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Ismael Al-Amoudi

Professor Ismael Al-Amoudi

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Cardiff Business School


I am an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of Cardiff University Business School. My principal affiliation is as a Professor of social and organisational theory at Grenoble Ecole de Management (France). I am also the Director of the Centre for Social Ontology (

Please click on the Research tab to find out about the research projects that keep me talking, and reading, and writing...


My research studies how social norms are established or contested, with particular attention being drawn to the practices of corporations. How come certain practices are seen as 'natural' and 'acceptable' whereas others raise much concern and resistance?

I tackle these questions from a perspective that mixes philosophical questioning and ethnographic participant observation. My interest in normativity has brought me to study (and publish) in the fields of business ethics; organisation studies and social theory. A few papers discussing these matters have appeared in British Journal of SociologyBusiness Ethics QuarterlyCambridge Journal of EconomicsJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.

My interest in normativity has also nourished the 5 chapters I have contributed to the Centre for Social Ontology's mini-series on morphogenic societies, that is, societies where change brings more change in many areas of social life. I have asked: what are the novel problems brought by intensified social change as we currently experience it? (Vol. II). What are the new forms of powers that emerge in such configurations? (Vol. III). How does change unbound affect the survival of social institutions? (Vol. IV). And what institutions are missing to maintain democracy in morphogenic societies? (Vol V).  

More recently, I have engaged into two broad inter-disciplinary projects. The first is called "organisation and de/humanisation". It examines the various ways through which contemporary organisations and practices of organising contribute to impede human flourishing and negate humanity. But this project also tries to identify avenues for modes of organising that may be condicive to rehumanising social life and its participants. This project has been represented in two EGOS streams and a few journal publications in Academy of Management Learning and EducationHuman RelationsJournal of Critical Realism and Organization Studies

The second project I am involved in examines "post-human societies", that is societies in which the limits of our common humanity are extended, challenged and transgressed. Think of genetic engineering, intradermic devices, artificial organs and artificial intelligence. But think also of the smartphones which often operate as external organs that are increasingly vital for social and economic life. This project is led with the Centre for Social Ontology. We ask ontological questions about the nature of the human and more empirical questions such as those regarding emerging forms of governance, the multiplication of platforms, and the intensification of control over post-human persons. Our findings are appearing under a mini-series of 4 books with Routledge: The Future of the Human.

Check these links:


I enjoy teaching at PhD, MBA, Masters and UG levels.

Topics include: organisational behaviour, sociology of work, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, management consulting, business strategy, philosophy of science, research methods and methodology (esp. qualitative) and social theory.



  • PhD (Cantab)
  • Diplome ESCP-EUROPE

Editorial work

Peer review for ISI ranked journals:

  • Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour (member of the editorial board)
  • British Journal of Management
  • Cambridge Journal of Economics
  • Journal of Management Inquiry
  • Journal of Management Studies
  • organisation
  • organisation Studies

Honours and awards

  • Grant for current project on authority in a morphogenetic society: circa €180,000. Awarded by Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) in Spring 2011
  • Grant for Oxford Seminar on Conventions and Rules (OSCAR): £10,000. Autumn 2009. Awarded by Abdul Lateef Jameel Community Services. Joint application with Dr John Latsis
  • Grant for CIP conference. Reading 21st November 2008: £1,500. Awarded by the University of Reading
  • School award for outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. University of Reading 2008
  • AOM Meeting Best Papers Proceedings (2007)
  • Judge Business School Spring Doctoral Conference (2006, Cambridge). Best paper award
  • Wolfson College/Newton Trust Bursary (2006, Cambridge)
  • ESRC PhD studentship (2003, Cambridge).  Covered tuition fees for 3 years
  • Cambridge European Trust Award (October 2002, Cambridge)
  • ESCP Prize in arts and humanities essay (1997, Paris): "Borges and the Palimpsest".

Professional memberships

Academic positions

I worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in the early 2000s, before doing a PhD in Cambridge (2002-06) and joining academia. After my thesis, I worked as Senior Lecturer at the University of Reading (UK) and as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Ontology (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland). I have also been active with the Occupy movement that purports to limit the contemporary excesses of capitalism.

Committees and reviewing

Associate Editor: Organization, Sage.

Editorial Board: Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.

Reviewer: several journals in management, sociology and philosophy of social sciences.

Grant reviewer: Independent Social Research Foundation.

External profiles