s Building, Royal Holloway Egham Campus, or via Microsoft Teams meeting.

You can find abstract and short bio of our distinguished speaker below.

To attend in person (or online), please email Professor Elena Giovannoni or Dr Giulia Achilli



Prof. Oana Branzei, Professor of Professor, Strategy & Sustainability, Ivey Business School.


As the world aches from wars and natural disasters, many professionals above and beyond first-respondent occupations feel called to lend their expertise to resolving life or death events. Bakers, teachers, accountants and mechanics parachute into bush fires. Entrepreneurs spontaneously start-up compassionate ventures. Doctors volunteer on the frontlines of war. Boat captains rescue capsized refugees from drowning. How do such professionals handle the risks they are so willing to absorb? Our four-year multi-modal study of veterinarians repeatedly facing tigers and leopards in intense human-wildlife conflicts shows that they manage to repeatedly forge transient partnerships that bring together complete strangers. Sequential changes in the material infrastructure enable a process we label danger-ordering: professionals ensure material readiness, materialize their jurisdiction, and orchestrate allyship with locals. While professionals initially rationalize and absorb significant risk as individuals, danger-ordering enables a rapid and effective reallocation of risk among many other parties present and willing to handle each phase of an unfolding perilous situation. Our process model of danger ordering showcases the critical role of materiality in changing the course of life or death events.

Short bio:

Oana Branzei is Donald F. Hunter Professor of International Business and Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the Ivey Business School and Faculty Scholar at Western University in Canada. She is also the founding Director of the Sustainability Certificate program, the founder, convener and host of PhD Sustainability Academy, an annual event of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, and the co-founder of the recently inaugurated virtual-based and accessible Spring Institute. Ivey champion for the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Education for a decade, Oana has recently pioneered the ESG platform for Ivey Publishing, is developing SDG-concept notes and EDI-focused collections. Oana heads her global Resilience lab, originally formed with funding from her Early Researcher Award, and currently featuring collaborations with rapid-response research teams tackling grand challenges on five continents.

Professor Elena Giovannoni and Dr Giulia Achilli - Centre Co-Directors

Research leads
Strategy leads

Giulia Achilli

Gloria Agyemang

John Ahwere-Bafo

Humayun Ansari

Sarah Ansari

Louise Ashley

Alan Bradshaw

Jane Broadbent

Donna Brown

Benedetta Cappellini

Andreas Chatzidakis

Derrick Chong

Jennifer Cole

Neil Conway

Kate Cooper

Caroline Cornish

Philip Crang

Jane Davison

Dan Kärreman

Paul du Gay

Amany Elbanna

Robert Fitzgerald

Maria Gee

Elena Giovannoni

Chris Grey

Chris Hackley

Catherine Harbor

Paul Haynes

Abby Hilson

Chris Howorth

Ashok Jashapara

Mads Jensen

Olga Kravets

Mikko Laamanen

Pauline MacLaran

Lauren McCarthy

Brendan McSweeney

Fiona Moore

Christopher Napier

Chris Nobes

Justin O'Brien

Susan O'Leary

Gül Berna Özcan

Niki Panteli

Chloe Preece

Chris Rees

Alexander Reppel

Richard Laughlin

Leonardo Rinaldi

Andrew Seltzer

Sukanya Sen Gupta

Laura Spence

Emmett Sullivan

Gillian Symon

Mark Tadajewski

Hui Tan

Helen Tregida

Chin-Ju Tsai

Na Zhao

Yingqin Zheng

Maria Simosi

Anica Zeyen

Paul Caussat

Adam Badger

Nicolae Bertalan

Sara Bakr

Ziyun Fan

Courtney Hagen Ford

Patrick Giwa

Farahiyah Haji Kawi

Minping Huang

John King

Ratna Khanijou

Yihan Liu

Ian McDonald

Adam Mckie

Antony Mullin

Saffet Uygur

Niki Vlastara

Matthew Waters

Tracey Wechie

CHRONOS welcomes distinguished visiting academics to foster interdisciplinary and international research collaborations in any CHRONOS research area:

Professor Riccardo Mussari, University of Siena, Italy.

For information and expressions of interest, please contact Professor Elena Giovannoni or Dr Giulia Achilli

CHRONOS draws on existing skills and resources to:

  • Extend the success of the School of Business and Management’s Critical and historical perspectives (CHP) research group across a number of disciplines
  • Expand national and international collaborations. Our aim is to expand research collaborations to other prestigious institutions and bodies within different countries
  • Facilitate larger research projects and grant applications from members and affiliated research groups
  • Sustain research impact and boost visibility of research output. Provide members with enhanced opportunities for public engagement, boosting the visibility of research outputs and impact of their research on society.
  • Sustain early career researchers, as well as all members, through a productive environment, boosting research culture and fostering professional development

UK research networks and partnerships

Cultural Research Group of Birmingham Business School, UK

International research networks and partnerships

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Department of Business and Law, University of Siena, Italy

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