Date and Time: Wednesday 05 June 2024, 13:00 – 14:30

Speaker: Deborah Dean (IRRU, WBS) and Anne-Marie Greene (University of York School of Business and Society)

Title: You must remember this: organisational memory, morality and endurance.
Abstract: Drawing on findings from an interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project 2019-2023, we respond to recent calls to understand how an organisation’s current moral principles are shaped by collective memory. Our response goes further, in demonstrating how a moral dimension to collective memory contributes to an organization’s endurance – of identity and operation – through many years of financial precarity. This is through examination of Clean Break, a UK theatre, campaigning and advocacy organisation that for over four decades has worked with women affected by the criminal justice system. We observe empirical effects stemming from the company’s ‘origin story’ as founded by two women prisoners in 1979, using the analytical lenses of organisational memory studies and historical institutionalism, emphasising significance of when and how an institution comes into being. We make a significant contribution in demonstrating that the relationship between morality and memory has empirical and theoretical significance in accounting for how and why an organisation endures.
Deborah Dean is Associate Professor of Industrial Relations and Co-Director Industrial Relations Research Unit, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Research interests centre on equality and diversity issues in work; the interrelation of social, legal, and cultural regulation.
Anne-marie Greene is Professor of Work and Diversity and Director of Research Impact at the School for Business and Society, University of York.
Anne-marie researches equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in theory and practice. A particular research interest is the interface between work, life, family and community, especially where a sense of calling, mission or activism is required. This often concerns areas of work that stand outside of the standard employment relationship and which are less formally regulated, bringing with them challenges of management policy and practice and issues of inequality. Research projects have involved volunteer managers and volunteers, clergy, actors, freelance creatives, diversity consultants and trade union representatives.
Anne-marie is Artistic Director of the Criterion Theatre, Coventry, a volunteer-run charity.
Location: The seminar will be hybrid (In-person at WBS and Online via Zoom). Please email Louise Cullen ( if you would like to attend in-person (for security purposes and entry in the WBS building).