USI mourns Professor Barbara Czarniawska


Institutional Communication Service

11 April 2024

The academic community mourns the death of Barbara Czarniawska, Professor Emeritus of Management Studies at the Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg. The Professor passed away last Sunday, 7 April, after a period of illness.

In 2023, on the occasion of USI's 27th Dies Academicus, she had been awarded an honorary doctorate in Communication Sciences. An accolade that had been conferred on her for her role as a forerunner of ethnographic methods and of the eclecticism of qualitative methods applied to management and organisations, of which she had offered an alternative reading in a communicative, narrative and relational key, sensitive to contexts and attentive to the interconnections between organisations and society

Born in Białystok, Poland, in 1948, Barbara Czarniawska graduated in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics and had been Senior Professor in Management Studies at the Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg. She had held positions at the University of Warsaw, Stockholm School of Economics and Lund University before arriving at the University of Gothenburg in 1996.

Visiting professor in ten countries and over twenty universities, she had been a Faculty Associate at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University since 2004. Holder of four honorary doctorates (Aalborg University, Copenhagen Business School, Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Turku), she had been a member of the editorial board of several prestigious international academic journals and had supervised forty doctoral dissertations.   

She authored 35 books, more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals and hundreds of chapters, encyclopaedic entries, curatorships and special issues, with more than 38,000 citations. She had revolutionised the understanding of organisations - newsrooms, cities and businesses - by offering a constructivist, narrative and network-based understanding. Her research ranged from popular culture to the future of the welfare state, from the construction of images and news to the robotisation of work. 

Below you can find links to the University of Gothenburg's farewell and the news about the honorary doctorate received on the occasion of USI's 27th Dies Academicus.