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11th International Critical Management Studies Conference

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 09:00 to 17:00
Friday, June 28, 2019 - 09:00 to 17:00
Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 09:00 to 17:00
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
CMS Event Team

OU tree with artists carvingThe Open University Business School's Department for People and Organisations is excited to host the 11th International Critical Management Studies Conference 2019, in collaboration with VIDA. The theme of the conference is “Precarious Presents, Open Futures”.

Programme and session timetable update - 27.06.19

The final versions of the timetable are now available.

Outline programme Session timetable Book of Abstracts

News and announcements

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker at the conference will be Dr. Priyamvada Gopal of the University of Cambridge. There will also be a plenary session showing the film Educating Rita with a panel made up of Professor Carole Elliott (Roehampton University), Professor Martin Parker (University of Bristol) and Open University academics.

We are pleased to announce that Case Centre, Policy Press, Pluto Press and Routledge and Sage will be exhibiting at the conference. Material from Bristol University Press, Harvard University Press and Rowman & Littlefield International will also be available; and we will be welcoming The Feminist Library.

Additionally, we would like to acknowledge generous sponsorship from:

Management Learning logo Management Learning, the journal for critical, reflexive scholarship on organisation and learning, who are supporting a drinks reception and a band on Thursday 27 June, in celebration of the journal’s 50th anniversary year. 

The International CMS Board, who have supported fee waiver bursaries for a number of delegates. 

Bristol University Press logoBristol University Press, who are supporting the unconference. Bristol University Press, and its imprint Policy Press, are committed to publishing world-class scholarship with the vision to address positive change by addressing global social challenges. To ensure that you are among the first to hear about their exciting upcoming titles and journals, please subscribe to their mailing list

Best PhD Paper in Management Learning and Education

The award for Best PhD Paper in Management Learning and Education award sponsored by the journal Management Learning is open to PhD students who have recently completed their PhD or are in the later stages of writing up their thesis. The award will be given to the paper that best illustrates critical and reflexive scholarship on organisation and learning. 

Papers may be single authored or joint authored, provided the PhD student is first author. The winner will receive assistance from the journal's editorial team in the preparation of the paper for submission to Management Learning. The deadline for submissions for this award has now passed and the winner will be announced at the dinner on Thursday 27th June. 


Registration has now closed.  No refunds for cancellation will be given.

The conference will be held on The Open University main campus (not to be confused with East campus which is the nearest set of buildings to the MK Hotel and Kents Hill Park). Please go directly to the Library to register. Click for a campus map.


The fees for the conference are as follows, and cover attendance at the conference itself, car parking if required on the Walton Hall campus, all refreshments, lunches, drinks receptions, dinners and conference materials. They do not include accommodation or travel expenses. We provide some suggestions for local accommodation below.

  • Full fee: £370 (all meals included)
  • Discounted fee for those earning less than £25,000 a year: £245 (all meals included)

Open University staff and PhD and professional doctorate students can attend the conference for free. The Eventbrite page will allow you to register as a member of this group of people.

Pre-booked guests of attendees are welcome at the drinks reception and dinner on the first night (27 June), which will be on campus and/ or the drinks reception and gala dinner on the second night (28 June), which will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton in Stadium MK.  The price for guests/non-conference ticket holders is as follows (do not purchase these tickets for yourself if you have paid a conference fee as all meals are included in the fee):

  • Guest drinks reception and dinner first night only: £30
  • Guest drinks reception and gala dinner only: £60
  • Guest both dinners and drinks receptions: £90

Please note that pre-booked guests will not have access to the conference sessions, refreshment breaks or lunches.


There will be 37 streams, an unconference and two workshops running at the conference, a summary of which is now available.


Getting to and around Milton Keynes

Travel advice can be found here, and in addition to the public buses serving the University, the University operates its own peak hour station shuttle bus (this is a comfortable coach run by Souls).

A minibus shuttle service will be provided during the conference around local hotels, the railway station and the bus station Coachway. Please see the timetable below.

Coach and minibus timetable

In addition, coaches will be provided for transport from local hotels where we have reserved rooms to the gala dinner on the evening of the 28 June, and for the return trip.

The nearest airport is London Luton which is approximately 30-40 minutes by bus or car.

Skyline is the University’s preferred taxi supplier: 01908 222111.

Parking on campus is free. Conference parking is available in the South West car park opposite the Michael Young Building on Walton Drive only. It is a 5-10 minute walk to the centre of the campus. Please contact us if walking is a problem and we will organise a visitor’s parking space.


Delegates should make their own arrangements for accommodation. Hotel MK (formerly the Hilton Milton Keynes) and Kents Hill Park are a short walk from The Open University. Hotel MK is the closest to the University, Kents Hill is slightly further away.

Please note that for a short time you may need to ring Hotel MK to book a room until their booking system is available online.

We have reserved rooms for delegates at both and at a range of other local hotels. Please be aware many rooms are non-refundable and non-transferrable and payment may be taken at the time of booking.

A wide range of accommodation is available in Milton Keynes.There are also many Airbnb spaces available for rent in the Milton Keynes area. Please search using the Walton Hall postcode MK7 6AA to determine the distance between each location and campus.

Reserved accommodation Hotel list

Things to do in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes is a fantastic city, quite unlike any other cities in the UK. You will notice that it is a new city – in fact it’s just 50 years old this year and is well known for its many roundabouts, its road grid system and concrete cows! Tourist information for Milton Keynes can be found online.

If you are staying for longer than the conference days, or have family joining you and are wondering what you can do, here are a few ideas we have put together for you.

Things to do

More information will be available once you have registered. If you have any queries prior to registration, please write to us.

Workshop: The pervasive problem of sexual harassment CMS 2019

The pervasive problem of sexual harassment: Naming and sharing latest research and institutional action

Convenors: Charlotte KaramBanu Ozkazanc-Pan, Alison Pullen, Adriana Rampazo, Juliana Teixera

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem experienced by individuals in a variety of contexts including in higher education, housing, workplaces, public spaces, and online. This workshop brings together CMS colleagues to discuss the transnational prevalence of sexual harassment across spaces and places. Download the full document for more information.

Places are on a first come, first served basis. Registration for this workshop has now closed.


Professional Development Workshop CMS 2019

The issues, perils, and opportunities of publishing critical work in mainstream national and international newspapers: learning how to speak the language.

Convenors: Katie Beavan, Alessia Contu and Charlotte Karam

Are you called to change the world and not just to interpret it? Are you an intellectual activist? Do you want to get your voice out in the service of social justice? Are you struggling with the how? Are you afraid of getting your fingers burned? This PDW is designed as a capacity building intervention to help more of us get critical voices into mainstream press ethically and effectively, in ways which speak truth to power facilitating critical reflexivity and stimulating progressive discourses on organizational and social change.

Places are on a first come, first served basis. Registration for this workshop has now closed.