EGOS Honorary Membership for the Centre's Director Sigrid Quack

On July 7th, the Centre's Director Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack was awarded an honorary membership from the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) 'for her pioneering and lasting contributions both to the study of transnational organization and organizing, and to EGOS as an association'. In a ceremony at the opening of the 38th EGOS Colloquium in Vienna the award was conferred after a laudatory speech from Prof. Dr Leonhard Dobusch, Department of Organization and Learning, University of Innsbruck, an academic companion for many years and also a co-founder with Prof. Quack of 'governance across borders', a well-established scientific blog platform, where Dobusch's Laudatio has already been placed.


EGOS is a scholarly association which aims to further the theoretical and/or empirical advancement of knowledge about organizations, organizing and the contexts in which organizations operate. As a collective, one of its main goals is to maintain and provide a voice for the critical and analytical approaches of its members to the study of organization worldwide. There were around 2,600 active EGOS members in July 2021, representing 60 countries all over the world.


In his Laudatio, Dobusch presented organization studies as a discipline that has already exhibited outstanding characteristics for some time: research in this field is 'truly transdisciplinary', characterized by 'great methodological openness' and 'theoretical pluralism'.

And this triad of transdisciplinarity, methodological openness and theoretical pluralism is also, what Sigrid not just contributed to, but rather what she lived, what she exemplified, what she spearheaded. (Laudation: Prof. Dobusch)

Obviously, nobody at the Centre could disagree with this; Sigrid Quack's research is genuinely interested in transnational processes with a scrutinizing focus on institutional structures as they develop over time (and beyond borders).

In her work on transnational law firms with Glenn Morgan, her edited volumes with Marie-Laure Djelic on Globalization and Institutions as well as on Transnational Communities and also in our joint work on IP regulation as a transnational practice, she explored how national and transnational institutions interact and how norms may both be trickling-up and trickling-down, thereby pushing for multi-level approaches to issues of global economic governance. (Laudation: Prof. Dobusch)

Beyond the perfect - imperfect divide

Since scientists always have to justify what they do, Dobusch reflects also on another purpose of the EGOS Honorary Membership: to motivate young scholars by example. And it comes to his mind that an all-too perfect picture might discourage the next generation.

Because how can all the mortals here aspire to reach the seemingly superhuman level of excellence exemplified by the scholars receiving the honour? (Laudation: Prof. Dobusch)

This year's EGOS colloquium cherished as its main theme 'Organizing: the Beauty of Imperfection', proposing the argument that 'imperfections need not implicate deficiency, weakness, or failure – but, instead, may implicate opportunity, unrealized potential, and even the exceptional'.

But in his search for something that could counter 'the seemingly superhuman level of excellence exemplified by the scholars receiving the honour', Dobusch found something beyond the perfect - imperfect divide and ended his Laudatio with very sympathetic remarks on 'Sigrid's humanism'.

Martin Wolf

Selected References

(More: profile Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack)

Djelic, Marie-Laure and Quack, Sigrid (2018). Globalization and Business Regulation, Annual Review of Sociology 44: 123–143.

Djelic, Marie-Laure and Quack, Sigrid (eds.) (2010). Transnational Communities. Shaping Global Economic Governance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Djelic, Marie-Laure, and Quack, Sigrid (2007). ‘Overcoming path dependency: path generation in open systems’. Theory and society, 36(2), 161–186.

Djelic, Marie-Laure, and Quack, Sigrid (2003). Globalization and institutions. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dobusch, Leonhard, Hondros, Konstantin, Quack, Sigrid and Zangerle, Katharina (2018). ‘Shaping Competition, Cooperation and Creativity in Music and Pharma: The Role of Legal Professionals, Intellectual Property and Regulatory Uncertainty’. Organized Creativity Discussion Paper No. 18/3, Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin.

Dobusch, Leonhard and Quack, Sigrid (2013). Framing Standards, Mobilizing Users: Copyright versus Fair Use in Transnational Regulation, Review of International Political Economy 20 (1): 52–88.

Morgan, Glenn, and Quack, Sigrid (2005). ‘Institutional legacies and firm dynamics: the growth and internationalization of UK and German law firms’. Organization Studies, 26(12), 1765–1785.

Quack, Sigrid (2007). ‘Legal professionals and transnational law-making: A case of distributed agency’. Organization, 14(5), 643–666.

Quack, Sigrid (2010). ‘Law, expertise and legitimacy in transnational economic governance: an introduction’. Socio-Economic Review, 8(1), 3–16.