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WAM 2020:

Subversive Creativity

WAM 2020

Hilton Waikoloa Hawaii

 March 18–21, 2020

Early Bird rates for registering for WAM 2020 are available until 16 February

There is a saying in Hawaiian: Ua Kuluma Ke Kanaka I Ke Aloha (It Is Natural For People To Behave In a Loving Way). The assumption is that this loving way doesn’t just embrace our fellow humans, but the land and the whole of creation in which we are embedded. But we are facing crises that come out of our not behaving in a loving way toward other human beings and the creation. We are facing serious social and ecological crises. Discussions of climate change and inequality are everywhere.


There is a growing sense that the way we often do business, and the way we often teach business, may contribute to these problems and do not help us to behave in a loving way. For instance, they seem to be built on the assumption that more choice and more stuff is always better. But a whole area of research on happiness and well-being shows that past a certain modest point, having more material stuff doesn't make us happier. In fact, it suggests there is a point in accumulating things that our happiness decreases. It is time that we – as organizational scholars – start to re-imagine ways of thinking about success and the purpose of business organizations in a way that builds on an instinct to behave in a loving way: to foster human and ecological well-being. We need to find creative ways of subverting the assumptions that mislead us.


  • How do we build organizations that build on the best in our human natures?


  • Can we design meaningful jobs that align with people’s values, community and respect nature?


  •  What can we learn from workplace democracy designs?

  • What role can entrepreneurship play in creating products and services that are needed and not just wanted?


  • How can we foster long term investments aimed at well-being and not just getting more things in the short-term and increase exploitation?

  • How do we take a more holistic approach to teaching entrepreneurship, marketing, international business that considers society and nature?

  • How can we organize and conduct our organizational life to recover the idea that humans have a healthy instinct to co-operate, act in solidarity and identify our success with the success of others?

  • Can we recognize places where positive things are happening to make human relations and relations with nature better, and can we build on them?

  • What can we learn from other cultures- including ancestral ones – about ways of living, producing and consuming?

  • What kind of leadership do we need?

  • What kind of assumptions do we need to subvert?


This could be the big challenge of our time, and the WAM spirit is a good place to begin in responding to it!

Submission of papers: NOW CLOSED